Friends-Series 6-Volume 2-Episodes 9-16 (1999)
|Category||Comedy||DVD-ROM Extras-Web Links|
|Year Of Production||1999|
|Running Time||168:12 (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|
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 the disc are;
The One Where Ross Got High (21:36) - When Monica invites the gang and her parents over for Thanksgiving dinner, Chandler freaks out when he discovers they don't know that he's living with their daughter. Meanwhile, Rachel tests her culinary skills by cooking a repulsive desert.
The One With The Routine (20:55) - Janine (Elle Macpherson) gets a job dancing on Dick Clark's New Years Eve special and invites Joey, Monica and Ross to the advance taping. Joey has special plans for the happy hour.
The One With the Apothecary Table (20:59) - After finally making a successful move on Janine, Joey is upset by her snobby attitude towards the rest of the gang. Meanwhile, Rachel tries to convince Phoebe that her cute apothecary table is a priceless antique.
The One With The Joke (20:55) - Ross and Chandler argue about who originated a joke that Ross successfully submitted to Playboy magazine. Monica forces Phoebe to choose between herself and Rachel to determine which of them would make the better girlfriend.
The episodes present on Side B of the disc are;
The One With Rachel's Sister (20:56) - When sister Jill comes to stay, Rachel is worried by the romantic sparks that seem to be flying between her and Ross. Joey, the new coffee house waiter, tries to score dates with every cute girl by offering them free food. Monica tries to lure Chandler into bed with her even though she is sick with the flu.
The One Where Chandler Can't Cry (21:00) - A jealous Rachel forces Ross to cancel his dinner date with her sister Jill. Meanwhile Phoebe discovers that she is being mistaken for a porn star. Monica and Joey are concerned when they discover that Chandler hasn't been able to cry about anything since he was a child.
The One That Could Have Been (41:51) - A Special Double Length Episode where the gang ponders about what might have been if . . .
The video transfers across all 8 episodes were of a similar quality and appearance. The double length episode has not been spliced together so you will need to sit through not only the Friends introductory song but also the end credits twice. It would be nice to see some more editing done before the transfer to DVD on these double length episode discs.
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 Series 4, but there is still room for improvement.
The transfer is as clear as you would expect to see from a TV show. 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 of the transfer. The episode The One With The Joke contains good examples of the rich colour in people's clothing at 5:01, 6:20 and 13:20.
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. The aliasing when it does occur is quite subtle and less noticeable than in previous episodes. An example can be seen at 5:02 in The One With The Routine. In The One With The Apothecary Table and The One With The Joke at 17:22 and 3:21 respectively is what at first impression looks like aliasing. Closer inspection reveals that it is in fact a rotating fan seen in one of the windows. Mild film artefacts were noticed at 7:55 in The One That Could Have Been (Part 1).
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 on this disc as well as the English soundtrack. This was also true for the previous disc in the series and I expect it may well be a regular feature from now on.
The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times and I detected no hiss during any of the episodes. The previous disc from this Series had different sound levels on Side A compared with Side B. This set of episodes did not have the same issue and both sides seemed even in playback sound levels.
The theme and background score was provided by Michael Skloff. The short little sound ditties played between scenes match the show well.
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|
The menu has had an overhaul since Series 5. Like the show it is in Full Screen and was easy to navigate. If you manually select a particular episode from the menu you are returned back to the menu after it has finished playing. If on the other hand you select the "Play" option on the menu then all 4 episodes are played on each side.
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.
As always, these episodes of Friends contain quite a few good laughs and make for some nice, light entertainment. Elle Macpherson is also back again on this disc and the presence of Rachel's little sister also helped to break up the usual group which was a nice change.
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.
The audio as good as can be expected for Dolby Digital 2.0.
|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|