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  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
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    English, English - Hearing Impaired

    Friends Series 7 - Box Set

    Warner Bros./Warner Home Video . R4 . COLOR . 528 mins . PG . PAL


    Having previously been released as separate discs containing four episodes each, Friends: Series 7 Ė Box Set is the complete series contained on six discs and is possibly the best value release of this popular sitcom to date. There are 24 episodes contained in the set, the last two being a double episode conveniently appearing as one longer episode. The six double sided discs contain all the originally aired episodes on side A with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, while side B of each disc contains extended versions of the same episodes with nice Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks. The length of extension varies, but is generally only a few minutes, either being lengthier scenes or lengthier intro music, nothing too spectacular or new, but the added audio is a worthy addition.

    The seventh series picks up in the sitcom after the engagement between Monica and Chandler ended Series 6. The focus of this whole series is geared towards the pending wedding, but many subplots make this a very entertaining series indeed. Following is a brief outline of each episode.

    The One With Monica's Thunder
    Chandler and Monica are now engaged and the planning of the wedding must begin. Monica has had her dream day planned since her teens, so you could say she is a little tunnel visioned. Rachel and Ross tiptoe around getting back together for one last fling.

    The One With Rachel's Book
    Joey finds a porn book in Rachelís bed and gets very excited. Chandler and Monica have dinner with Monicaís parents and discover the wedding fund has gone.

    The One With Phoebe's Cookies
    Phoebe decides to give Monica her grandmother's cookie recipe as an engagement present. Chandler has an unusual experience with Monicaís father in the steam room and Joey wants to learn to sail.

    The One With Rachel's Assistant
    Rachel gets a promotion at work and is now able to employ an assistant, she can either go for the one that is perfect for the job or the cute guy Tag. Joey is to make a return to Days of Our Lives.

    The One With the Engagement Picture
    Monica and Chandler struggle to have an engagement picture taken due to Chandlerís inability to pose. Joey takes Rachelís new assistant out for a boy's night and Phoebe starts dating a divorcee.

    The One With the Nap Partners
    The battle is on to see who will be Monicaís maid of honour. The boys have a boys' night in and watch Die Hard, ending the night with a nice nap.

    The One With Ross's Library Book
    Ross finally has his book placed in the library but itís placement seems more popular for biology students than those interested in science. The ever nasal Janice appears back on the scene for a few laughs too.

    The One Where Chandler Doesn't Like Dogs
    Itís Thanksgiving and Chandlerís party game is a contest to name all the states, the only one who has no trouble is Joey who can easily name all 56 of them! Phoebe has also secretly been keeping a dog - unaware that Chandler is allergic to them.

    The One With All the Candy
    Itís now Christmas and to try and gain popularity with her neighbours, Monica makes candy and leaves it for them. Phoebe has never owned her own bike until now.

    The One With the Holiday Armadillo
    Phoebeís apartment is now ready to move back into, but she is worried Rachel wonít want to leave Joey's apartment, maybe a couple of gifts for Joey will entice her to leave, a drum set perhaps? Ross has his son Ben for the holidays and wants to show him the meaning of a Jewish holiday - the only way to do this is with the help of the Holiday Armadillo.

    The One With All the Cheesecakes
    A cheesecake is mistakenly delivered to Chandlerís apartment and itís too good to pass up. Ross is invited to his cousinís wedding but for some reason Monica isnít.

    The One Where They're Up All Night
    The whole gang are up on the rooftop star watching when Ross and Joey get left up there by accident. Meanwhile, Phoebe is having a few problems with a smoke alarm.

    The One Where Rosita Dies
    Rachel accidentally kills Rosita, Joeys beloved armchair and has to replace it. There is some confusion when Chandler thinks it is he who broke it. Ross and Monicaís parents are selling the family house and ask them to come pick up their boxes of memories. Phoebe starts a new job and meets suicidal Earl.

    The One Where They All Turn Thirty
    Itís Rachelís 30th birthday and the gang all celebrate by remembering when they turned 30, not all good memories by any means.

    The One With Joey's New Brain
    Joey's character on Days of Our Lives is to get a brain transplant. Phoebe and Rachel recover the mobile phone of a cute guy in Central Perk and await his call to reclaim it and one of them and Ross has a surprise musical treat planned for the wedding.

    The One With the Truth About London
    Ross asks Rachel to babysit Ben for a few hours and to keep him occupied she teaches him some practical jokes. Joey decides to become a minister and the truth is finally revealed about what really happened in London.

    The One With the Cheap Wedding Dress
    Monica and the girls are shopping for the wedding dress and run into a rival bride to be. Women can be ruthless when shopping for bargains, but make that bargain a wedding dress and the sparks are sure to fly. Meanwhile Joey and Ross are dating the same girl, who will win her affection?

    The One With Joey's Award
    Joey is nominated for a Soapie and is determined to win. Ross is struggling to deal with a student that has a crush on him - the problem is the student is male.

    The One With Ross and Monica's Cousin
    Ross and Monicaís cousin Cassie comes to stay, but she is unable to stay with Monica as Chandler canít stop staring at her. Phoebe and Rachel have to organise a bridal shower for Monica and Joey is asked to do a full frontal for a film he wants to appear in.

    The One With Rachel's Kisses
    Rachelís friend Melissa comes to visit and Rachel reveals to the gang that she and Melissa had kissed in college. Chandler and Ross get tuxedos worn by James Bond and Batman and Joey pushes Monica to invite his parents to the wedding.

    The One With the Vows
    Monica and Chandler have trouble writing their wedding vows and recall their history together.

    The One With Chandler's Dad
    Ross and Monica decide to invite Chandlerís Dad to the wedding and Joey spots Phoebeís new boyfriend Jake wearing womenís underwear.

    The One With Monica and Chandler's Wedding Part 1 and Part 2
    The day of the wedding is finally here, but will everything go to plan? Will Chandler freak out and go missing? Will Joey get away from the movie set in time to wed his best friends?

    I must admit this is a very good series and very addictive. There was a fear that this sitcom was starting to get a little tired, however this series has really developed some of the characters further. Joey seems a lot funnier here and Phoebe seems a lot weirder (if that's possible), and Monica, well can anybody really be this obsessive? Other interesting items to look for are the fluctuating weight of Chandler and the ever-changing hairstyles of Rachel. Another plus for this release is the episodes do not contain the annoying fade-outs common with television series, but the introduction titles are still there.


    Presented in full frame and therefore not 16x9 enhanced, this transfer looks very good. Picture is sharp at all times with few problems. Grain can usually be an issue with television series', but there are only minor occurrences here. Colours are good and shadow detail is reasonable, suffering only from the usual problems associated with studio lighting. There are not too many outdoor scenes, but those used cause little problem. Aliasing is not really an issue and blacks are also deep. The packaging lists a multitude of subtitles, however all that is available is English and English for the Hearing Impaired, both are true to what is occurring on screen.


    Side A of each disc contains the originally aired episodes in Dolby Digital 2.0 and these are pretty much the same as seen on television. Dialogue is clear at all times with no audio problems of note. Separation is used sparingly as the need is not really there for this dialogue driven series.

    Side B of each disc has been given the extra attention of the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. Although this is a welcome addition, it does seem a little wasted in this environment. All sound is kept predominantly across the front speakers, as it should be, with the rears being used for studio audience noise and to boost the music used. Overall though it is a lot better than the DD 2.0 and something that would be welcome on all future releases such as this.


    The packaging states that there is an extra with this release. It is supposed to be the Bonus Video of The Rembrandts performing Iíll Be There For You, however the problem is that searching high and low for it provided no success. Perhaps the packaging is incorrect as it was with the subtitles listed? If anyone out there knows where this little extra may be, please drop me a line...


    Overall this is possibly the best package released so far for this series, including six double-sided discs for a reasonably low retail price. Many will question the need to have the originally aired episodes in addition to the extended episodes when the latter have the much better audio track, but you cannot question the value for money. Put together in a nice fold out and colourful box set, my advice is to be quick, as these will sell fast.

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      And I quote...
    "The best value for money release so far for this popular sitcom, with extended episodes given the surround sound treatment."
    - Adrian Turvey
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