Friends-Best of Season 2 (1994)

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Released 18-Jan-2006

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Featurette-Interactive Map Of Monica And Rachel's Apartment
Featurette-What's Up With Your Friends?
DVD-ROM Extras-Friends Goes To London
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1994
Running Time 119:02 (Case: 110)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By James Burrows
Michael Lembeck
Peter Bonerz
Kevin S. Bright
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Jennifer Aniston
Courtney Cox-Arquette
Lisa Kudrow
Matt LeBlanc
Matthew Perry
David Schwimmer
Case ?
RPI $14.95 Music Michael Skloff


Video Audio
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 None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Arabic
Bulgarian
Czech
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
French
German
Greek
Hebrew
Icelandic
Polish
Portuguese
Swedish
English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    If you don't know who Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Monica, Chandler and Joey are, then you have probably either have 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' 1995-1996 second season.

    I'm not enough of a Friends fan to know whether or not these episodes are in fact the best that the second 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 With The Breast Milk (22:40) -- Monica discovers that she really likes 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.

    The One With The Baby On The Bus (25:07) -- Joey and Chandler look after Ross’ son Ben for a day in the hope of meeting women, but accidentally leave him on a city bus. Chaos ensues.

   The One Where Ross Finds Out (24:54) -- Ross is shocked to find out that Rachel is interested in him. He then finds he must decide between Julie, who he loves being with, and the woman he has had a crush on since he was in high school. Monica becomes obsessive about helping Chandler lose some weight in order to compensate for her not having a job.

    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 fighting but the discovery of a prom video brings back distant memories (and a great fat suit and prosthetic nose!)

    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 of opinion, and Chandler meets his one true love on the Internet.

    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. The problem with these best of sets is that a lot of continuity is lost. The previous set didn't mention that Ross' ex-wife was pregnant and didn't introduce Julie. It's fun to watch but the 'jumps' between episodes can be a turn off.

    Fans can pick it up for a bargain, though - I saw it for $12.95 at one store.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The disc is in NTSC format, 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. That said however, the quality is better than the first season, but some faults still remain.

    The transfer is soft and blurry and appears to have been sourced from analogue videotape rather than from film. I think it's a problem stemming from the source material. I've recently been  watching episodes from 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.

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

Audio

    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.

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

Extras

Main Menu Audio

Featurette - Open House at Monica and Rachel's Place 

    A really simple look at their apartment where you can click for simple image or audio files to read/hear background info about the show.

Featurette - What's Up With Your Friends

    A really brief highlight reel on each of the friends. Gunther hosts the intro.

DVD-ROM Extras

R4 vs R1

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;

    - The One With Ross' New Girlfriend
    - The One Where Heckles Dies
    - The One With Phoebe's Husband
    - The One With the List
    - The One After the Superbowl

    I don't know the above episodes well enough to know which collection is best. Let's call it a tie.

Summary

    Overall, this is a fun collection of the 'best' of Season 2. Real fans would want the full season set though.

    The video was pretty disappointing. I think it's more to do with the original source than a sloppy transfer though.

    The audio was fine.

    Special features were a bit weak, but better than those on the Season 1 'best of' disc.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ben Smith (boku no bio)
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDMarantz DV4300, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL HS10 projector on 100 inch 16x9 screen + Palsonic 76WSHD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-DE685. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationPioneer
SpeakersDB Dynamics VEGA series floor standers + centre, DB bipole rears, 10" 100W DB Dynamics sub

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