Friends-Best of Season 1 (1994)
Main Menu Audio
Featurette-A Peak At Central Perk
|Year Of Production||1994|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||
Kevin S. Bright
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Polish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.29:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
If you don't know who Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Monica, Chandler and Joey are, then you have probably either been buried under a rock for the last 10 or so years or you don't watch TV.
This disc compiles 5 of the best episodes from Friends' debut 1994-1995 season. I'm not enough of a Friends fan to know whether or not these episodes are in fact the best that the premiere season has to offer or whether it's merely an attempt to get fans who wouldn't spring the cash for a full season set to settle on this instead.
The 5 episodes are;
The One Where Monica Gets a Roommate (21:52) The pilot which introduces us all to the gang. Rachel has just left her fiancée at the altar, Ross has recently learned that his wife has left him for a woman and the scene is set for the rest.
The One With The East German Laundry Detergent (21:49) Ross realizes that he likes Rachel, and they end up on a laundry date at a laundromat. He sings the laundry song.
The One With The Butt (19:58) Joey gets a part as a butt double for Al Pacino. Monica's obsessive nature reaches new heights. Chandler meets a woman way out of his league.
The One With Mrs Bing (21:53) A drunk Ross flirts with Chandler's 'hot' mother. Phoebe and Monica vie for the affection of a guy in a coma, each convincing themselves that he is their ideal man.
The One With The Boobies (21:53). Chandler sees Rachel topless, which starts an escalating spiral in which Ross is envious and Rachel wants payback.. Phoebe dates a psychologist who quickly alienates everyone because he constantly analyses the group. Joey finds out that his father has a mistress.
Friends fans (diehard and casual alike) will definitely enjoy seeing the earliest episodes of the show, the dated fashion and hairstyles, how young the cast are and the laughs on offer.
Even better is the price... I saw it for $12.95 at one store.
The disc is NTSC formatted, with a 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio. It is not 16x9 enhanced.This is a pretty ordinary transfer, with the quality varying between episodes.
The transfer is soft and blurry and appears to have been sourced from analogue videotape rather than directly from film. I think it's more a problem with the source material than the transfer itself. I've recently been watching episodes of a show that's 10 years older than Friends and the picture quality is a lot better. Occasionally shots are out of focus.
Shadow detail tends to be quite poor and varies with the episodes.
Colours oversaturation is a problem most of the time, with skin tones often looking reddish. Colour bleeding is also an issue..
There were no MPEG artefacts seen, but film artefacts were occasionally present.
The main track is English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192kbps).
The dialogue came through fine and there were no audio sync problems.
There were no drop-out problems.
There was not much music in these episodes other than the score by Michael Skloff but overall it sounded good.
The surround and bass channels were not used. The only stereo components of the mix were the audience laughter track (which gets annoying) and the music.
French, German and Polish tracks are also available.
|Surround Channel Use|
The only special feature is Peak at Central Perk, a really simple look at the cafe where you can click for simple image or audio files to read/hear background info about the show.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Interestingly, the R1 edition has different episodes;
I don't know the above episodes well enough to know which collection is best. Let's call it a tie.
Overall, this is a fun collection of the 'best' of Season 1. Real fans would want the full season set though.
The video was pretty disappointing. I think, however, that this is more to do with the original source than a sloppy transfer.
The audio was fine.
Special features were a bit weak.
|DVD||Marantz DV4300, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPL HS10 projector on 100 inch 16x9 screen + Palsonic 76WSHD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Sony STR-DE685. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.|
|Speakers||DB Dynamics VEGA series floor standers + centre, DB bipole rears, 10" 100W DB Dynamics sub|