|"The One With The Lesbian Wedding"|
Susan and Carol get married.
|Written by||Doty Abrams|
|Directed by||Thomas Schlamme|
|Guest stars|| Marlo Thomas as Sandra Green |
Jane Sibbett as Carol Willick
Jessica Hecht as Susan Bunch
Phil Leeds as Mr. Adelman
Candace Gingrich as Minister
Symba Smith as Chrissy
Lea DeLaria as Woman
|Original airdate||January 18, 1996|
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"The One With the Lesbian Wedding" is the eleventh episode of the second season of Friends, which aired on January 18, 1996. It attracted mild controversy and censorship as a result of its portrayal of same-sex marriage.
Carol and Susan announce their wedding plans to Ross. Monica caters the wedding after the original caterer is in an accident. Monica plans the food preparation badly, with very little time for everything to be ready on schedule, so she has everyone helping. Reflecting the larger controversy surrounding gay marriage, Carol's parents refuse to attend the wedding, causing Carol to have second thoughts about her and Susan's decision, which almost leads to them calling the wedding off. In a totally unexpected situation, Ross finds himself encouraging her to go ahead with the ceremony despite their opposition if she really loves Susan. Carol knows he's right, so the preparations resume.
Joey makes his first appearance on the soap opera Days Of Our Lives as Dr. Drake Ramoray. He becomes an instant hit with the guys, who keep asking him to recite their favorite lines. Meanwhile, Phoebe is going through a work problem when the old lady she was massaging died on her massaging table and she fears that her soul is stuck with her. This is featured in the episode by Phoebe occasionally blurting out old-lady-sounding phrases. Following a meeting from her late client's husband, Phoebe learns that Mrs Adelman, her massaging client, always stated to want to see everything before she "goes". Rachel's mother, Sandra Green, visits, and has news for Rachel - she's divorcing her father. Rachel is devastated to say the least, but her mother confides in her that she married her Barry (the latter being the guy Rachel dumped on the altar because she didn't love him).
Sandra stays for the lesbian wedding, where Phoebe loudly exclaims: "Now I've seen everything!" Mrs Adelman's spirit is finally out of her. The wedding ceremony takes place, and at the reception, Ross can't help looking over at Carol and Susan on the happiest day of their lives. Phoebe is asked for drinks by a transvestite tomboy at the back of the church two ex-characters Bonnie and Julie clubs together to sale party favours to help Carol and Susan's Wedding with their name and the date and a picture of them both on the back. This series is said to be a second special boxset
Cast and CrewEdit
As a result of its portrayal of a lesbian couple marrying, the episode attracted some controversy across the United States. Two network affiliates refused to air the episode - KJAC-TV in Port Arthur, Texas and WLIO in Lima, Ohio - citing objectionable content, although the decision drew little press attention, partly due to the small size of the markets in question. Gay and lesbian groups - notably GLAAD - decried the censorship of the episode.
While the episode was one of the first mainstream portrayals of gay marriage on US television, it was the second gay marriage on a sitcom that season; the show Roseanne had aired an episode just five weeks before in which the title character coordinated a wedding for her co-worker Leon and his lover Scott. The New York Times claimed "The biggest news about the wedding on Friends was that it was almost no news at all." However, the fact that Carol and Susan's ceremony was officiated by Candace Gingrich, a gay-rights activist and sister to conservative Congressman Newt Gingrich did draw some media attention, as the casting was perceived as a comment on the Republican Party's anti-gay rights stance and the "Contract with America" platform.
A writer with the Associated Press noted in an article that week that the ceremony would not include a kiss by the newlyweds, including the episode as part of an observed trend of portrayals of gay characters while skirting controversy by avoiding or minimizing physical contact.
The episode was the highest rated television program for the week, with 31.6 million viewers.
- Phil Leeds, the gentleman who played the elderly husband of the deceased woman that possessed Phoebe's body during this episode, passed away two years later on August 16, the same day that Elvis Presley (1977) and Babe Ruth (1948) died.
- In the final scene, the friends discuss who is likely to be married first and last. Despite everyone thinking it will be Chandler to marry last, Chandler (along with Monica) is actually the first of the group to enter a marriage that doesn't end just a few episodes later. Joey is actually the last to marry, being the only cast member to not have a wedding during the series.
- When the ceremony begins and Phoebe (as the deceased woman) says "Oh, my god!" her arms are loose. In the next shot, as she says "Now I've seen everything!" her arms are together. Rachel's face also changes in these shots.
- At the beginning of the episode when Ross, Carol and Susan are talking, the toddler playing Ben changes mid-way through their conversation.
| Preceded by|
"The One With Russ"
|"The One With The Lesbian Wedding"|| Followed by |
"The One After the Superbowl, Part 1"