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  Directed by
    None Listed
  Starring
  Specs
  • Full Frame
  • Dual Layer ( )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.0 Surround
  Subtitles
    English, French
  Extras
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • 2 Featurette - Friends Go To London, Friends On Location In London
  • Music video - 'I'll Be There For You' by the Rembrants

Friends - Top 10 Episodes

Warner Bros./Warner Bros. . R4 . COLOR . 302 mins . PG . NTSC

  Feature
Contract

Friends, one of the funniest and long lasting sitcoms from America, has come out on DVD with a best-of, containing 10 of the best episodes. Well 12 actually, there are two two-parters. Whether you’ve been in your lounge room, on a domestic flight or at a café, you would have seen at least one episode of Friends. But now with the best-of, you have the funniest episodes spanning the several series produced.

Disc 1 The Pilot where Monica (Courtney Cox Arquette) gets a roommate, Rachel (Jennifer Aniston). Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) deals with her twin sister, and Rachel and Marcel the monkey end up in ER with two cute doctors including George Clooney. This episode also features guest appearances by Helen Hunt (both parts of The One with the Two Parts. Ross (David Schwimmer) plays a game of high stakes in The One with All the Poker. Chandler (Matthew Perry) works out with The One Where Ross Finds Out. Joey (Matt LeBlanc) buys Chandler a bracelet, and a flashback brings Ross and Rachel together in The One with the Prom Video.

Disc 2 Rachel can’t decide what to wear in The One Where No One’s Ready. Phoebe becomes a surrogate mother for her brother in The One with the Embryos. Chandler tours London and Ross undoes ‘I Do’ with both parts of The One with Ross’s Wedding. Joey sticks his head in a turkey with The One with All the Thanksgivings. Monica can no longer hide the BIG SECRET in The One Where Everybody Finds Out.

These 10 stories capture the comedy, friendships and craziness that Friends offers, and this disc is just a good one to put on only if you have a half hour to spare here and there.

  Video
Contract

Well Warner seem to be releasing a large amount of Region 4 NTSC disc, but this one really does look like the best NTSC transfer this reviewer has seen. The image is in the ratio of 1.33:1, and is therefore not 16x9 enhanced. Both discs are dual layered, with the layer changes being unnoticeable, most probably occurring in between episodes.

As with some NTSC discs, there is some very slight over saturation of the red colours, but still not as bad as some other discs. Bleeding of the colours is not apparent, nor film grain. There are no film or MPEG artefacts throughout the entire 300 minute running length, giving this TV broadcast quality transfer a brilliant look. Just imagine watching Friends on normal free-to-air TV and suffering from static interference and commercial breaks. Well there is no interference and thank god no commercial breaks. Colours are nicely mastered, and look realistic on screen. There is very little black in this transfer but what there is has a solid filled in black region, with good shadow definition. The only thing lacking from this video transfer is a PAL transfer.

  Audio
Contract

Both discs are Dolby Digital 5.0 in English, and the packaging for disc 2 incorrectly states 5.1. The sound primarily comes from the front of the soundstage with audience noise from the front left and right and the rear left and right. Being a 5.0 track, there is no subwoofer usage.

Dialogue is clear and audible throughout all of the episodes, yet is sometimes drowned out by some applauding or laughing from the audience, but on a whole is still legible.

The audio track is more than sufficient, even a 2.0 Pro-Logic track would have done, as the surrounds don’t carry any independent sound effects or music. The subwoofer is not required at any point, so it was a wise choice from Warner to leave this out.

  Extras
Contract

There are minimal extras on the discs, with a music video and cast and crew information on both Discs 1 and 2. However, on Disc 2 are also two featurettes, Friends Go To London running for approximately 6 minutes, and Friends On Location In London running for approximately 2 minutes. The music video is I’ll Be There For You by the Rembrants, or in other words the song from the opening credits. As Warner packing tends to do, it says that Interactive Menus and Scene Access are special features too…c’mon who are they trying to kid?

  Overall  
Contract

Overall this is the best NTSC disc this reviewer has seen, capturing some hilarious moments from Friends. The audio is very clear, clean and neat, and the extras are thin, but appropriate. Bloopers would have been nice, but this will have to do I suppose. Even if you are not a huge fan, this disc is a must have, just for the comic nature of the show. The fact that the episodes run for about 28 minutes helps too, making it easy to sit down for half an hour, relax and get a whole story, rather than one quarter of a movie.


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      And I quote...
    "What else would top this set? We have 10 brilliant Friends episodes, some small features, Dolby Digital 5.0 audio…oh that’s right, a PAL transfer would have been great too."
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Nowa DS-8318
    • TV:
          TEAC 68cm CTV
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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