Research and Annotated Bibliography on an Episode of the Show, Friends

Introduction

“Friends” is one of the most viewed television sitcoms in the United States. It was created by Marta Kaufmann and David Crane and was aired on NBC. It was directed by Kevin Bright. It lasted for ten years, from September 22, 1994, to May 6, 2004, when the last episode was aired. Some of the main characters include Lisa Kudraw, Courteney Cox, Matthew  Perry, Jenifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer. The show focuses on the lives of six middle-aged friends who live in Manhattan.

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However, it is the last episode of the series, also referred to as “The Last One” that caught the eyes of many. “The Last One” consists of two parts. The series finale was first aired on NBC on May 6, 2004. At this time, more than 65.9 million people in the United States tuned in to watch it (Natalie, 10). Due to this, it became the most viewed television show in six years. Also under the category of the most viewed television finale, it becomes fourth in the overall ranking (Natalie, 7). Therefore, this paper seeks to give an in-depth analysis of the last episode of the television series by examining its theme, relevance, performance, devices used, and why it emerged as the best episode of the entire show.

Summary

The first part of “The Last One” shows Monica and Chandler being accompanied byPhoebe and Rachel to witness the birth of their child in hospital. However, they are blessed with twins and this makes Chandler happy and shouts “Twins. Twins!” (The Last One. Friends. NBC. May 6, 2004).

The second part becomes more emotional as Ross attempts to recover Rachel. Phoebe calls Rachel and tells her to get out of the plane because there is something wrong with its fictitious “phalange”  (Perkins, 1). A passenger seated next to Rachel hears this and raises the alarm by saying “I’m getting off this plane. I can’t go on a plane if there’s something wrong with its “fillange” (The Last One. Friends. NBC. May 6, 2004). This enables Ross to reach the airport and confess his love to Rachel. However, Rachel still boards the plane. Later on, he receives a message from Rachel which raises several questions in his mind. He asks “Did she get off the plane? God did she get off the plane!” (The Last One. Friends. NBC. May 6, 2004). They meet once again this makes them very happy.

Analysis of the episode

Why the episode was so popular

The year 2004 is considered as the beginning of the twenty-first century which marks the unfolding of several new television series and advanced ways of producing them. Also, it marked the beginning of several technological advancements and internet connections. This may have contributed to a large number of viewers. “The Last One” is important because it is the last episode of the series. It represents the climax and it is where most characters get their wishes. Thus, it is important because it brings all that was being built to an end, and thus, enabling the series to meet its goals.

Intended audience

The intended audience is the young generation between the age of 18-35. This is the ones who spend much of their time with peers and do these sort of things. The series uses six characters who are close friends to show the various things that the yuoth do. It seeks to make the young people see the reality of life and know what they are expected to do. Thus, the main aim is to enlighten the youth on how they should spend their life and the things they should avoid.

Situational comedy

The series is a sitcom. This is because it involves a continuing cast of character in several episodes. It has ten seasons which make 236 episodes. The major characters are six who are all youths. thwey are always thrown together by various circumstances in ntheir lives and happen to be living in the same geographical area which is Manhattan. Addiotionally, the series involves a solving of various conflics.

Analysis within the overal series

Compared to other episodes, “The Last One” acts as a summary of all others and a point where everything set up in the previous episodes is resolved. Saah states that “there is much going on in the episode to strengthen the relationships between the six friends, and everyone gets what he or she wanted” (4). The previous episodes have were based on the building of the strong bond between the characters as they find a lot of things which they shared. This allowed for  Monica and Chandler to fall in love.

Also, Ross and Rachel develop feelings towards each other in the previous episodes. The last episode acts as a climax as the two finally get their wish. Monica and Chandler also are blessed with children, and this makes their life great. As friends who had spent much time together, Phoebe helps Ross to express his feeling to Rachel. Additionally, this episode is filled with emotions at different points. These events are the ones who made this episode unique and a climax to all others.

Theme

The major theme of the episode is love. It shows the characters love each other and do things together. They are perfect friends who are always there for each other. No moment that separates them whether sadness or happiness (Holston, 2). Phoebe and Joy are seen clearing the house for Monica and Chandler. Also, Phoebe accompanies Ross to the airport, and much more. in addition to this, it also shows love between the young couples, especially Monica and Chandler. Another theme is that of peer influence as shown in the case where Phoebe manages to convince Ross to express his feelings towards Rachel.

Rhetorical devices

In the episode, various rhetorical devices are used. Some of them include logos, ethos, and pathos. Logos refers to arguing from logic. In the episode, Phoebe plays a significant role in ensuring that Ross expresses his feelings to Rachel. In an attempt to make this happen, Phoebe tries her best to convince Ross on the importance to do so before Rachel boards a plane to Paris. Finally, this happens. Ethos refers to the argument from ethics. In “The Last One,” the producers use ethos in various instances. Since the series focuses on friendship, the six characters love and respect each other.

They are always there for one another and respect other people’s decisions. In case of a problem, they ensure that they get out of it. Lastly, pathos is the use of emotions. When Chandler and Monica get the twins, they become very happy since it has been their wish. Also, the instance where Ross expresses his feelings to Rachel who then leaves and gets into the plane makes even the audience filled with emotions (Eyal &Jonathan, 12). Their final meeting becomes a moment of happiness to everyone, which in turn ends the series perfectly.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the entire series met the expectations of the customers and performed perfectly. However, its last episode was exceptional. It was viewed by more than 65.9 million people. It brings together all the friends and fulfills everyone’s wishes. All the things and issues that were built in the previous episodes were resolved in the last episode. It also presents one of the main themes of the series which is love. Also, the episode depicts the use of various rhetorical devices such as ethos, pathos, and logos. In general, “The Last One” was the best in the entire show.

Annotated bibliography

Eyal, Keren, and Jonathan Cohen. “When good friends say goodbye: A parasocial breakup study.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 50.3 (2006): 502-523.

This source focuses on the last episode of the television series “Friends.” It describes how the friendship among the characters had become strong and the way it was difficult to part ways. The authors are qualified to write about this topic because they have graduated in literature. I have used this article to describe how the last episode of the series is important.

Natalie Kalin. “Top 10 Most-Watched TV Finales Ever”. HuffingtonPost.com. Archivedfrom the original on May 25, 2015. Retrieved May 24, 2015.

The article lists and discusses the top ten most viewed television finales ever. The season finale of the “Friends” is one of them. It was viewed by more than 50 million people in the United States. I have used this article in describing the performance of the last season of the series as well as that of “The Last One.”

Saah, Nadia. “Friends til the end.” USA Today (2004). Retrieved December 19, 2008.

The author explains the importance of the show and what was good about the last episode. He explains how the previous episodes set a basis for the last one which was the climax. The article was published in the USA Today. I have used it in explaining how the last episode is important and its relationship with the last ones.

Holston, Noel. “Friends that were like family.” Newsday. Archived from the original on January 24, 2009. Retrieved January 1, 2009.

In this article, the author explains the theme of love in the “Friends.” He shows how the friends lived like a family and cared for one another. They showed solidarity and togetherness in every situation. The source was helpful in explaining the theme of the last episode.

Perkins, Ken Parish. “Farewell to Friends: The finale to the 10-year series wraps up all the loose ends”. Fort Worth Star-Telegram (2004). Retrieved January 1, 2009.

The author focuses on the farewell of the series as it bid goodbye to the viewers. It explains how it ended and what was contained in the last episode. In so doing, the author expresses his views on the importance of this episode. It was very important in summarizing the last episode of the series.

Work cited

Eyal, Keren, and Jonathan Cohen. “When good friends say goodbye: A parasocial breakup study.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 50.3 (2006): 502-523.

Natalie Kalin. “Top 10 Most-Watched TV Finales Ever”. HuffingtonPost.com. Archivedfrom the original on May 25, 2015. Retrieved May 24, 2015.

Saah, Nadia. “Friends til the end.” USA Today (2004). Retrieved December 19, 2008.

Holston, Noel. “Friends that were like family.” Newsday. Archived from the original on January 24, 2009. Retrieved January 1, 2009.

Perkins, Ken Parish. “Farewell to Friends: The finale to the 10-year series wraps up all the loose ends”. Fort Worth Star-Telegram (2004). Retrieved January 1, 2009.

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