Series 2, Volume 2 (Episodes 9-16)

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

Category Comedy Music Video-I'll Be There For You-The Rembrandts
Year Released 1995-1996
Running Time 175:06
RSDL/Flipper Dual Sided
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 2,4 Director Kevin S. Bright
Thomas Schlamme
Michael Lembeck 
James Burrows

Warner Home Video
Starring Jennifer Aniston 
Courtney Cox 
Lisa Kudrow 
Matt Le Blanc 
Matthew Perry 
David Schwimmer
Case Transparent Amaray
RPI $36.95 Music Michael Skloff 
Ian Christian Nickus

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1
Macrovision ? Smoking Yes
Subtitles English 
English for the Hearing Impaired
Annoying Product Placement Yes, occasionally
Action In or After Credits Yes, almost every episode has action during the end credits

Plot Synopsis

    It's hard to write these plot synopses without being repetitive, so I'll direct you to my review of Series 1 Volume 1 for my overall feelings on the Friends series. All I'll specifically comment on with this particular compilation of episodes is that the standard of the show's writing and acting remains the same and this is the first set of episodes where famous guest stars start to make appearances. Indeed it is a measure of the success of the series to date when we see that Matthew Perry gets to make out with Julia Roberts.

    The episodes on this DVD are Episodes 9 - 16 of Series 2.

    The One With Phoebe's Dad (21:52). This episode is the Christmas episode for 1995, and it sees Phoebe come to the realization that her father is not who she has been told he is. Monica and Rachel's cash-strapped position see them give cookies to their mailman, newspaper delivery boy and building supervisor instead of a cash tip, with variable results, particularly when their radiator gets stuck on full.

    The One With Russ (21:55). Rachel starts dating Russ, essentially a clone of Ross, down to the dubbed voice and annoying mannerisms. Monica and Fun Bobby get back together until Monica realizes Bobby is only fun when he has a drink in his hand. Fun Bobby turns into Dull Bobby when he gets on the wagon, driving Monica to drink to excess to compensate. Joey scores a plumb role on Days Of Our Lives as a neurosurgeon.

    The One With The Lesbian Wedding (21:55). Susan and Carol plan a wedding which Ross thoroughly disapproves of, but he gets involved regardless. An elderly lady dies on Phoebe's massage table, her spirit entering Phoebe's body, with often hilarious consequences. Rachel's mother visits and confides to Rachel that she wants to leave Rachel's father.

    The One With The Superbowl Part I (21:51). I have no idea why this and the next episode make reference to the Superbowl, as it doesn't even rate a mention during either episode. Joey picks up a stalker (Brooke Shields) as a result of his ongoing role on Days Of Our Lives. At first, this appears to be a good thing, but this stalker thinks Joey is really a neurosurgeon. Ross attempts to visit Marcelle (his ex-monkey) but Marcelle is no longer at the zoo. Phoebe is convinced to play her unique brand of songs for children at the local library by Chris Isaak.

    The One With The Superbowl Part II (21:56). Ross finds out that Marcelle is actually in show-biz now, and is starring in Outbreak II, being shot in New York. As a consequence, Rachel finds herself going out with Jean-Claude Van Damme, much to Monica's chagrin and Chandler finds himself going out with a girl from his primary school - Julia Roberts. Chandler's dream date, however, does not turn out quite as he expects. JCVD proves he still can't act in this episode, even when he is playing himself.

    The One With The Prom Video (21:55). Joey gives Chandler an extremely ugly bracelet which Chandler feels compelled to wear, however Joey finds out that Chandler hates the bracelet in a very funny scene. Ross, Monica and Rachel view a prom video shot by Ross and Monica's parents, which makes Rachel look at Ross in a more sympathetic light.

    The One Where Ross And Rachel You Know (21:56). Aside from the obvious sub-plot suggested by the title of this episode, Joey buys a new TV and recliners for Chandler's and Joey's apartment, which they promptly take up residence in. This had to be my favourite sub-plot of this entire collection of episodes, especially given the irony this particular reviewer felt whilst lazing back on his viewing couch. Monica caters a party for an ophthalmologist friend of her parents (Tom Selleck) and the sparks fly between them despite their 21 year age difference.

    The One Where Joey Moves Out (21:46). With his new-found wealth, Joey decides it is time to strike out on his own and find a new apartment, which Chandler is none-too-happy about. Monica attends her father's birthday party where her relationship with Dr Burke is revealed to her parents. Rachel and Phoebe convince each other to get tattoos.

Transfer Quality


    This is a generally reasonable quality transfer, albeit quite soft and ill-defined at times. There are no really major image anomalies, unlike previously reviewed DVDs from this series.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. It is not 16x9 enhanced. Four episodes are present on each side of the DVD, which is not clearly labelled in regards to which side is which.

    The transfer as a rule is relatively soft, although the opening credits for each episode actually look very good and are better than many of the episodes in quality. Background details are reasonably well-defined in these episodes, within the limitations of the occasionally quite short focal length used during filming. Shadow detail remains quite limited during any darker scenes, such as in the cab during Episode 9 and during the opening of Episode 10. There is no low level noise as such, although film grain is a mild problem at times.

    A momentary increase in brightness occurs during Episode 9 at 5:35 for no apparent reason.

    The colours were strongly saturated without being oversaturated. There were no problems with colour bleed at any stage nor with grossly oversaturated skin tones at any stage, unlike previous DVDs from this series. In fact, the overall consistency of the colour saturation was much higher with these episodes than with any previously reviewed DVD from the series.

    MPEG artefacts were not overly problematic for this disc, mainly because the grain was at a much lower level than on previous discs. If you paused the image you could readily note minor posterization in the backgrounds but this was not apparent when viewing these episodes at normal speed. Foreground posterization of faces, a problem for the previously-reviewed Friends-Series 2-Volume 1 was not an issue with this DVD, however motion blur was.

    An odd aliasing effect was seen in several episodes, such as Episode 12 where the venetian blinds at around the 12:30 and 14:50 marks shimmered vertically in a very odd fashion. This artefact was repeated during Episode 13 on some background columns at around the 1:00 mark. A presumably related artefact appeared as a string of dots on the edges of Rachel's blue prom dress in Episode 14 at 16:38 and on a wastepaper bin in Episode 16 at several points, such as at 19:00.

Episode 14 16:38

    Film artefacts were not noted at any point in this transfer.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Grain/MPEG Artefacts
Film-to-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There is only a single audio track on this DVD, English Dolby Digital 2.0.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at almost all times. Dialogue in the cab in Episode 9 was boxy, but that is only to be expected for dialogue captured in this particular setting. Dialogue during Episode 15 also had a slightly boxy and unnatural sound about it.

    Audio sync was marginal during Episode 10, particularly during Russ' dubbed dialogue. At around the 15 minute mark in this same episode, a lengthy conversation between Joey and Chandler in their apartment is subtly out of sync. Other than this, sync was not a problem for any other episodes.

    The score by Michael Skloff and Ian Christian Nickus was mainly limited to the opening theme of the series, but additional musical cues found their way into the score at times.

    The surround channel had some limited use for audience ambience, probably more accidental than anything, and the only use of the stereo capabilities of this soundtrack was for the limited music. The subwoofer had more musical low end directed to it than in previous instalments.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use  



Music Video-I'll Be There For You-The Rembrandts

    This is present on both sides of this DVD.

R4 vs R1

    This DVD is not available in Region 1.


    Friends is a great comedy series, well worth collecting if you are fan of the series. This particular DVD is reasonable both artistically and technically.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna (read my bio)
6th December 2000

Review Equipment
DVD Loewe Xemix 5006DD, using RGB output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 4:3 mode, via the RGB input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Denon AVD-1000 DTS AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials and the NTSC DVD version of The Ultimate DVD Demo Disc Platinum.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Hsu Research TN-1220HO subwoofer