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

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 9-Sep-2003

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Booklet
Listing-Cast & Crew
Audio Commentary-Producers Commentary: The One With The List
Audio Commentary-Producers Commentary: The One With The Prom Video
Featurette-Open House At Monica & Rachel's Place: Interactive Map
Featurette-Video Guest Book: Friends Of Friends
Quiz-How Well Do You Know Your Friends?
Biographies-Character-Video Character Bios: What's Up With Your Friends?
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 568:33 (Case: 567)
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
Courtney Cox Arquette
Lisa Kudrow
Matt LeBlanc
Matthew Perry
David Schwimmer
Case 4 Arrow-Quad-Opaque
RPI $49.95 Music Michael Skloff


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, generally last skit for the show is in the credits

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

Plot Synopsis

    Season Two of Friends was a good year for the show, where it proved that it was not just a one season wonder and could actually keep the laughs coming past its first season. Indeed, Season Two is an improvement on the first season, with a lot more laugh-out-loud moments and more character development.

    Season Two breaks down like this:

Disc 1

    1. The One With Ross’s New Girlfriend (23:58) -- When Rachel meets Ross at the airport, she is stunned to see him with the new girlfriend he met in China, Julie. Unable to quell the feelings she has for Ross, Rachel manifests her jealousy in petty ways. Meanwhile, Monica convinces Phoebe to cut her hair.

    2. The One With The Breast Milk (22:40) -- Monica finds she really gets along with Julie, which creates tension with Rachel. At the same time, Joey feels he is losing his touch when a new guy in the department store, the Hombre Man, moves in on his turf.

    3. The One Where Heckles Dies (23:21) -- When the insane neighbour downstairs, Mr. Heckles, dies, he leaves all his earthly possessions to “the annoying kids upstairs”. However, Chandler finds that he has a lot more in common with Heckles than he wants to admit.

    4. The One With Phoebe’s Husband (22:50) -- Phoebe’s gay husband, Duncan, who she married so he could get a visa is in the city, seeking a divorce and with some interesting news about his sexuality. At the same time, Rachel gives Ross advice about his so-far non-existent sex life with Julie.

    5. The One With Five Steaks And An Eggplant (22:54) -- Phoebe, Rachel and Joey start getting irate when they are called to pay more than they can afford when they go out, believing that Ross, Monica and Chandler just do not get that they earn less money. However, they also refuse to accept any ‘charity’ from their friends, leading to a split in the group.

    6. The One With The Baby On The Bus (25:07) -- Joey and Chandler look after Ross’ son for a day in the hope of picking up chicks, but accidentally leave him on a bus.

Disc 2

    7. The One Where Ross Finds Out (24:54) -- When Ross finds out that Rachel is also interested in him, he finds he must decide between his girlfriend Julie who he loves being with and the woman he has had a crush on since he was a kid. At the same time, Monica becomes obsessive about helping Chandler lose some weight in order to compensate for her not having a job.

    8. The One With The List (23:00) -- Ross makes a list to help him decide who he should be with, but when that list falls into Rachel’s hands she wants nothing to do with him. Meanwhile, Monica gets desperate for a job and tries her hand at coming up with recipes for a new product known as ‘mockolate’.

    9. The One With Phoebe’s Dad (22:43) -- Phoebe discovers her dad is not a famous tree surgeon in Burma, nor is he the guy in the picture who comes with the frame. So just who is he? Back at the apartment, Monica and Rachel are throwing a Christmas party, but Ross accidentally breaks the radiator and the party turns into a Christmas/Hawaiian party instead.

    10. The One With Russ (24:05) -- Rachel is dating a guy so similar to Ross that it creeps everybody out. Monica’s ex-boyfriend ‘fun’ Bobby is back, but the others start to realise that the fact that Bobby is ‘fun’ has a lot to do with the fact that Bobby is always drunk.

    11. The One With The Lesbian Wedding (24:32) -- Ross is shocked to learn that his ex-wife Caroline and her girlfriend are planning to get married. Monica agrees to cater, but Ross wants nothing at all to do with it. At the same time, Phoebe is coping with being possessed by the spirit of an old lady who died on her massage table.

    12. & 13 The One After The Superbowl: Parts I & II (48:21) -- Ross’s old monkey Marcelle goes missing from the zoo and shows up on a movie set in Manhattan. Rachel and Monica fight over Jean-Claude Van Damme. Joey gets his very own stalker who cannot tell the difference between reality and fantasy. And Chandler runs into a girl he once humiliated in primary school who is now a very attractive make up artist and seems very keen on him, although has some rather kinky ideas about sex.

Disc 3

    14. The One With The Prom Video (23:49) -- Joey buys Chandler a bracelet he calls the ‘woman repeller’: it is so crass and ugly that it leads to tension between the two of them. Ross and Rachel are still fighting but the discovery of a prom video brings back distant memories.

    15. The One Where Ross And Rachel ... You Know (23:25) -- Ross and Rachel go on their first official date. Chandler and Joey become TV addicts when Joey gets a new home entertainment system and flashy new leather reclining TV chairs. Monica caters a party for an old family friend, Dr. Richard Burke (Tom Selleck) and feelings start developing between them.

    16. The One Where Joey Moves Out (24:02) -- With Joey’s career taking off, he moves out to a new apartment, doing damage to his friendship with Chandler. Rachel and Phoebe go to get tattoos, but after convincing Rachel, Phoebe cannot go through with it. Monica and Ross go to their Dad’s birthday party and Monica brings Richard as her date.

    17. The One Where Eddie Moves In (23:34) -- Chandler gets a new roommate named Eddie, leaving Joey feeling like he has been replaced. Phoebe is ‘discovered’ by a music agent and produces her first music video, but she is shocked to find she has been overdubbed.

    18. The One Where Dr. Ramoray Dies (23:08) -- After giving a self-glamorising interview, Joey is written out of his new acting job and his finances suddenly dry up. Chandler starts realising that his new roommate is a little high strung. Monica and Rachel fight over the last condom.

    19. The One Where Eddie Won’t Go (24:00) -- Chandler’s new housemate Eddie turns out to be completely psychotic, but refuses to leave the apartment. Phoebe introduces Monica and Rachel to a new self-empowerment for women book which leads to fights between the three of them.

Disc 4

    20. The One Where Old Yeller Dies (23:35) -- Phoebe discovers her mother has shielded her from all the sad endings in movies and becomes disenchanted with the world. Chandler and Joey become good friends with Richard, and consequently Monica spends less time with him. Ross is getting disappointed that he is missing out on so many of his son Ben’s first life experiences.

    21. The One With The Bullies (23:38) -- Ross and Chandler are bullied at Central Perk by two big guys who steal Chandler’s hat and kick them out of their seats. Monica starts investing in stocks in preference to taking a job at a 50’s cafe, and Phoebe tries again to go see her natural father.

    22. The One With The Two Parties (22:48) -- It is Rachel’s birthday, but the guys must throw two parties in order to keep Monica’s divorcing parents apart for the night.

    23. The One With The Chicken Pox (22:55) -- Phoebe’s cute submarine captain is coming back into town but she is suddenly stricken with chicken pox which makes things very difficult. At the same time, Monica and Richard discuss Monica’s obsessive-compulsive neurosis. Chandler gives Joey a job at his work, telling him it will be like acting, but Joey starts making stuff up leading to all kinds of complications for Chandler.

    24. The One With Barry And Mindy’s Wedding (23:34) -- Rachel comes to her ex-fiancé’s wedding with Ross, Monica and Richard but only winds up embarrassing herself more. Richard and Monica discover a relationship breaking difference, and Chandler meets his one true love on the Internet.

    Season Two definitely proved that the show could keep its momentum going and not just dry up after a bumper first season like so many other comedic shows do. Although it is not quite spectacular, it makes very enjoyable viewing and is much better than Season One in terms of its character development and plot lines. Season Three is considerably better, but I still found myself laughing quite often here, and any show that can do that is good in my books.

    If you do not already own a DVD incarnation of this series, I would recommend this version, as it is actually uncut and although I do not know for sure which sequences are cut out, I would hazard a guess and suggest that a lot of the sexual connotations that are present here were cleaned up for TV. Well worth checking out, especially at the price.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    Presented in 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced and NTSC, this is the original broadcast aspect ratio. The picture quality here is a little better than Friends: Season 1, although it still suffers from many of the same faults. Still, there is a noticeable improvement.

    As for details regarding this transfer, colours are much better this time around, with flesh tones properly rendered and no serious oversaturation problems like there were in Season One. Cross-colouration is still apparent, although it is not as pronounced and glaring as the first season.

    Softness is still at times a bit of an issue, and this sometimes results in dot-crawl, particularly where red meets white in the colour scheme.

    Shadow detail is decent, although the show is shot on sets most of the time with bright artificial lighting which minimises dark patches.

    As for MPEG artefacts and other film-to-video artefacts, there are still aliasing issues and moire effect on grilles such as the intercom in Monica and Rachel’s apartment, stacks of plates on shelves, and the protective railings on fire escapes on the outside of buildings. These artefacts are not blinding, but the show does not look very glossy or polished, and in all honesty a little rough.

    Film artefacts were minimal.

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

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

    As with previous and subsequent seasons, there are no chapter stops which can be a little annoying.

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

Audio

    Audio is again available only in an English 5.0 Dolby Digital Surround remix from the original 2.0 Stereo audio. The 5.0 track fleshes out the laughter track a little and the odd bit of music, with the dialogue still originating solely from the centre speaker.

    Dialogue is clear and easy to understand throughout, with no obvious audio sync problems, and definitely none that were the fault of the transfer.

    The surrounds are utilised exclusively by the laughter track and the music, but these noises lack any real dynamic range.

    There is 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.

Booklet

    Warner Home Video have provided us with the funky new packaging for these uncut reissues which is pretty cool, I have to say, and an ingenious way of packing four discs together. Moreover, the packaging comes with a cute little 6-page booklet that has episode summaries, cast and crew information and many promotional stills.

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

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

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

    Presented in 2.0 Dolby Stereo, this is a commentary track by series producers Kevin S. Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane. They talk a lot about the making of the episode and just what they wanted to do with Season Two. Plenty of amusing anecdotes and very few long pauses.

Disc Three: Audio Commentary - “The One With The Prom Video”

    The series producers – Kevin S. Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane – are back again for another commentary, talking about how they pieced this episode together, particularly the hand-held video sequence of the prom video.

Disc Four: Friends Of Friends

    Little featurettes of the guests appearances by famous stars during Season Two, including Chris Isaak, Giovanni Ribisi, Julia Roberts, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Charlie Sheen.

Disc Four: Open House At Monica And Rachel’s Place

    An interactive tour of Monica and Rachel’s apartment, including short 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 Two featuring each of the principal cast, although I also noticed some snippets from Season One as well.

Disc Four: How Well Do You Know Your Friends?

    An interactive quiz on Season Two, complete with snippets for right and wrong answers. Your 'prize' for getting enough answers right is an uncut full version of Phoebe’s music video for her song “Smelly Cat”, presented in 1.33:1, 2.0 Dolby Stereo.

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. Although an R4 vs previous R4 comparison would be more appropriate, having not been provided with the previous release, I cannot say what substantial difference there is.

Summary

    Friends – Season Two was a good second step for the series. It has lots of good laughs, and that is all you can ask for from a comedy series.

    The video is far from perfect, but is certainly an improvement on Season 1.

    The sound is a weird mix dominated largely by the laughter track.

    The extras are good for a chuckle and the audio commentaries are engaging.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Saturday, November 29, 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

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Adrian T

Comments (Add) NONE