After 10 years, hundreds of episodes, probably thousands of hairdos and weight fluctuations, and immeasurable laughs and tears, it's finally (mercifully) over. Although we all knew that the end could never live up to the media hype or fans' expectations, and despite the fact that there were no real surprises or moments of hilarity or genuine emotion, there was really no nicer, neater or more humane way to wrap things up. Unbelievable as it was, I loved that Monica and Chandler ended up with two babies. What else were Phoebe and Mike going to do besides start a family of their own? Joey will always be Joey (even if it's on the Left Coast this fall). And I'll even grudgingly accept that Ross and Rachel were meant to be together. At the very least, making them a couple again will save countless guys and gals they might have dated a fortune in therapist bills.
So no formal critique or review, just some random observations from a forever fan:
Something Odd During the show, a friend (Get it? Friend?) of mine called and told me to check out TV Land during the next commercial break. I clicked in to see three guys and three girls being filmed watching TV. The graphic on the screen said "Watching Friends," which couldn't possibly be accurate because I was watching Friends and it was a commercial break. I tried to turn up the volume to hear the dialogue that was making them laugh (another clue they weren't watching the finale), but I couldn't make out what the actors were saying. Basically I was watching these guys watching TV and eating some snacks, although I can't figure out why when the most exciting thing that happened was one of them got up to pass around some donuts. In the immortal words of Ross Geller: Anyway...
Survivor: All-Stars Boston Rob wins the reward challenge (a pretty cool consolidation of past obstacles designed to systematically eliminate players until one is left standing) and gets to take Amber with him to collect his prize: drive-in movie night (awwwww), where they cuddle up to watch Lord of the Flies (eeeeew). I don't know which is more ironic: Snuggling while watching the disturbing survival drama or Boston Rob winning immunity by being the first to complete a hidden-word puzzle. (Here's a little Jumbles tip I learned during hours of slacking in the college dining hall: Write the letters to the final jumbled word in a circle. The solution will appear before your very eyes.) Oh, yeah. He also won a truck. And Amber got a car. But at least they brought back some movie candy to dole out to the other three. To add insult to injury, Amber asserts that she can "taste the money." Of course she can. After 36 days of eating nothing but white rice and coconuts, you'd want to chew on some dirty currency too. Of course, this is coming from the waif who also said she was going with her "gut" when choosing whom to trust at Tribal Council. What gut?! Anyway, Big Tom (finally!) gets the boot and seems truly shocked to go. (Did you catch that Sam Solovey glare he gave Rob before he left?) It's now down to the Final Four, with the winner to be announced live on Sunday night. That sound you hear is the breaking hearts of thousands of moms whose Mother's Day dinners will be cut short or forfeited for the sake of ratings.
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition The EMHE crew vows to gut and renovate an NYC apartment in just 12 hours, with a live reveal of the new and improved pad at the end of tonight's prime-time lineup. (In an odd attempt to lure viewers from Friends-a-palooza, promos urged people to click over to ABC during NBC's commercial breaks for live updates on the gang's progress.) While I think that the idea of gutting and refurbishing the digs belonging to two of New York's Bravest is the least we can do to thank them for risking their lives to ensure the safety of others on a daily basis, is there really anything compelling here? Despite the fact that the workers only have a half a day, we all know that the project's going to turn out faboo. Otherwise, what would be the point? To watch Ty Pennington — who, if you close your eyes sounds like a cross between Danny Bonaduce and Corey Feldman — bounce around in front of the camera? To watch some blonde in pig-tails dressed like a discount-rack J.Lo sand shelving?
ER I'm really at the end of my rope with this show. Carter and Kem's baby dies?! Haven't we had enough tragedy this season? The writers couldn't have killed off Frank instead? If Gallant doesn't come back from Iraq... You know what? I'm not even going to go there. And while we're on the topic, what's with this show's morbid obsession with babies all of a sudden? Lewis is pregnant and consigned to bed rest; Abby spends a harrowing shift in the NICU; Kerry is fighting for custody of her baby son; Mark Greene's daughter, Rachel, shows up to ask Elizabeth for the morning-after pill — what is this, a PSA for Planned Parenthood?
Tonight Show with Jay Leno The Friends media blitz continues (it's like the Terminator — nothing can stop it), with Leno hosting a Friends-centric special from the set of Central Perk. The whole cast is assembled, poised to answer questions they've answered a million times before in the countless interviews they gave leading up to the series finale. (The really sad part is we'll listen to the same answers over and over again. Watch today's Oprah, you'll see.) Everyone seems relaxed and comfortable, except Lisa Kudrow, who, aside from sporting a fabulous new chestnut bob, is drumming her fingers on the table and is cagey with her answers. At one point, Leno asks her who she thinks has changed the most physically from the beginning, and she snippily replies, "I don't know," and the shot quickly changes and a new topic is broached. Maybe she's irked because she and her husband had to reschedule her son's back to school night to make this appearance (she said as much). Hey, at least she could reschedule; I stayed home tonight to watch her swan song when I could have been out with my friends eating onion tartlets and mocklate-chip cookies.