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Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Warner Home Video presents
Friends: The Complete Second Season (1995-1996)

"Oh, the cow in the meadow goes moo/Oh, the cow in the meadow goes moo/Then the farmer hits him on the head and grinds him up/And that's how we get hamburgers/Now, chickens!"
- Phoebe singing (Lisa Kudrow)

Review By: Dan Heaton   
Published: September 23, 2002

Stars: David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, Courtney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow
Other Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Adam Goldberg, Julia Roberts, Charlie Sheen, Giovanni Ribisi, Brooke Shields, Chris Isaak, Elliot Gould, Christina Pickles, Lauren Tom
Director: Various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (contains television comedy suitable for everyone but young children)
Run Time: 09h:49m:50s
Release Date: September 03, 2002
UPC: 085392273324
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B BB+B+ B-

DVD Review

Now entering its ninth and reportedly final season, Friends continues to draw huge audiences to the story of Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey, and Phoebe. Each actor garners one million dollars per episode, and their popularity has no bounds. Each time the show appears to stall, the writers have introduced an inventive new storyline to keep fans watching. This past season, Rachel's surprising pregnancy and the love triangle between her, Ross, and Joey kept viewers on the edge of their seats.

Honestly, it is very easy to criticize the story of six young, good-looking people whose small problems are exaggerated to ridiculous proportions. The plot elements often seem contrived and move away from the boundaries of reality. However, it is difficult to argue with the show's success and to question the actors' comic talents. Even the dullest episodes have a few shining moments, and the best scenes remain with you for a long time. Although not often regarded as great actors, the group continues to prove their mettle and create enjoyable comedy.

During its second season, the creators of Friends were still coming to grips with the show's rampant popularity. Wonderfully clever episodes mixed with dull, flat entries to create an effective, but uneven season. The primary story is the burgeoning relationship between Ross and Rachel, which hits several peaks and valleys. Aniston and Schwimmer are at their best during these episodes, and they showcase excellent comic timing and emotion. Other notable elements include Monica's relationship with the 50-year-old Dr. Richard Burke (Tom Selleck), Phoebe learning the truth about her father, and Joey earning a gig on Days of Our Lives. This season also features a score of guest appearances ranging from short cameos by Lea Thompson and Jean Claude Van-Damme to an extensive appearance by Selleck.

Without further unnecessary discussion, here are the episodes:

Disc One

Episode 1: The One With Ross' New Girlfriend
Guest Stars: Lauren Tom as Julie, Cosimo Fusco as Paolo, Buck Kartalian as Frankie

"Joey's tailor took advantage of me." - Chandler

The season begins with Rachel waiting at the airport for Ross to return from China. After Chandler blabbed to her about Ross's love, she has discovered her own strong feelings for him. Unfortunately, a new girlfriend has entered the picture, which complicates matters considerably. Julie is a sweet, attractive girl, and the relationship makes life miserable for Rachel. Meanwhile, Phoebe has a misunderstanding while cutting Monica's hair, with silly results. Chandler also has an uncomfortable experience with Frankie, Joey's family tailor. The season begins in good form, largely due to an excellent comedic performance from Jennifer Aniston.

This enjoyable season premiere rates 4 out of 5 Marcels.





Episode 2: The One With the Breast Milk
Guest Stars: Lauren Tom as Julie, Jane Sibbett as Carol, Jessica Hecht as Susan, Joel Beeson as The Hombre Man (Todd)

"Hey, it's not the first time I've lost a girl to a cowboy spraying cologne." - Joey

Chaos abounds for Ross when his ex-wife Carol breastfeeds Ben right in front of everyone. Soon after, Phoebe is drinking the breast milk, which makes everyone squeamish. Monica starts hanging out with Julie away from Ross and draws Rachel's ire. Once she finds out that the duo went shopping at Bloomingdale's—the worst possible action—an odd argument ensues. The main saving grace of the episode is a fun confrontation between Joey and a fellow cologne sprayer in the Men's Department. This "hombre guy" dresses as a cowboy and does much better with the customers. Eventually, they face off in a western-style showdown for bragging rights and the girl.

A fairly run-of-the-mill story, the "hombre" battle earns this episode 3 out of 5 Marcels.





Episode 3: The One Where Heckles Dies
Guest Stars: Larry Hankin as Mr. Heckles, Maggie Wheeler as Janice

"You're not a freak. You're a guy." - Monica (to Chandler)

Mr. Heckles, the strange old man from downstairs, drops dead while banging his broom on the ceiling to quiet Monica and Rachel. In an odd gesture, he leaves them all of his worldly possessions, which mostly consists of worthless junk. Comparing Heckles' past to his own love life causes Chandler to discover some startling similarities. He decides to forget about minor flaws in women, which causes a brief return from Janice and her obnoxious laugh. Meanwhile, Phoebe irritates Ross by stating her disbelief in evolution.

A slow-moving episode, this entry rates 2.5 out of 5 Marcels.





Episode 4: The One With Phoebe's Husband
Guest Stars: Steve Zahn as Duncan, Lauren Tom as Julie

"How can you be straight? You're so smart and funny, and you throw such great Academy Awards parties!" - Phoebe (to Duncan)

This silly episode begins with the surprising revelation that Phoebe has a husband, a professional figure skater named Duncan. Kudrow actually gets to show rare emotional texture from the often dim-witted Phoebe. We also find out about Chandler's odd physical deformity, and that Joey once appeared in a porno movie. This entry contains several classic moments, including watching the adult film (with Joey as the copy guy who watches) and Rachel's continued attempts to sabotage Ross and Julie. The final scenes at Ross' apartment once again reveal Aniston's comic prowess.

This solid episode earns 3.5 out of 5 Marcels.





Episode 5: The One With Five Steaks and an Eggplant
Guest Stars: Brittany Powel as Jade

"You partied with Hootie!" - Joey

The financial differences between the two groups of characters come center-stage in this interesting, yet not entirely funny episode. Joey, Rachel, and Phoebe are not doing well financially, while the other three continue to want to buy expensive gifts and dine at nice places. Their revelation of this disturbing trend creates a tough rift within the group. When the rich kids come bearing gifts, the poor ones feel even worse, like charity cases. Events become dicey and ruin plans for an outing to a Hootie and the Blowfish concert. Missing the show may not seem like a big loss to me, but it causes some problems. Of course, everything works out okay in the end. Also, Chandler receives a call for a gorgeous woman trying to reach "Bob," a former boyfriend. Impersonating the guy, Chandler uses this chance to ask her out. Of course, trouble quickly ensues for him.

The lack of any memorable moments earns 2.5 out of 5 Marcels.





Episode 6: The One with the Baby on the Bus
Guest Stars: Lea Thompson as Caroline Duffy, Chrissie Hynde as Stephanie, Max Wright as Terry, Catherine Bell as Robin

"It's not that your friend is bad. It's that she's so bad, she makes me want to put my finger through my eye into my brain and swirl it around." - Terry (about Phoebe's singing)

I've never been a fan of Phoebe's singing, so any episode that focuses too much on this plot is generally pretty bad. However, the inclusion of Chrissie Hynde as a professional musician playing at Central Perk is a good move. We see more than one full song, and luckily only hear Phoebe every once in a while. Meanwhile, Joey and Chandler spend a day with Ben when Ross has to go to the hospital. Unfortunately, they have a slight mishap on a local bus while using the baby to meet girls. Their troubles (especially at the bus offices) are entertaining, but the story is not one of the better ones. Since it aired during November sweeps, we get plenty of quick guest appearances, including scenes with Lea Thompson and Giovanni Ribisi.

Once again, another mediocre episode earns 2.5 out of 5 Marcels.





Disc Two

Episode 7: The One Where Ross Finds Out
Guest Stars: Lauren Tom as Julie, Arye Gross as Michael

"I can' t have two cats. Joey's the kinda guy who can have two cats!" - Ross

In a classic episode, Ross finally discovers Rachel's feelings for him. The matter is complicated because everything is going great with Julie. Trying to overcome her current funk and forget about Ross, Rachel goes on a blind date. However, her thoughts focus only on him, which creates plenty of silliness during their dinner. Aniston plays the drunken fool well, and these scenes are priceless. Meanwhile, Chandler has put on a few pounds, which causes Monica to make his fitness her personal project. His attempts to avoid her offer plenty of fun, with Chandler even jumping into a cab during a tiring jog. This entry features some hilarious moments, but it stands out especially for the big moments between Rachel and Ross, who reach a new level in their relationship.

Way to go Ross! This episode earns 5 out of 5 Marcels.





Episode 8: The One With the List
Guest Stars: Lauren Tom as Julie, Michael McKean as Mr. Rastatter

"Oh, I know. This must be so hard. Oh, no! Two women love me. They're both gorgeous and sexy. My wallet's too small for my fifties, and my diamond shoes are too tight!" - Chandler (about Ross)

In a surprising dramatic move (especially for a sitcom), the writers pull the new lovebirds apart only a few moments after they get together. Unsure of what to do about the Rachel/Julie situation, Ross makes a list of the pros and cons of both women. This inane idea comes from Chandler, who unwittingly seems to create problems in relationships. Following an entertaining exchange where the guys try to keep the list from Rachel, she reads it and is heartbroken. While Ross tries everything to win her back, including having "With or Without You" by U2 played over the radio, nothing changes her Rachel's mind. In lighter events, Monica takes a job creating recipes for a shady businessman (Michael McKean) and his strange chocolate substitute.

While a bit hokey, this episode still earns 4 out of 5 Marcels.





Episode 9: The One With Phoebe's Dad
Guest Stars: Audra Lindley as Phoebe's Grandma, James Michael Tyler as Gunther

"You're whiny, obsessive; you are insecure, gutless. You don't just seize the day, and you wear too much of that gel in your hair." - Rachel (to Ross)

It's Christmas time, and the story revolves around Phoebe's discovery that her father is not a famous tree surgeon, but just a pharmacist upstate. This causes her to take her grandmother's taxi to his address to finally meet him. Joey and Chandler tag along for the ride to do some Christmas shopping, but nothing works out. Rachel also gives Ross a quick list of his faults, which makes him even more obsessive. This episode again shows more of Phoebe's emotional side, but it falls flat in the comedy department.

One of the least inspiring entries of the season, this episode earns 2 out of 5 Marcels.





Episode 10: The One With Russ
Guest Stars: Lauren Tom as Julie, Vincent Ventresca as Fun Bobby

"They're as different as night, and . . . later than night." - Monica

Rachel has started dating again, but the guy she's chosen bears a striking resemblance to Ross. In fact, it seems that David Schwimmer is playing him with extra makeup on the face. This gimmick is a bit tiring, but it does allow the actor to have fun spoofing his sometimes annoying character. In other news, Monica has gotten back together with "Fun Bobby," but he may be an alcoholic. Once he stops drinking, they realize the reasons for his usual fun persona. Finally, Joey has a chance at a big break in the soap opera world as Dr. Drake Ramoray, but may have to sleep with the casting director to get it.

This solid, but not spectacular, episode earns 3 out of 5 Marcels.





Episode 11: The One With the Lesbian Wedding
Guest Stars: Jane Sibbett as Carol, Jessica Hecht as Susan, Marlo Thomas as Sandra Green,

"The world is my lesbian wedding." - Chandler

Susan and Carol have decided to get married, and Ross feels awkward going to the wedding. Monica is in charge of catering the affair, which brings out her drill sergeant tendencies. In one of my least favorite contrived story lines, Phoebe's body becomes possessed by a massage patient who died on her table. While Kudrow has fun speaking like an old New York woman, it just doesn't work for me. Marlo Thomas appears as Rachel's mom and drops a bombshell on her unsuspecting daughter. Everything culminates in the wedding, with Ross eventually coming to his senses.

Although mostly enjoyable, some bland moments keep this episode at 2.5 out of 5 Marcels.





Episodes 12-13: The One After the Super Bowl
Guest Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme as himself, Chris Isaak as Rob Donan, Julia Roberts as Susie "Underpants" Moss, Brooke Shields as Erika Ford, Fred Willard as Mr. Lipson

"Did you see Timecop? He like totally changed time!" - Monica

Playing immediately after the Super Bowl, this hour-long episode features numerous guest spots from all types of major actors. The basic story follows Ross trying to find Marcel, who apparently did not die at the zoo. Now a famous monkey starring in "Outbreak 2: The Virus Takes Manhattan," Marcel seems to have less time for Ross. On the set, Monica and Rachel meet Jean-Claude Van Damme, which inspires a nasty fight. He seems more interested in threesomes than anything else, with Drew Barrymore's name mentioned several times.

Hired by handsome Rob (Chris Isaak), Phoebe gets to play her truthful songs for kids, which irritates their parents to no end. Also, Joey is stalked by Erica (Brooke Shields), a crazy soap-opera fanatic who believes he really is Dr. Drake Ramoray. If that wasn't enough, Julia Roberts also appears as a grade-school classmate who Chandler once tormented. Her revenge against him definitely proves her point. This episode has plenty of humorous moments, especially from Roberts, but its nearly 50-minute length might be a bit too much for a sitcom.

Several animated guest appearances earn this episode 3 out of 5 Marcels.





Disc Three

Episode 14: The One with the Prom Video
Guest Stars: Elliott Gould as Jack Gellar, Christina Pickles as Judy Gellar

"He has to get me the woman repeller. The eyesore from the Liberace House of Crap!" - Chandler

Bolstered by improved finances, Joey buys Chandler a special gift—a silly gold bracelet containing the inscription "to my best bud." This gaudy piece of jewelry looks ridiculous and immediately repels any possible females from him. Elliot Gould and Christina Pickles appear in their hilarious roles as Ross and Monica's parents. Since they are redoing Monica's room, they bring her lots of old junk, including the video before their senior prom. We see funny glimpses of Rachel with a strange nose, Ross with a moustache, and Monica in a much larger state, which causes Joey to utter "Some girl ate Monica!" One of the best episodes of the season, this story provides a new hope in the end for Rachel and Ross.

Finally, something to pull Ross out of his misery! This episode deserves 4.5 out of 5 Marcels.





Episode 15: The One Where Ross and Rachel . . . You Know
Guest Stars: Tom Selleck as Dr. Richard Burke

"I love that man. He's like a brother to . . . Dad." - Ross

Still spending freely due to his gig on Days of Our Lives, Joey buys the coolest present ever, two plush recliners and a big-screen television. For the entire episode, Chandler and Joey never leave their chairs and even have food delivered to Monica and Rachel's apartment. We also have the first appearance of Tom Selleck as Dr. Richard Burke, the Gellar's handsome eye doctor who is friends with their parents. He is 21 years older than Monica, but they begin a relationship that is sure to annoy plenty of people. These elements could easily fill an episode, but this one also has the first time Rachel and Ross . . . you know. Everything is handled well, which makes for another impressive episode.

This fast-moving story earns a hefty 4 out of 5 Marcels.





Episode 16: The One Where Joey Moves Out
Guest Stars: Tom Selleck as Dr. Richard Burke, Elliott Gould as Jack Gellar, Christina Pickles as Judy Gellar

"We're not Burt and Ernie." - Joey

In the contining saga of Joey's money, he decides that it may be time to get his own apartment. Chandler hates this idea, and it causes a few fights between the close roommates. Meanwhile, Dr. Burke, Monica, and Ross all attend Jack Gellar's birthday, where much of the talk focuses on the doctor's new young girl. This is especially awkward since the parents have no idea that this "twinkie" is Monica. Hilarity ensues throughout this story, including a particularly uncomfortable moment for Monica while hiding in the bathroom. Also, Rachel and Phoebe decide to get tattoos, even though Ross apparently hates them.

The season continues to roll with this great episode, which earns 4.5 out of 5 Marcels.





Episode 17: The One Where Eddie Moves In
Guest Stars: Adam Goldberg as Eddie

"It turns out that I don't have as many thoughts as you think." - Joey

The group visits Joey's new apartment, which is filled with hideous porcelain animals and other odd items. He quickly becomes lonely at the new place, and ends up watching Baywatch on the phone with Chandler. Joey wants to move back, but a new roommate has entered the picture, Eddie. Meanwhile, a record producer spots Phoebe and wants to record "Smelly Cat" and shoot a video. Also, Ross has been spending a lot of time with Rachel at her apartment, which irritates Monica to no end. While not one of the top entries, there are some funny moments here, including Phoebe's ridiculous video.

This solid episode earns 3 out of 5 Marcels.





Episode 18: The One Where Dr. Ramoray Dies
Guest Stars: Adam Goldberg as Eddie, Tom Selleck as Dr. Richard Burke

Eddie: I got a little surprise. Look. There's a new fishy. I named him, uh, Chandler. You know, after... after you.
Chandler: Well that's not even a real fish. No, that's a goldfish cracker.
Eddie: What's you point, man?

Chandler is quickly beginning to realize that Eddie has some serious mental problems. Far from just not liking sports or appreciating the genius of Baywatch, he also accuses Chandler of killing his fish and sleeping with his ex-girlfriend. Feeling confident in his status in the soap-opera world, Joey commits a gaffe during a magazine interview and annoys the writers. They quickly have Dr. Ramoray fall down an elevator shaft. Monica and Rachel's apartment now has four occupants, with Richard also spending the night. Of course, silliness ensues throughout the evening.

Man, that Eddie is one crazy dude. This episode earns 3.5 out of 5 Marcels.





Episode 19: The One Where Eddie Won't Go
Guest Stars: Adam Goldberg as Eddie, James Michael Tyler as Gunther

"There will be no more watching me sleep!" - Chandler

Eddie continues to freak out Chandler, who wakes up to see his roommate sitting next to his bed. Joey now faces the realities of unemployment, and must vacate his posh apartment. This change includes selling his extravagant animals (a smart move anyway), and moving to a more down-to-earth setting. Unfortunately, Chandler can't seem to find a way to evict his clinging roommate. The girls spend the episode ruminating over a book about a woman's inner power. It describes how men "steal their wind," and of course this causes Rachel to get tough with Ross. The whole plot element is pretty stupid, but it does lead to some silly discussions.

Sayonara Eddie! This mediocre episode earns 2.5 out of 5 Marcels.





Disc Four

Episode 20: The One Where Old Yeller Dies
Guest Stars: Tom Selleck as Dr. Richard Burke, Jane Sibbett as Carol Willick, Jessica Hecht as Susan Bunch

"Nice moustache, by the way. When puberty hits, that thing's really going to kick in." - Richard (to Chandler)

While viewing the depressing ending of Old Yeller, the gang realizes that Phoebe never watched the end of sad movies as a child. Her mom always turned it off before anything tragic happened. Phoebe then rents films like Brian's Song and Love Story, and the reality makes everything seem less hopeful. Meanwhile, Chandler and Joey go to a Knicks game with Richard, and they realize that he's a really cool guy. Spurred by this idea, they start mimicking his daily actions. Chandler even goes so far as to grow an awful moustache. Also, Ross scares Rachel by detailing his very specific plans for their future while Ben stays over. In the end, the little kid finally says his first words to his dad.

Blah. The season is starting to sputter near the end. This one earns 2 out of 5 Marcels.





Episode 21: The One With the Bullies
Guest Stars: Nicky Katt as Arthur, Peter DeLuise as Carl, Giovanni Ribisi as Frank, Jr., James Michael Tyler as Gunther

"Let's take this outside!" - the Bullies

Ross and Chandler are following their usual routine of coffee at Central Perk when two guys in suits scare them away. These mean bullies are fully grown adults, but treat them like wimpy grade-school kids. Their "street fight" is especially silly, with everyone stopping constantly to take off watches and set odd ground rules. In other news, Phoebe has decided to seek out her dad again, but her journey to the door is blocked by a vicious little dog. Eventually, she meets her half-brother Frank, Jr., who will reappear in later seasons.

The entertaining bullies story earns this episode 3 out of 5 Marcels.





Episode 22: The One With Two Parties
Guest Stars: Marlo Thomas as Sandra Green, Rob Leibman as Dr. Leonard Green, James Michael Tyler as Gunther

Phoebe: There isn't time! You must leave everything! They'll take care of you next door.
Guest: Is it true they have beer?
Phoebe: Everything you've heard is true.

Rachel's birthday is here, and the friends plan to throw her a big surprise party. Unfortunately, they cannot invite both of her separated parents because they can't stand each other. Predictably, Rachel's dad stops by to say hello just as the party is beginning. Thus springs two parties in the neighboring apartments, with each parent confined to one room. Plenty of silliness ensues as everyone tries to keep the two together, including Ross wearing Dr. Green's glasses and feigning smoking, while Joey kisses Mrs. Green goodbye to block her view. An enjoyable subplot has everyone trying to escape Monica's party, which has a Boggle tournament and some awful party games.

Reminiscent of Seinfeld's heyday, this chaotic episode earns 4 out of 5 Marcels.





Episode 23: The One With the Chicken Pox
Guest Stars: Tom Selleck as Dr. Richard Burke, Charlie Sheen as Ryan

"I'm not going to let a bunch of itchy spots stand between us!" - Ryan

Phoebe's Navy pal Ryan has received two weeks of shore leave, and she plans all types of romantic outings. Unfortunately, Ben passes on the Chicken Pox to her, which destroys their two weeks of bliss. Instead, they spend two weeks scratching the spots while being confined indoors. Meanwhile, Chandler gets Joey a job at his office, and tells Joey to do some acting to seem like a data processor. Joey's character becomes a full-fledged imaginary person with kids, and he causes considerable problems for his buddy. Also, Monica reveals her neurotic side to Richard, who has few quirks to match her in return. Charlie Sheen's guest appearance injects some life into this episode, but the Joey story becomes stale quickly. Selleck and Cox have some nice moments, but this is mostly a throwaway episode with a few good scenes.

Another acceptable but far from overwhelming episode earns 2.5 out of 5 Marcels.





Episode 24: The One With Barry and Mindy's Wedding
Guest Stars: Tom Selleck as Dr. Richard Burke, Maggie Wheeler as Janice, Mitchell Whitfield as Barry Farber, Jana Marie Hupp as Mindy

"How do you not fall down more? - Chandler (to Joey)

In this amusing season finale, Joey gets an audition in a film directed by Warren Beatty that calls for him to kiss a guy. Problems ensue when the star calls him a bad kisser. So he decides in typical Joey fashion that he needs to practice kissing with other guys. This creates some goofy moments as he tries everything to get Chandler, Ross, and others to help. The central story line revolves around Rachel attending the wedding of her ex-fiancé Barry and her friend Mindy. Of course, silliness ensues involving Rachel's costume and some problems during the ceremony. Chandler has started an Internet relationship with a girl, whose identity could be a surprise. If that wasn't enough, Monica's doubts about Richard's interest in having children could jeopardize their promising relationship.Whew! The season goes out strong and earns 4 out of 5 Marcels.



Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: This collection retains the original full-frame transfers of the television presentation, but they are improved considerably. The colors are sharper and lack the usual grain inherent in your basic network picture. Friends' simplistic setting limits the opportunities for visual excellence, but the series does look better than ever here. Obviously, its source material restricts this transfer from reaching a top-notch level, but I have few complaints.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.0
Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: These discs include a limited 5.0-channel Dolby Digital transfer that does its best in enhancing the basic television sound. The dialogue is crisp and easily understandable, and the constant audience laughs spring nicely from the speakers. The quick musical interludes and theme music have a decent amount of power too. Although it covers five channels, this track avoids any extensive use of the rear speakers. Everything sounds fine, but the level of complexity falls short of the better film releases.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
6 Featurette(s)
2 Feature/Episode commentaries by Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, David Crane on The One With the List and The One With the Prom Video
Packaging: Scanavo 4-pack gatefold
Picture Disc
4 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. "Friends of Friends" guest star list
  2. "Open House at Rachel and Monica's Place" interactive tour
  3. Trivia quiz
  4. Cast/crew list
  5. Preview scenes
Extras Review: Although fairly light on extras, this collection does contain two episode commentaries by executive producers Kevin S. Bright, David Crane, and Martha Kauffman. The group first discusses The One With the List, which they consider nearly the perfect model for their original ideas of the Friends series. All three do a nice job in honestly stating their feelings about the show and offer some noteworthy background information.

They also provide an interesting commentary on The One With the Prom Video, one of my favorite episodes of the season. A decent amount of time is spent covering the filming of the prom video, which had to appear to be an amateurish home movie. The trio also speaks briefly about dealing with censors—always an intriguing topic—and some changes to the set design in season two. Probably the highlight of the discussion focuses on the story process, which follows a specific format but varies depending on the type of episode being created.

Disc Four also includes a few extras that should at least whet the appetite of devout fans. Open House at Monica and Rachel's Place allows you to take a quick virtual tour of their apartment on the screen. Clicking on specific items will bring up a small featurette about a particular element. For example, clicking on the window activitates a quick interview with art director John Shaffner about the city view. One spot contains a small gallery of original costume drawings, while others showcase noteworthy highlights of the season.

Friends of Friends lists 12 of the notable guest stars from the second season. Clicking on the actor's name will activate a brief scene involving their character. You can test your Friends knowledge in the How Well Do You Know Your Friends? trivia quiz. Correct answers eventaully lead to a bonus video. There's also the basically pointless What's Up With Your Friends? feature, which offers a brief montage of each main character's top moments.

Considering the DVD possibilities for a series of this scale, these extras are a major disappointment. Would it be that hard to pull a few cast members in for a commentary track? The producers do a nice job, but it would be great to actually hear from the big stars. Also, some type of comprehensive documentary would also be welcome. The quick clips in the apartment feature are nice, but they don't provide the overall picture possible with a lengthier piece. Even cast and crew biographies would be helpful instead of the basic list offered. It is nice to see a few decent supplements, but there is tremendous room for improvement. Hopefully the subsequent seasons will rectify this problem.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

Although the episodes air nightly in syndication, fans will undoubtedly welcome the chance to purchase complete seasons of Friends. This collection would benefit from more extensive supplements, but it does feature a few nice extras and decent video and audio presentations. Once the new episodes stop airing, these full season sets will continue to draw countless audiences for many years to come.

 


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