Friends-The Complete Third Season: Collector's Edition (1995) (NTSC)

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Released 9-Sep-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary
Listing-Cast & Crew
Audio Commentary
Audio Commentary
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Tour of Chandler and Joey's Bachelor Pad
Featurette-Friends of Friends - Guestbook
Featurette-What's Up With Your Friends?
Quiz-Ross and Rachel on a break?
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 586:51
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (4)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4 Directed By Various
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Jennifer Aniston
Courteney Cox
Lisa Kudrow
Matt LeBlanc
Matthew Perry
David Schwimmer
Case ?
RPI $49.95 Music Various


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.0 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Spanish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, every episode has its last gag in the credits.

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Come Season 3 of Friends, the creators decided to take a new tack and give each of the characters a season-long story arc in order to flesh them out a little better. Ross’s relationship with Rachel goes to extremes. Monica hooks up with a millionaire. Phoebe has many family issues. Joey sees his career make new heights. And Chandler and Janice come together and go to pieces.

    All up, Season Three breaks down like this:

Disc 1

    1. The One With The Princess Leia Fantasy (24:40) -- When Rachel asks Ross what kind of sexual fantasies he has, he admits to a Princess Leia fantasy only to find out that, unlike guys, girls share everything.

    2. The One Where No One’s Ready (23:52) -- Ross is delivering a speech at a museum benefit night, but everybody is fighting, and with twenty minutes to go, nobody is dressed.

    3. The One With The Jam (22:48) -- Monica is cooking lots of jam to try and get over her break-up with Richard. Phoebe is stalked by a man who thinks he is stalking her twin sister.

    4. The One With The Metaphorical Tunnel (23:48) -- Chandler goes too far in trying to get over his fear of commitment and inadvertently scares Janice away.

    5. The One With Frank Jr. (24:20) -- Joey decides to play handyman and Phoebe’s crazy half-brother comes to stay for the weekend.

    6. The One With The Flashback (23:36) -- When Janice asks whether any of the gang of friends have ever come close to getting it on, she kicks off a flashback to three years previously when many of them nearly did get it on, with some rather unexpected almost couplings.

    7. The One With The Race Car Bed (23:38) -- Monica buys a bed off the man Janice is divorcing, but because of a mix up winds up with a racing car bed instead.

Disc 2

    8. The One With The Giant Poking Device (23:07) -- Phoebe is afraid that the ugly naked guy across the way has died because someone dies every time she goes to the dentist. Chandler tries to deal with the news that Janice has been with her husband behind his back.

    9. The One With The Football (24:47) -- It is Thanksgiving and old sibling rivalries between Ross and Monica culminate in a football match in the park that turns ugly when Joey and Chandler start fighting over a Dutch woman and Rachel feels she is rejected because she doesn’t know how to play.

    10. The One Where Rachel Quits (22:41) -- Rachel quits waitressing at the coffee shop in order to get the momentum to get a new job. Ross accidentally breaks a little girl’s leg and tries to sell cookies in order to send her to Space Camp.

    11. The One Where Chandler Can’t Remember Which Sister (22:58) -- Chandler gets hopelessly drunk and cannot remember which of Joey’s seven sisters he made out with at Joey’s birthday party.

    12. The One With All The Jealousy (23:20) -- Ross is jealous of Rachel’s friend Mark, who helps her get her new job, believing that he is out to steal her.

    13. The One Where Monica And Richard Are Just Friends (23:57) -- Monica and Richard bump into each other at a video store and have a good time, but cannot resist sleeping with each other.

Disc 3

    14. The One With Phoebe’s Ex-Partner (23:03) -- Phoebe’s former music partner shows up and begs forgiveness for leaving her to take up a career writing jingles for commercials.

    15. The One Where Ross And Rachel Take a Break (1) (23:02) -- The stress of life has a disastrous effect on Ross and Rachel’s relationship. Joey and Chandler try to pick up the girl at the Xerox place with the naval piercing.

    16. The One The Morning After (2) (23:32) -- Ross and Rachel try to come to terms with what Ross did when he thought he was on a break.

    17. The One Without The Ski Trip (22:49) -- Rachel takes the guys to her sister’s skiing villa leaving Ross behind to brood. But when the car breaks down at an off-road stop, the others debate calling Ross to come help, knowing that Rachel will be upset if they do.

    18. The One With The Hypnosis Tape (23:35) -- With Ross and Rachel’s problems bringing back unpleasant memories for Chandler of his parent's divorce, he starts listening to a hypnosis tape to help him stop smoking which he has started doing in order to cope with the stress.

    19. The One With The Tiny T-Shirt (23:43) -- Monica struggles with her failure to be attracted to a multi-millionaire software genius who wants her. Rachel and Mark go on a date. Joey gets an acting part in a play and finds himself hating the lead actress while secretly being attracted to her.

Disc 4

    20. The One With The Dollhouse (23:19) -- When Ross and Monica’s aunt dies, Monica inherits the dollhouse she loved as a child. But her obsessive compulsive nature precludes her from allowing anybody else play with it. So Phoebe makes her own dollhouse, which everybody else is impressed with.

    21. The One With A Chick And A Duck (23:08) -- On a whim, Joey buys a baby chick and he and Chandler assume parenting roles which change the dynamic between them. Monica finally gets together with Pete. Rachel bruises her ribs and is helped out by Ross.

    22. The One With The Screamer (23:16) -- Rachel brings a guy out on a date who seems nice enough, but when Ross sees him turn into a rampant psycho everybody else thinks Ross is just jealous.

    23. The One With Ross’s Thing (23:36) -- Ross finds a strange growth on his butt which no specialist can identify. Phoebe finds herself dating two perfect guys and cannot decide which one to break up with. Monica thinks Pete is going to propose to her.

    24. The One With The Ultimate Fighting Championship (22:50) -- Pete wants to be the ultimate fighting champion. Only problem is, he sucks. Chandler has a problem with his boss who has the affectionate habit of smacking him on the butt every time he does a good job.

    25. The One At The Beach (24:14) -- In search of her father, Phoebe takes the gang down to a client’s beach house. Ross brings the girl whom Phoebe sets him up with, setting off a stream of jealousy by Rachel.

    By the end of the third season, this show has picked up quite a bit, with the comic timing more on target, and more hits than misses in terms of its gags. I was getting three or four good chuckles per episode rather than two to three in the first season, and the story arcs worked quite well. It is still not a show that I would tape so I didn’t miss an episode, but it is enjoyable and plays infinitely better on DVD than on commercial TV.

    While these editions are still more for the fans, at their relatively cost-effective price, I would recommend this as a way to get into the series if you have never seen it before and want to see the lot uncut, for the first time, in order to finally get what all your friends are chuckling about. Its not The Simpsons, but it definitely has its charms, and is quite re-watchable as you find yourself picking up on those little things you missed the first time around.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Presented in 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced and NTSC, the picture quality here is much better than Friends: Season 1. It still suffers from some of the same faults, but they are nowhere near as pronounced and distracting.

    As for this transfer, colours are much better this time around, with flesh tones properly rendered and no serious problems. There is still some slight cross-colouration, but it is very minimal.

    The picture is still a little soft here and there, but not as soft as the first season. It is still soft enough to result in some minor dot-crawl in the background.

    Shadow detail is pretty good, but most of this is shot in bright lighting. It is, again, much better than the first season.

    Regarding MPEG artefacts and other film-to-video artefacts, most of the problems are limited to the background. The intercom next to the door in Monica’s apartment and the stack of plates on Monica’s shelves still exhibit moire, but ribbed shirts and the like are nowhere near as bad and the outdoor shots are pretty good. There is still a bit of aliasing here and there, a fault generally inherent to NTSC transfers, however once more this is less pronounced and only minimal.

    Film artefacts were kept to a minimum.

    The subtitles are the same as Season 1 – available in English, French, Spanish and Korean. They are white with a black border and easy enough to read.

    The dual-layer pause is in between the episodes and is not noticeable.

    A minor criticism to add here - there are no chapter stops which can be a little annoying if you want to skip to your favourite part of an episode.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    This is another 5.0 Dolby Digital Surround remix from the original 2.0 Stereo audio. Again, the 5.0 track merely fleshes out the laughter track a little, with the dialogue still squarely driven from the centre speaker.

    I noticed no real audio sync problems except for a couple of scenes where people are meant to be talking but it is not obvious that they are, but this is TV and there are bound to be faults here and there when putting together a show on a small budget. These are not technical faults but editing choices made in post-production.

    The surrounds were dominated entirely by the laughter track and somewhat marginally by any music used.

    There was no subwoofer use.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menus

    All menus are presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. The main menu has the theme song in 2.0 Dolby Stereo.

Trailers

    Every episode has an accompanying trailer accessible by clicking on the coffee cup icon next to the episode. All trailers are presented in 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Stereo.

Cast & Crew

    A series of stills with written information on the principal case and crew. This feature is on every disc.

Disc One: Audio Commentary - “The One Where No One’s Ready”

    Presented in 2.0 Dolby Stereo, this is a commentary track by series producers Kevin S. Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane. These guys play fairly well off each other with very few long quiet patches.

Disc Two: Audio Commentary - “The One With The Football”

    The series producers, Kevin S. Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane, talk about the making of this very humorous episode.

Disc Three: Audio Commentary - “The One The Morning After”

    The production crew are back again – Kevin S. Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane – this time talking about how they tried to attack a serious emotional issue with a comedic touch. This is a much more sombre commentary as I think they realised that they got the drama right but the comedy a bit off here.

Disc Four: Friends Of Friends

    Little featurettes of the guest appearances by famous stars during Season 3, including David Arquette, Giovanni Ribisi, Sherilyn Fenn, and Ben Stiller.

Disc Four: A Tour of Joey And Chandler’s Bachelor Pad

    An interactive tour of the guys’ apartment, including 30-second clips from interviews with production designers. Audio is in 2.0 Dolby Stereo.

Disc Four: What’s Up With Your Friends?

    Six short montages of the best moments of Season 3 featuring each of the principal cast.

Disc Four: Ross and Rachel on a Break?

    An interactive game where each right answer brings a picture of Ross and Rachel in a love heart closer together. Complete with snippets for right and wrong answers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This release is again identical to the R1 release. There were some criticisms of my former comparison as an R4 vs previous R4 comparison would be more appropriate. All I can say is that having not been provided with the previous release, I cannot say.

Summary

    Friends – Season 3 has some very good chuckles and is a good extension of the series.

    The video is not great, but is infinitely better than Season 1.

    The sound is a weird mix dominated largely by the laughter track. I think this sounds better in 2.0 Dolby Stereo.

    The extras are amusing and the audio commentaries are quite good.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Saturday, November 01, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

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