You might not have received this juicy insider's scoop, so let's just put it out there as quickly and painlessly as possible: Friends is wrapping it all up Thursday, May 6, with the series finale. Yes, it's OK to cry. I wasn't given enough time to prepare, either. (Hello? NBC? Give us a little warning before you pull something like this on us. Christ.) I mean, these people have been like—why, I never realized until just this very moment, but, indeed, these people have been just like friends to us, haven't they? Whoa. Has anybody else been thinking that? It's funny an epiphany like that suddenly makes everything totally clear. Our friends are leaving us. I don't know what I'm going to do without their company. And, god—the laughter. Years of laughter. It's true what Joni Mitchell said—you don't know what you've got till it's gone. (I think Janet Jackson said that, too, but I'm still frightened by her knockers, and she was only sampling Joni Mitchell, anyway, so I'm just going to count it as the same idea.)
I've said goodbye to a lot of comrades in my life, but here are my final thoughts on waving farewell to the six friends I know I'm going to miss most:
1. Courtney Cox Wow. Heavy sigh. Saying goodbye to Courtney's gifts is going to be like . . . er . . . give me a second—oh, I know: Does everybody remember how it felt when Night Court closed its doors and you had to accept that Markie Post wouldn't be around on a weekly basis? Yeah. It's like that.
2. Lisa Kudrow Lisa got to marry Paul Rudd on the show, so I don't think she needs anything from me.
3. David Schwimmer Will Ross get with Rachel, or won't he? It's been a decade of the same thing. Ten years of it. It's been spellbinding television. And I will never, never forget that 15 minutes I thought he was cute back in 1994. It was right before he thought he was.
4. Matthew Perry I just hope Matthew finds something worthy of his skills. Wait a minute—The Whole Ten Yards was a sequel to The Whole Nine Yards? See, I didn't get it before. Oh, geez, now I'm cracking up. I'm sitting here in stitches. The Whole Ten Yards? Ten?!! Why didn't anybody tell me? Can I rent it yet?
5. Matt LeBlanc The only Friend to get a spin-off series. Like everyone else, I was stunned to hear that he was willing to jump right into another show. He's going to be Joey on Joey. Must have been one of those real big life decisions: Continue showcasing your talents in wildly successful films about baseball-playing chimps and WWII soldiers in drag, or take a chance on working the same Dumb Roommate shtick you've been plying for the past 10 years? But that's an artist for you—always climbing out there on that limb. Go for it, buddy.
6. Jennifer Aniston I won't miss this woman. OK, yes, I used to find her somewhat charming. Used to. Jennifer Aniston is just selfish—I doubt she gives a damn about the suffering of others. There are people in China who have to wake up every day next to impoverished, unattractive slobs, and this woman is thoughtlessly parading around with that carefree hey-everybody-I'm-getting-nailed-by-Brad-Pitt look of contentment. This woman has no feelings. Some "friend" she turned out to be.