Warner Bros./Warner Home Video .
R4 . COLOR . 587 mins .
PG . PAL
Following on from the previously released Season One and Season Two in the 'Collectors Edition' series comes the third season in this addictive sitcom. Again this release has been remastered and continues in the great standard of its predecessors.
Whereas the first two seasons had focussed more on developing the main six characters, the third takes a new angle, with the assumption that fans are now well and truly familiar with the six friends. This season sees the characters each getting ongoing themes; Ross and Rachel’s relationship is again a major focus, but the remaining four characters also get theirs, more importantly giving them equal screen time.
Mind your hand there Jen!
The episodes are again easily accessible from the main menu and also have a preview available for each, making it easy to get an idea what that episode is about rather than trying to guess from the episode name.
The One With the Princess Leia Fantasy
The One Where No One's Ready
The One With the Jam
The One With the Metaphorical Tunnel
The One With Frank Jr.
The One With the Flashback
The One With the Race Car Bed
The One With the Giant Poking Device
The One With the Football
The One Where Rachel Quits
The One Where Chandler Can't Remember Which Sister
The One With All the Jealousy
The One Where Monica and Richard are Just Friends
The One With Phoebe's Ex-Partner
The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break
The One The Morning After
The One Without the Ski Trip
The One With the Hypnosis Tape
The One With the Tiny T-Shirt
The One With the Dollhouse
The One With a Chick and a Duck
The One With the Screamer
The One With Ross's Thing
The One With the Ultimate Fighting Champion
The One at the Beach
There are many highlights in this season, including the break up of Ross and Rachel, Phoebe discovering her half brother, Chandler deciding that Janice really might be the one for him, Joey’s growing career and Monica’s new millionaire boyfriend. Rachel also leaves her job as a waitress and heads into the fashion world.
There are guest stars aplenty again, with names such as Ben Stiller, Billy Crystal, David Arquette, Isabella Rossellini, Robin Williams, Sherilyn Fenn, Teri Garr and Tom Selleck all making impressive appearances. Again the willingness of such famous names wanting to appear really demonstrates the popularity of this show.
Whether it be the fact that fans are by now more familiar with the characters or not I am unsure, but the humour seems to be even better with this season than the previous two. Chandler, as usual, has a never ending well of one-liners, but in this season they are even funnier. Phoebe also hits her straps here with some great moments, as do all the remaining characters.
"We were on a break!"
As with the previous two releases in this format, the recommended retail for this season is around $50, making it terrific value. Many people may not consider themselves fans enough to purchase a whole season of this sitcom, but this is a show that can be watched many times over and to get so many episodes for such a low price makes it well worth adding to the collection for even those with only a passing interest.
Supplied in full frame as expected, these remastered episodes again look wonderful. There are very few faults to be found. Occasional grain on location scenes is a minor distraction and the odd colour pixelisation is also never too distracting. Subtitles are plentiful and the English ones sampled were accurate. Overall this is another fine transfer that will satisfy fans and looks so much better than its television broadcast counterpart.
Audio is again in Dolby Digital 5.0 and although a surround mix was not really needed, it is a pleasant inclusion. Dialogue is crystal clear at all times and synch is never a problem. Directional effects are used well when needed, but as this series is dialogue driven the majority of sound is kept to the front speakers. Music used is also well delivered and offers good ambience. Overall, it is much the same as seasons one and two.
Again there is a reasonable selection of extras and although they are not great, they are a vast improvement on previous versions released for this and earlier seasons.
Cast & Crew
This feature can be found on each disc and it contains a single text screen listing the main cast and crew members.
There are three commentaries available for this series. These are supplied for the episodes The One Where No One’s Ready, The One With the Football and The One With the Morning After. Each consists of the producers giving their views on the show and the particular episode and each offers some interesting facts.
A Tour of Joey and Chandler’s Bachelor Pad
This feature is an interactive tour of the guys’ apartment. It allows you to select a certain area and view some interesting information on that item. This includes footage from the show along with comments from the crew.
Friends of Friends
Showing a list of guest stars that appeared in this season, the viewer can click on the name and see a short clip from that particular person’s appearance.
What’s Up With Your Friends
Here you can select each of the six main characters and be given a montage of their highlights from the series. This feature is nothing special, but is still fun.
Ross and Rachel On a Break
This interactive game asks the viewer questions relating to the break up of Ross and Rachel. If you get the correct answers, a graphic of a broken heart featuring the characters will come together.
Overall this is another great value release in this latest edition of the series. For diehard fans it is a must, but also highly recommended for those with only a passing interest due to its low retail price and its suitability for repeat viewings. The video and audio are again of a very high standard and although the extras are not extensive, they are a vast improvement on previous versions. All I can say is bring on season four!