'Friends' tying up loose ends

Thursday, February 12, 2004

With the end of "Friends" (7 p.m., NBC) fast approaching, the comedy appears bent on resolving as many loose ends as possible. Chandler and Monica will adopt a kid and move to the suburbs; Phoebe and Mike (Paul Rudd) will marry tonight; and Ross and Rachel will finally get back together. Or maybe they won't. Nothing has to happen to Joey, because he gets his own spin-off show next season when "Joey" moves to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career. Fans and critics already have their knives out for this follow-up, but I'll at least wait for the pilot to offer my opinion.

No entertainment phenomenon since "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" has seen as many weddings as "Friends." The writers wasted a whole season building up to Monica and Chandler's big day. We've breezed through Ross's many trips and falls down the aisle. We've even attended his first wife's second marriage to another woman. And that was before such unions became a hot-button political issue! And, lest we forget, the very first episode involved Rachel walking out on her own ceremony.

Given Phoebe's dating history and flaky biography, it should be interesting to see who shows up, or doesn't bother to attend, tonight's ceremony. Will her triplets be there? Remember, she bore them as a surrogate for her half-brother (Giovanni Ribisi, "Lost in Translation") and his wife (Debra Jo Rupp, "That '70s Show"). Have they been invited? After all, this is "Friends," where people get married at the drop of a hat, and children come and go so conveniently.

Tonight's other highlights