Real life Summit friends try to cope with ‘Friends’ finale | SummitDaily.com
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Real life Summit friends try to cope with ‘Friends’ finale

KIMBERLY NICOLETTI

Forget about reality television. For some people, sit-coms more accurately mirror life.

“I compare everything in my life to ‘Friends,'” said Frisco resident Amy Sowards.

The 24-year-old has started her process of mourning over tonight’s final episode of NBC’s “Friends,” an Emmy-winning sit-com about six New York friends who have stuck together through thick and thin for 10 seasons.

Last week, she “bawled” as she watched Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) say goodbye before she moves to Paris, and Monica (Courteney Cox Arquette) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) prepare to move out of the city.

The story parallels Sowards’ own life, and as she talks about tonight’s last episode, her eyes water.

Next month, she will have to say goodbye to her best friend, Lauren Gonzales, whom she has lived with for six years.

Gonzales is getting married in October and moving in with her fiance before that.

“It’s really rare for friends to live together this long,” Sowards said. “Normally you don’t get to live with your best friend after college.”

For nine seasons, Sowards and Gonzales have watched “Friends” faithfully.

Sowards watches about three episodes a day. The pair own the first five seasons on DVD, and Sowards has watched her favorite episodes 15 times.

“They honestly feel like my friends,” Sowards said about the cast. “I’ll be in mourning when it ends.”

She appreciates the characters’ loyalty to friends, especially as a resident of Summit County, where friends come and go so easily.

Gonzales also relates to the characters.

“They bring out the funny parts of random pieces of life,” Gonzales said.

“They take serious situations and exaggerate them.

“Each show pulls out something about your life.”

“It’s humor you can relate to,” Sowards said.

“They say exactly what you’re thinking, or exactly what you want to say.”

In fact, Sowards imagines her goodbye to Gonzales will look and sound like something from last week’s episode, which showed Monica and Rachel crying so hard that their parting words were barely comprehensible.

Tonight’s finale is expected to focus on the birth of Monica and Chandler’s baby and the conclusion of Ross (David Schwimmer) and Rachel’s on-and-off love affair.

“It remains true to the show, and I honestly think it is one of our very best episodes,” said co-executive producer Marta Kauffman in an interview on msn.com.

According to the msn.com interviews, Sowards isn’t the only one crying.

Everyone from the makeup crew to the producers had emotional responses to filming the finale.

“It was three weeks of tears,” Kauffman said.

“Every time we did something, no matter how small, it would strike us, ‘Oh, my God, this is the last time I’m going to have a bagel on Thursday morning while watching a scene.’ Everything was filled with meaning. We shot the last coffeehouse scene on the next to last week, and the actors could barely get through it.”

“I don’t think a show will ever be as good,” Sowards said. “It’s going to be a huge void.”

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or by e-mail at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.


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