Eight more episodes from the first season of the successful US sitcom. In 'The One with the Two Parts - Part Two', Monica and Rachel swap case notes over two eligible doctors (ER's George Clooney and Noah Wyle). 'The One with the Poker' sees the girls seeking advice from a cardsharp aunt after the boys beat them in a game of poker. In 'The One Where the Monkey Gets Away', Rachel unwittingly releases Ross' beloved pet monkey into the wilds of the big city. 'The One with the Evil Orthodontist' finds Rachel suffering another self-inflicted trauma when she resumes relations with her ex-fiancé - who happens to be engaged to her best friend Mindy. In 'The One with the Fake Monica', the rather prim Monica is liberated by a new free-wheeling friend, whilst Ross' monkey also starts acting in a 'perkier' manner. 'The One with the Ick Factor' sees Ross' ex-wife go into labour, whilst Monica makes an unwelcome discovery about her new boyfriend. Ross' child is born in 'The One With the Birth', and in 'The One Where Rachel Finds Out', Rachel realises Ross wants to be more than just friends.
When the first series of Friends
debuted in September 1994 it was immediately obvious there would be no need for the show to find its feet. "The One Where Monica Gets a Roommate" was a confident introduction to the six lead characters, opening in the middle of an everyday conversation with the soon-to-be uncharacteristic line: "There's nothing to tell". In fact, the soap-opera style plot got complicated pretty quickly, with spoiled brat Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) moving on from her failed wedding to feelings toward nerdy/heart-throb Ross (David Schwimmer). However, no love life was more complicated than Joey's (Matt LeBlanc), with an endless stream of girlfriends that annoyed the hell out of wisecracking roommate Chandler (Matthew Perry), who only seemed to be able to connect with Janice (Maggie Wheeler), the shrillest voice in the City. Bouncing all manner of neuroses around them were Ross' obsessive sister Monica (Courteney Cox) and endearingly ditzy Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow). Premise established, series 1 matured the characters by providing a monkey and a son for Ross. We met also meet Ross and Monica's parents Jack (Elliott Gould) and Judy (Christina Pickles), Chandler's mother (Morgan Fairchild) and Phoebe's twin sister Ursula (Kudrow naturally). Fans loved cameos from George Clooney, Jay Leno and show creators Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane. But really the focus was on building to "TOW Rachel Finds Out" that Ross is in love with her. --Paul Tonks