Friends-Series 6-Volume 1-Episodes 1-8 (1999)
|Category||Comedy||DVD-ROM Extras-Web Links|
|Year Of Production||1999|
|Running Time||167:27 (Case: 176)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Sided||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||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)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, each episode contains one last funny scene|
With the previously reviewed series of Friends, I was pleased to see that Warner Home Video had made some enhancements to the slip cover compared with previous offerings.Unfortunately, my first impression of Series 6 of Friends was of a poor quality photo image on all three slip covers. Luckily for viewers, this reduced cover quality is only limited to the product packing and does not affect the transfer. Now, about the show . . .
Friends is an American sitcom revolving around the lives of 6 close mates. It centres on the quirky habits of each character and is primarily filmed within the confines of their three apartments. Please see Michael's earlier review of Friends Series 1 - Volume 1 if you would like to read some background information on the main characters of the show.
The episodes present on Side A of this disc are;
The One After Vegas (21:06) - A hung-over Ross and Rachel join the gang for breakfast in the hotel and are shocked to discover that they are husband and wife. Meanwhile, Joey convinces Phoebe to drive back to New York with him in a cab.
The One Where Ross Hugs Rachel (20:54) - When Monica and Chandler tell Rachel that they are moving in together, she mistakenly believes that this means all three of them will now be flatmates. Phoebe discovers that Ross has not annulled his marriage to Rachel.
The One With Ross's Denial (20:55) - Monica and Chandler argue about what they will do with Rachel's room after she has moved out. Ross offers the homeless Rachel his spare room and Joey decides that his new roommate should be a beautiful woman.
The One Where Joey Loses His Insurance (20:54) - Just as Joey discovers that his health insurance has lapsed due to a lack of work, he gets a hernia whilst lifting weights. Phoebe plans to make the most of her last days on Earth when her clairvoyant tells her she is going to die.
The episodes present on Side B of the disc are;
The One With Joey's Porsche (20:57) - After discovering that she is still married to Ross, Rachel tries to convince a judge to annul the marriage on the basis of Ross's mental instability. Meanwhile, Joey finds a set of keys to a Porsche parked outside Central Perk and tries to impress passing girls, pretending the car is his.
The One On The Last Night (20:58) - Whilst packing up Rachel's belongings, the girls reminisce about their time spent as roommates. Next door, Chandler and Joey spend their final night together playing "cups".
The One Where Phoebe Runs (20:56) - Rachel regrets asking Phoebe to jog with her when she attracts unwanted attention with her gangly and uncoordinated jogging style. The guys get very excited about Joey's sexy new roommate (guest star Elle Macpherson).
The One With Ross's Teeth (20:47) - Rachel spreads a rumour at work that her boss, fashion designer Ralph Lauren, made a romantic pass at Phoebe in the photo copy room. Ross is so excited about his date with Monica's colleague that he decides to improve his appearance by bleaching his teeth.
The video transfers across all 8 episodes were of a similar quality and appearance. The episode entitled The One With Joey's Porsche contained the most problems and the examples below are from that show.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and is therefore not 16x9 enhanced.
Although this transfer is not of reference quality, it is generally of a higher grade than that afforded Series 4 of Friends. There is still room for improvement in future episodes.
The transfer is as clear as you would expect to see for a TV series, but is not a crisp sharp image. Shadow detail is acceptable but most scenes are in bright lighting conditions making any possible problems less apparent. There is no detectable low level noise.
The colours were bright and clear at all times throughout all 8 episodes. There were no irregularities with the colour rendition.
There were minor MPEG artefacts seen, and as with the previous Series it is most apparent on the hallway and apartment walls than in any other areas. Aliasing, when it occurs, is quite subtle and less noticeable than in previous episodes. Examples can be seen at 12:30 and 18:49. The scene from 11:00 to 11:09 had some camera shudder and at times Joey's face went out of focus. The loss of focus recurs at 12:09 briefly and is not seen in any other episode.
There is a good collection of subtitles to choose from, and the English subtitles that I checked appeared close to the spoken word but were not exact. The font size is quite small, most likely to fit some of the long lines on screen at the same time.
This DVD is presented as a double-sided single-layered DVD and therefore there is no layer change. Instead, you have to leave your chair for a moment and flip the disc manually to see the other four episodes. Yet again, this disc continues the tradition of poor Friends disc labelling. I would like to see the Side A/B information printed more clearly on the disc.
Up until this Series of Friends, English Dolby Digital 2.0 has been the only available soundtrack. Even though the packaging makes no mention of additional soundtracks, there is a French Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack included on this disc as well as the English soundtrack.
The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times. I detected no hiss during any of the episodes. There were no audio sync problems like the one that showed up on the previously reviewed Series 4 Episodes 9-16 disc. The canned laughter and clap track were mixed slightly too loudly on Side A but Side B was at the appropriate level.
The theme and background score was provided by Michael Skloff, and has not changed since the very first Episode of Friends.
The rears were used for the "canned laughter" and were merely a reproduction of the sound from the front speakers at a slightly lesser volume level.
The subwoofer was not used by the soundtrack at all.
|Surround Channel Use|
When the disc is loaded into a DVD-ROM, DVD Friendly is loaded. Two extra menus are available that link to the "Friends Website" and the "Friends Events" site which is really the main Warner Brothers Events site for all of their products.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
These episodes of Friends have quite a few good laughs and make for some nice, light entertainment. The One Where Joey Loses His Insurance particularly had me in fits of laughter. The guest appearance of Elle Macpherson was also a nice bonus.
As I have said numerous times before, I personally like watching Friends on DVD where it is not interrupted by commercials - I think you get more laughs that way.
With the exception of The One With Joey's Porsche episode, the video appears to be improving with each Series.
The audio is fine - and this time they have mixed the laugh track slightly into the surrounds.
|DVD||Pioneer XV-DV55, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe 72cm. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Pioneer S-DV55ST-K Satellite wall mouted 5-Speaker System; Pioneer S-DV55SW-K Powered Subwoofer|