TV Article

SEASON 7

Our guide to top ''Friends'' eps from season 7

THE ONE WITH JOEY'S NEW BRAIN
PLOT Monica and Chandler are horrified to learn Ross wants to play the bagpipes at their wedding, and Joey learns his ''Days'' character will get a new brain courtesy of soap diva Cecilia. CREATIVE CASTING Susan Sarandon as Cecilia. CRITIQUE Oscar winner Sarandon as a washed-up soap diva is pure sitcom gold (well, almost -- she was nominated for an Emmy but didn't win), and even soap opera fans will appreciate the only-on-daytime logic of a brain transplant. Finally, Ross' bagpipe tribute is just further proof that yes, Rachel really is too cool for him. A

THE ONE WITH ROSS & MONICA'S COUSIN
PLOT Monica and Ross' smokin'-hot cousin pops in to play havoc with Chandler's (and, disturbingly, Ross') hormones. Meanwhile, Rachel and Phoebe frantically plan Monica's bridal shower. CREATIVE CASTING Bond girl automaton Denise Richards as the cute cuz. CRITIQUE Richards tries her best to keep up with the nimbler wits around her, but the real laughs are with perennial blondes Rachel and Phoebe, who simply can't match Überorganizer Monica's party-planning skills. B

THE ONE WITH MONICA & CHANDLER'S WEDDING PART 1
PLOT While Monica and an increasingly jumpy Chandler prepare for their big day, Phoebe unearths a positive pregnancy test in the bathroom. When Phoebe assumes it belongs to the happy bride-to-be, Rachel doesn't argue. CRITIQUE Talk about nailbiting cliff-hangers! The first half of this season-ender shows Chandler going missing and reveals that a baby is in the offing for the ''Friends'' family, usually a jump-the-shark moment for other, lesser series. This may be one of the few shows able to turn a $10 pregnancy test into such dead-on dramatic and comedic fodder. A

THE ONE WITH MONICA & CHANDLER'S WEDDING PART 2
PLOT Chandler's disappearance sends his pals into a full-scale freakout, but the groom shows up just in time to tie the knot with Monica. Oh, and that pregnancy test? When Monica denies it's hers, the baby maker is revealed to be the oh-so-single Rachel. CREATIVE CASTING Gary Oldman as a Method-man thespian starring opposite Joey (who's a glorified extra in a WWI film). CRITIQUE Joey's attempts to pry himself away from the set of his film are amusing, but Monica and Chandler's heartfelt ceremony is better. And the best? Rachel's embarrassed expression when her secret is revealed. A-

Originally posted Jan 07, 2004