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Lodians react to end of 'Friends' show

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Posted: Wednesday, May 5, 2004 10:00 pm

As Joey once said on an episode of "Friends" when his roommate moved out, "It's the end of an era."

After a decade, the hit NBC sitcom ends tonight. While many Lodi residents don't seem to be shedding tears over the event, most seem to know an era is ending.

"I want it to keep going forever," said Carol Maas, who says she's not happy the show is ending.

Maas has watched the show for years, and also watches re-runs that currently air twice an evening, Monday through Friday.

Lodi resident Kathy Brandt has also seen all the episodes over the past 10 years, but she had a different opinion about the show's conclusion.

"I'm ready for it to end," she said as she walked downtown Wednesday morning.

Like others, she thinks Ross and Rachel - played by actors David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston, respectively - will wind up getting back together. Over the years, the two characters have dated, broken up, gotten married in a drunken Las Vegas stunt, quickly got divorced, then had a baby together.

"Rachel will get together with Ross; that's what America wants," Brandt said.

Megan Carson, who was giving a manicure at My Little Sisters Salon on School Street, echoed Brandt's prediction.

Megan Carson

"They should get back together - they have a kid together," she said of the characters.

Carson, like others, watched the show regularly for years. But her work schedule and family have caused her to miss the show in recent months. And there was something else, she said.

"My husband and I would watch the re-runs and laugh and laugh. But the new ones aren't as funny," she said.

The family does sometimes watch the show, and Carson has tried to watch the last few episodes that have built up to tonight's hour-long finale that is preceded by an hour-long retrospective. The hour-long conclusion airs at 9 p.m.

Carson's son, 10-year-old Bryson, knows the show and said Joey, played by Matt LeBlanc, is his favorite character on the show, "because he's funny."

Not all people were interested in the show, but most seem to know it's coming to an end. Commercial space has sold for millions of dollars, and the "Friends" stars have appeared on countless TV shows and magazine covers.

Aleksander Taulbee

"I don't understand all the hoopla," Aleksander Taulbee said as he ate lunch on a bench beneath a tree. "It all becomes trivial. It has no impact on life."

Unlike Taulbee, Woodbridge resident Ellen Taylor does watch TV, but her sentiments about the sitcom were similar.

"I would rather watch sports, or a re-run of Seinfeld," she said.

"Seinfeld," which ended several years ago, was considered one of the staple sitcoms in television history. Now, "Friends" ends tonight while NBC's "Frasier" ended Tuesday. Few other sitcoms seem ready to take their place.

Carson and Brandt both predicted that reality shows will continue to dominate TV line-ups.

Yolanda Bernasconi

Lodi resident Yolanda Bernasconi echoed that sentiment, while expressing sadness about the ending of "Friends."

"It's one of my favorite shows, and I'm going to miss it."

Contact reporter Layla Bohm at layla@lodinews.com.

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