Friends Season Guide
|Friends - The Complete First Season (1)|
The first season introduces the six main characters: Rachel Karen Green, Monica Geller, Phoebe Buffay, Joey Tribbiani, Chandler Muriel Bing and Ross Geller. Rachel, who left her fiance at the altar on her wedding day, has come to New York and ends up living with Monica. It establishes early on in the season that Ross has been infatuated with Rachel since the two characters attended high school. Several episodes revolve around his attempts to tell her how he feels. Meanwhile, Ross's estranged lesbian wife Carol is pregnant with his baby. This puts him and Carol's lesbian life partner, Susan (played by Jessica Hecht), in an awkward position. When the baby is born at the end of the season, Ross, Carol, and Susan agree to name him Ben: after a nametag on a janitor's uniform worn by Phoebe. The episodic nature of the season sees the other characters having multiple dates, many of which go wrong (Monica dates a minor in one episode). The recurring character of Janice (played by Maggie Wheeler) is introduced as a girlfriend Chandler breaks up with in an early episode but frequently returns to through the ensuing ten seasons. At the end of the season, Chandler lets it slip that Ross loves Rachel. Rachel is caught off guard but finds that she feels the same way.
|Friends - The Complete Second Season (2)|
The second season features more serialized storylines; it begins when Rachel discovers that Ross is dating Julie (played by Lauren Tom), someone he knew from grad school. Julie returns for several episodes early in the season. Rachel's attempts to tell Ross she likes him mirror his own failed attempts in the first season, though the characters eventually begin a relationship that lasts into the following season. Joey, a struggling actor in the first season, gets a part in a fictionalized version of the soap opera Days of our Lives but loses the part soon after when he angers the writers by saying in an interview that he writes many of his own lines. Tom Selleck begins a recurring guest role as Dr. Richard Burke. Richard, a friend of Monica and Ross' parents who is recently divorced and with grown children, is 21 years older than Monica but despite this they date for the second half of the season. In the season finale, they end the relationship when they realize that he does not want any more children and she does. The second season also served to deepen Chandler and Joey's friendship. This becomes especially apparent in the episodes in which Joey temporarily moves out and a creepy guy named Eddie (Adam Goldberg) moves in.
|Friends - The Complete Third Season (3)|
Season three took on a significantly greater serialized format. Rachel begins working at Bloomingdales and Ross becomes jealous of her coworker, Mark. Ross and Rachel break up after Ross sleeps with the hot girl from the copy shop, Chloe. His insistence that he and Rachel were "on a break" becomes a running gag through the remaining seasons. The two show significant animosity towards each other through the second half of the season, though the cliffhanger ending suggests the two reconcile. Interestingly, the first episode after they break up does not focus on the two of them, but on Chandler, who's having a very hard time dealing with the situation, as it reminds him of his parents' divorce. Phoebe, established as having no family except for an identical twin sister, becomes acquainted with her half-brother (played by Giovani Ribisi) and in the finale discovers her birth mother she never knew she had (played by Teri Garr). Joey develops a crush on Kate, his acting partner in a new play (played by Dina Meyer). At first, she doesn't harbor feelings for him, even after sleeping together. However, after her boyfriend/director dumps her following a scathing review of the play, she turns to Joey for support. The relationship doesn't last long, as she is given an opportunity on a soap opera in Los Angeles. Monica begins a relationship with Pete Becker, a millionaire who has a crush on her (played by Jon Favreau). At first, she only sees him as a friend, but eventually, the two begin to date. Preparing for what she thinks is a marriage proposal, Pete confides in her that he wants to become the Ultimate Fighting Champion. After seeing him get beat up badly in two matches, she tells him he has to give it up. Since he won't, she breaks up with him.
|Friends - The Complete Fourth Season (4)|
During the fourth season, actress Lisa Kudrow became pregnant. This was written into the show by having Phoebe become a surrogate mother to the children of her brother and his wife (played by Debra Jo Rupp). Ross and Rachel briefly reconcile in the premiere but soon break up again. During the middle of the season, Monica and Rachel are forced to switch apartments with Joey and Chandler after losing a bet on how well the four know each other. They bribe Joey and Chandler to switch back with Knicks season tickets and a one-minute kiss between themselves. Mid-season, having moved on, Ross begins dating an English woman called Emily (played by Helen Baxendale) and the finale, featuring the wedding of the characters, was filmed on location in London. Chandler and Monica sleep together when, after a wedding guest mistakes Monica for Ross' mother, Monica seeks comfort in the arms of a friend. Rachel, depressed by the impending wedding enough to chase away a potential boyfriend in Joshua, attends the wedding at the last minute, intending to tell Ross that she still loves him, but decides not to. Things are thrown into chaos when Ross replaces Emily's name with Rachel's while saying his vows.
|Friends - The Complete Fifth Season (5)|
The fifth season follows Monica and Chandler keeping their new relationship a secret from their friends, while Ross' marriage to Emily ends before it even started, following their wedding (Baxendale's pregnancy prevented her from appearing on-screen in all but two episodes). Phoebe starts a relationship with Gary (Michael Rapaport), a police officer she meets after finding his badge. Although leery of moving in with Gary, she eventually relents. The relationship ends with a bang, literally, when Gary shoots a bird outside of their apartment. Monica and Chandler's relationship becomes public and on a trip to Las Vegas, they decide to get married. On a cliffhanger, Ross and Rachel drunkenly stumble out of the wedding chapel. The series received Emmy nominations in 1999 for Outstanding Comedy Series.
|Friends - The Complete Sixth Season (6)|
In the sixth season premiere Ross and Rachel's marriage is established to be a drunken mistake and, although Ross is reluctant to do so, the two get a divorce (Ross's third) after failing to get an annulment. Monica and Chandler decide just to move into her apartment together and Rachel moves in with Phoebe. Joey, still a struggling actor, gets a female roommate and a part on a cable television series called "Mac and C.H.E.E.S.E", where he stars alongside a robot. Ross gets a job lecturing at New York University and starts dating his college student, Elizabeth (played by Alexandra Holden). Bruce Willis makes a three-episode cameo as her father. Phoebe and Rachel's apartment catches on fire, causing Rachel to move in with Joey and Phoebe with Chandler and Monica. In the final episodes, Chandler decides to propose to Monica. Trying to make it a surprise, he starts acting like his old commitment-phobic self, telling her he opposes marriage. For a brief moment Monica considers going to back to Richard, who confesses to her that he still loves her and is willing to have children with her. Monica gets wind of Chandler's idea, and attempts to propose to him but breaks down in tears and cannot finish. Chandler then asks her to marry him and the show is ended with celebration with many of the friends who were standing outside the door. The series was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series at Emmy Award 2000.
|Friends - The Complete Seventh Season (7)|
Season seven largely concerns various wedding-related antics by Monica and Chandler. Joey's television series is cancelled but he is offered his old job back on Days of our Lives. Phoebe's apartment is fixed but due to the way the apartment has been rebuilt, Rachel stays with Joey. The two-part season finale follows Monica and Chandler's wedding, with guest stars that include Kathleen Turner as Chandler's transvestite father. The closing moments of the season reveal that Rachel is pregnant.
|Friends - The Complete Eigth Season (8)|
The eighth season's first episodes follow a "Who's the father?" format, with the father revealed to be Ross in episode two and Rachel telling him in episode three. Joey begins to develop romantic feelings for roommate Rachel and when Joey's feelings are revealed things become awkward for the two. Eventually their friendship returns to its status quo but in the finale, following Rachel's giving birth to a daughter, whom she and Ross call Emma, she accepts an accidental proposal of marriage from Joey when he bends down to retrieve a ring which has fallen from Ross' jacket. The season was regarded as a return to form for the series; its ratings increased as viewers tuned in for comfort following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It won the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2002, the first in that category for the series.
|Friends - The Complete Ninth Season (9)|
The ninth season follows Ross and Rachel living together with baby Emma after she and Joey clear up the misdirected proposal. She soon moves back in with Joey after a fight with Ross. Monica and Chandler, inspired by Ross and Rachel, decide to conceive a child of their own. They seek medical advice after several episodes of trying for a baby, and discover that both of them are physically unable to conceive. Paul Rudd appears in the recurring role of Mike Hannigan, a new boyfriend for Phoebe. Hank Azaria returns as David "the scientist guy", a character originated in the first season, and Phoebe must choose between the two in a touching finale, deciding to choose Mike. The finale is set in Barbados, where the group goes to hear Ross give a keynote speech at a Paleontologist conference. Aisha Tyler appears as the series' first recurring black character. [A black character was added to address the criticism the show had received for lack of diversity.] Tyler plays Charlie, Joey's intelligent girlfriend. Even though Joey's attracted to her, she finds herself eventually becoming attracted to Ross, who is more her intellectual equal. After Charlie dumps Joey, Joey and Rachel's feelings for each other return. They agree to clear it with Ross first, until Joey catches Ross kissing Charlie. The finale ended with Joey and Rachel kissing.
|Friends - The Complete Tenth Season (10)|
The tenth season closes up several storylines; Joey and Rachel try to contend with Ross' feelings about them being together. However, consummating the relationship becomes disastrous, and they decide to remain friends. Charlie decides to return to Benjamin Hobart (Greg Kinnear), her old flame, and from whom Ross was trying to obtain a research grant. Monica and Chandler decide to adopt a child, and meet Erica, a birth mother from Ohio (played by Anna Faris). Erica gives birth to twins in the series finale. Phoebe and Mike get married towards the end of the season and Rachel takes a job based in Paris. Ross declares his love for her and they resume their relationship (not making any mistakes this time) in the season finale, while Monica and Chandler move out of their apartment into the suburbs. Joey is upset that everything is changing. Rachel still gets on the plane even with Ross' confessions, but later appears at his apartment door admitting she loves him too. In the series finale, at the end, a tearful Rachel says 'Shall we go get some coffee?' to which Chandler responds, Sure. Where? (the last words spoken on the show).
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