Thursday, May 16, 2002

Rachel delivers newest 'friend'

By John Kiesewetter,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Friends fans will be tickled pink tonight when Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) finally has her baby, a girl (8-9 p.m., Channels 5, 22).

[photo] Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and Ross (David Schwimmer)
(NBC photo)
| ZOOM |
        Rachel has been pregnant since last May's season finale, when Monica and Chandler (Courteney Cox Arquette, Matthew Perry) married.

        The baby story line has delivered big ratings for Friends, which will end its eighth season as TV's No. 1 series.

        In the fall, Friends fans learned that Rachel's longtime soul mate, Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) is the father of the baby. Then, for some inexplicable reason, savvy Rachel nearly fell in love with dim-witted Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc), before hooking up again with Ross.

        With the big event tonight, it's time to think about baby gifts. Here are some suggestions for the Friends characters:

    The TV season enters its last week with season finales today for Friends (8 p.m., Channels 5, 22), C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation (9 p.m., Channels 12, 7) and ER (10 p.m., Channels 5, 22).
    Remaining big events include:
    Friday: Bryant Gumbel leaves The Early Show (7-9 a.m., Channel 12), and M*A*S*H: 30th Anniversary Reunion (8-10 p.m., Channels 19, 45).
    Sunday: The X-Files series finale ((8-10 p.m., Channels 19, 45); the Survivor: Marquesas conclusion (8-10 p.m., Channels 12, 7); and The Cosby Show: A Look Back (9-11 p.m., Channels 5, 22).
The Ally McBeal series finale (9 p.m., Channels 19, 45).
Series finales for Sally Jessy Raphael (noon, Channel 19); Rosie O'Donnell (3 p.m., Channel 5) and Felicity (8-10 p.m., Channel 64.
        • A plush monkey from Ross, in memory of Marcel, his annoying pet in the show's the first season.

        • A Magna-Doodle from Joey and Chandler, like the one that hangs on the back of Joey's apartment door.

        • An autographed 8-by-10 glossy photograph of Dr. Drake Ramoray, Joey's soap opera character.

        • A lullaby from Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow). Maybe a song called “Smelly Baby,” to the tune of her infamous “Smelly Cat.” (Perhaps the others can find itty-bitty ear plugs to spare the baby.)

        • An ornate gold picture frame — like the one surrounding the peephole on Monica's apartment door — for the baby's photo.

        • A copy of Bruce Springsteen's “Dancing in the Dark” video from Monica, to remind the baby that lucky show business breaks come in the strangest ways.

        • Two high chairs from the owners of Central Perk — one for Rachel's apartment, and one to be kept permanently in the coffee shop where the gang hangs out.

        • A boxed set of Friends DVDs, so the baby will know what her mother and father — and their crazy friends — have been up to for eight years.

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