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Archive for Thursday, May 6, 2004

Hourlong ‘Friends’ finale marks end of era

May 6, 2004

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Just in case you've been in a bomb shelter since 1962, or fell asleep in one of the isolation tanks that were so trendy in the late 1970s, or wandered off from one of the biospheres that were all the rage in the 1980s, or have just stumbled in from your survivalist compound, or have just been ignoring the media, you may not have noticed that tonight marks the final, hourlong episode of "Friends" (8 p.m., NBC). A special retrospective "Friends" (7 p.m.) clip-fest will precede the final episode.

Easily the biggest series finale since the end of "Seinfeld" in 1998, this rivals or even surpasses that signoff in absurd hype and maudlin overkill.

It's not like "Friends" is going to be removed from the airwaves and sealed in a time capsule in the Smithsonian. It's on in repeats in virtually every market, every night.

But a milestone this heavily promoted cannot go unheralded. So, inspired in equal parts by Phoebe's dreadful songwriting and those Mad magazine parodies, I've written -- or rather rewritten -- a little ditty, sung to the theme song of "Friends":

So no one told us "Friends" would ever go away

(clap, clap, clap, clap)

The plot has been a joke, ever since the Y2K.

It's like we're stuck with them for life, I fear

'Cause the "Friends" repeats will be with us ... for 40 more years.

Chorus:

We'll be stuck with them!

(And that damn chimp, Marcel)

We'll be stuck with them!

(When Phoebe's cat starts to smell)

We'll be stuck with them!

(It's like a real sitcom hell)

(Twangy guitar finale)

  • To commemorate "Friends" last episode, TV Land will air sitcoms featuring the cast in their pre-"Friends" roles as either featured players or guest stars. The retrospective includes Jennifer Aniston in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (5 p.m.), Matt LeBlanc in "Just the Ten of Us" (5:30 p.m.), David Schwimmer in "The Wonder Years" (6 p.m.), Matthew Perry on "Who's the Boss?" (6:30 p.m.), Courtney Cox on "Family Ties" (7 p.m.) and Lisa Kudrow on "Cheers" (7:30 p.m.). At 8 p.m., the network will pre-empt its regular programming to simply show the staff of TV Land watching the "Friends" finale.
  • How did "Survivor" (7 p.m., CBS) get to its second-to-last "All-Star" installment with so little drama? Now it's down to only five. And if Tom teams up with Rupert again against the Amber-Rob alliance, Jenna becomes the most powerful person on the island. Yikes.

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