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Fans of won't find it surprising that Katims and Goldberg can smartly write about teens and wounded people in ways that are believable and don't pander; how they can dissect Eddie and Sarah's troubled marriage or intelligently tell the story of a cult from both sides.Just when you think the series will focus to its detriment on one theme, it weaves somewhere else to start fresh.Their daughter, Emma, is born during the eighth-season finale.
It featured six main cast members: Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston), Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), Joey Tribbiani (Matt Le Blanc), Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry), Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) and Monica Geller (Courteney Cox).
Many celebrities guest starred on the series throughout its ten-year run.
For her part, Monaghan is wonderful at making Sarah a combination of true believer — but with clarity — and then completely believable when "real-life" problems warp her reactions.
But it's Paul's Eddie who really helps anchor because of his clear doubts (although those doubts come to him while on the drug ayahuasca, which the Meyerists use on their retreats and when a member is attempting to advance up the rungs of the religion).
But it might have more to do with the fact that Paul comes from a very religious family (his father was a Southern Methodist preacher), and he also starred in another excellent series about faith, HBO's works best is in establishing that Meyerism may have started as a hippie-esque movement, but has since curdled into a cult as it has become more successful — from six members when it began to nearly 6,000 now.
Letting viewers into the darker, cultish side of the movement not only builds intrigue (Cal's attempt to take over is only one of the story planks), it creates opportunities to examine what people will do to be happy — how finding spiritual peace that "unburdens" their minds can blind them to the parts of the religion that anyone else would find weird.
Even when the series strays (it's difficult to make ayahuasca trips anything but "druggy" and cult-like stuff often seems, well, predictably "culty"), it quickly retracts.
Hell, the series even makes the younger-looking-than-their-age Paul (36) and Monaghan (39) believable parents to a 16-year-old and a 10-year-old when, at first glance, that might be a stretch.
A great deal of Rachel's life throughout the series revolves around her relationship with Ross Geller.