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Warner Home Video presents
Friends: The Complete Sixth Season (1999)

"You love divorce so much you're probably gonna marry it, and then it won't work out so then you're going to divorce it, divorcing guy... I'm so drunk!"
- Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow)

Review By: Kevin Clemons  
Published: February 02, 2004

Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox Arquette, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer
Other Stars: Bruce Willis, Elle MacPhjerson, Ralph Lauren, Tom Selleck, Reese Witherspoon
Director: various

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing offensive)
Run Time: 09h:48m:33s
Release Date: January 27, 2004
UPC: 085392426720
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ AB+B+ B

DVD Review

In just a few short months that familiar guitar riff will cue up for the last time and six of our dearest friends will vanish into the history books. I am of course talking about the final episode of the hit television series Friends, a show that has kept a huge following over the course of a decade. How big? The cost for a 30-second commercial during the finale are reported to be similar to spots during the Super Bowl. Pretty big indeed.

Friends is, simply put, one of the smartest and most consistent sources of entertainment available on network television today. The sixth season of the hit series represents something of a turn toward more mature themes (not that kind of mature) in that Chandler (Perry) and Monica (Cox) will ponder the issues of marriage while Ross (Schwimmer) and Rachel (Aniston) deal with the repercussions of a whirlwind marriage after a drunken night in Vegas. Not to turn its back on the silly humor that launched a thousand imitators, we also have Joey (LeBlanc) searching for a roommate (who must be a "non-smoker and non-ugly") and Phoebe's immense hatred for Pottery Barn.

I would be lying if I said that the sixth season of Friends ranks as one of the best offerings that the series has churned out, but the effort is worthy of praise. I liked the way in which the season focused more on Ross' day-to-day dilemmas rather than giving him a crutch such as his "rage" or Emily issues that were present in the previous two seasons. For once, it seems as though the personalities on the series were switched, as the more serious of the six changed from Ross and Monica to Chandler and Rachel and vice versa.

The One After Vegas

Ross: You, uh... you wanna hear something weird?
Phoebe: Always!
Ross: I didn't get the annulment.
Ross: We're still married! Don't tell Rachel. See you later.

Picking up where last season left off we meet up with everyone at the wedding chapel where Chandler and Monica nearly got married, and Ross and Rachel did. Upon returning to New York, Chandler and Monica dance around the issue of their near nuptials while Ross and Rachel try to piece through a wild night and eventually, when Rachel wants an annulment, it is revealed that Ross goes against it without telling Rachel. A very funny episode that has jokes at a rapid rate: four and a half Marcels.

The One Where Ross Hugs Rachel

"Come on! It's like the end of an era! No more J-man and Channy!" -Joey

After lying to Rachel about the annulment, Phoebe pesters Ross to tell Rachel the truth but he will not do it. At the same time, Chandler and Monica decide to move in together rather than get married, which saddens Joey, which in turn drives Monica crazy. After Ross decides to actually go through with the annulment, he finds out that Rachel must be present to sign papers, a problem considering she already thinks the annulment has gone through. A nice effort that merits four Marcels.

The One With Ross's Denial

Why don't you move in with me? It will be great! We can stay up late and talk, watch movies, and you know about naked Thursdays, right? -Joey

Ross denies the fact that he is still in love with Rachel after he tries very hard to get her to move in with him after she moves out of Monica's. Chandler and Monica argue over the best way to redecorate Rachel's old room: Monica thinks it should be a guest room, while Chandler wants a game room. And Joey takes out an ad for a roommate that asks only that the person be "non-ugly." He eventually gets Elle MacPherson, so it does work. Simply an OK episode, this one gets three Marcels.

The One Where Joey Loses His Insurance

Joey: Oh, I can't believe this! This sucks! When I had insurance, I could get hit by a bus or catch on fire, you know? And it wouldn't matter. Now I gotta be careful?
Chandler: I'm sorry man. There's never a good time to... stop catching on fire.

When Ross is asked to give a lecture at NYU, he is so nervous that he adopts a British accent to help him through; this works well until Monica and Rachel find out. Phoebe is told by her psychic that she will die within a week, something that may happen to Joey as well as he gets a hernia right after discovering his insurance has run out. A very funny entry that offers a priceless moment for Joey as he films a commercial at the close of the episode earns this four and a half Marcels.

The One With Joey's Porsche

"I just always though if you and I got married that it would be the one that stuck, and that it wouldn't be a secret, and we would not have our wedding dinner at Pizza Hut." -Rachel (to Ross)

Joey find a set of keys to a Porsche and soon he pretends to own the car, after he attracts a lot of attention for showing off the keys. Monica, Chandler, and Phoebe watch Frank and Alice's triplets and it is Chandler who swallows a toy, not the babies, and he is taken to the hospital. Ross and Rachel finally sign the divorce papers. There is a lot going on in this episode and nearly every bit offers a laugh, so it rates four out of five.

The One on the Last Night

Monica: You're not dressed yet? We're supposed to start having fun in 15 minutes!
Rachel: Well, and clearly not a minute sooner!

After the dust has settled and everyone has a new roommate, Monica and Rachel have plans to spend an evening together to celebrate their friendship. Chandler feels bad about abandoning Joey with all of the bills so he purposely decides to lose money to him at games and goes to great lengths to do so. Three out of five.

The One Where Phoebe Runs

Joey: Well, that's gonna be tough, Mon. I mean it's hard for me to be around an attractive woman and not flirt.
Monica: Hmm, well, you're around me all the time, and you don't flirt.
Joey: Feel little a sad about that, sweetheart?

After Rachel moves in with Phoebe the pair go running together and Rachel is shocked to see the way Phoebe runs, which is so embarrassing that Rachel goes to great lengths to avoid being seen in public with Phoebe when she jogs. Joey gets a new roommate and deals with not being able to flirt with her, while Chandler cleans the apartment and soon realizes he may have bit off more than he can chew. The site of Phoebe running makes this a four and a half Marcel episode.

The One with Ross's Teeth

"What am I supposed to do? Ask every guy I make out with if he's married?" -Phoebe

When Ross gets a date, he decides to whiten his teeth in an effort to make a good impression. Things get complicated when he uses too much product and his teeth glow in the dark. Joey deals with life with his attractive roommate, and Phoebe makes out with a co-worker of Rachel's who claims to be Ralph Lauren. Some nice moments, including Ross with glowing teeth make this a four Marcel effort.

The One Where Ross Got High

Rachel: Look Monica, I'm melting butter!
Monica: Congratulations Rachel, you now have the cooking skills of a hot day.
It is Thanksgiving again and this time there are complications all around. Monica tells Chandler that her parents do not know about their relationship and the reason is that Mr. and Mrs. Gellar do not like Chandler after Ross blamed him for some things many years ago. Rachel gets to make dessert but she blends two recipes together and comes up with a truly awful result and all Ross and Joey want is to hang out with dancers instead of hanging around the apartment. Five Marcels for the first time this season.

The One with the Routine

Ross: Hey, when the snippy guy sees The Routine, he'll wanna build us our own platform!
Monica: Was it really that good?
Ross: We got honorable mention in the Brother-Sister Dance category!

When Joey's roommate is invited to be on a New Year's special she invites Joey, who is harboring feelings for her. Ross and Monica also tag along in an effort to be seen on TV and their efforts backfire. Meanwhile Phoebe, Chandler, and Rachel all search for the hidden Christmas presents that Monica got for them. A classic episode if only for the moment where you see Ross and Monica do their dance routine from junior high. Three and a half Marcels.

The One with the Apothecary Table

Joey: I hate Pottery Barn, too. They kicked me out of there just because I sat on a bed.
Chandler: You took off your pants and climbed under the sheets!
Rachel gets an apothecary table for her and Phoebe's apartment from Pottery Barn, but she finds out from Monica that Phoebe hates everything Pottery Barn stands for. Rachel has Phoebe fooled until Ross gets the same table. Joey and Jeanine go on a double date with Chandler and Monica and it is discovered that Jeanine thinks Chandler is boring and Monica is too loud, something that causes Joey to rethink his relationship with his roommate. I happen to like Pottery Barn, Phoebe, but the episode is very funny, personal politics aside. Four out of five.

The One with the Joke

"Uh, Gunther, I can't pay for this right now because I'm not working, so I've had to cut down on some luxuries like, uh, paying for stuff." -Joey

Ross gets a joke published in Playboy, but Chandler thinks that he created the joke and the two bicker back and forth over who deserves the credit. Joey begins to work at Central Perk while the trio of girls fight over an offhand comment over who likes whom more. Two Marcels for this very disappointing episode.

The One with Rachel's Sister

Phoebe: Seriously, I don't think Rachel's gonna think it's a good idea.
Jill: So who made her Queen of the World?
Phoebe: I would love that job!

When Rachel's sister Jill (Reese Witherspoon) runs out after her dad cut her off from spending, she turns to Rachel in an effort to get help, but instead she starts to date Ross. Monica gets sick but won't admit it, prompting her to go to every extreme possible to prove to Chandler that she is fine. And Joey gets into trouble for giving away free food to attractive customers at Central Perk. Four and a half out of five, thanks to a lively appearance by Witherspoon.

The One Where Chandler Can't Cry

"Something could've happened. All right? She really dug my slides. And she was definitely giving me the vibe." -Ross

Chandler admits that he has not been able to cry since he was a child, so everyone tries to get him to do so. Phoebe finds out that her sister Ursula has been using Phoebe's name to star in pornographic videos, and Jill and Ross continue to date much to Rachel's chagrin. Three and a half for this less than stellar effort.

The One that Could Have Been

"Because at that time, you see, I thought that everything that rhymed was true. So I thought, you know if I worked with stocks, I had to live in a box and only eat lox and have a pet fox." -Phoebe

When Rachel's ex-fiancé gets married to her former maid of honor, it prompts the group to discuss what life could have been like if things had not ended up the way they did. Joey is a famous actor, Rachel is still married to Barry, Phoebe is a hot shot stockbroker, Chandler is a struggling writer, and Monica is still overweight and dating a doctor. Spread over two episodes, the plot offers each character a chance to shine: Phoebe has a heartattack due to all of the stress but can't stop working; Rachel has a crush on Joey; Chandler and Monica toy with the idea of dating; Ross tries to spice things up with Carol after he begins to think that she may be a lesbian. Five out of five for this very funny episode.

The One with the Unagi

"Now, I'm curious. At what point during those girlish screams would you have begun to KICK MY A**?" -Ross

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, Chandler and Monica decide to make homemade presents for each other; the only problem is that Chandler forgot and resorts to giving Monica a mix tape he once made for Janice. Joey needs money for head shots, so he enrolls in a medical study. Rachel and Phoebe take a class in self-defense, but Ross decides to teach Unagi in his apartment. Four and a half out of five.

The One Where Ross Dates a Student

"Oh, it's bad. It's really bad. The only thing in there that isn't burned is an ax. Which I do not remember buying." -Phoebe

Rachel and Phoebe's apartment burns down, which leaves Phoebe living with Joey while Rachel moves in with Monica. After it is discovered that it was the hair straightener and not Phoebe's incense as had originally been thought, the two switch and their lives are heaven. Rachel gets to live in the free-spirited manner she wanted while Monica mothers Phoebe, which drives her nuts. Ross contemplates dating a student who finds him attractive. Four out of five Marcels.

The One with Joey's Fridge

Ross: You don't understand! Elizabeth was about to ask me to go on a trip with her! Is that taking it slow? No, I'm not ready for this! Okay? What... what do I tell her?
Chandler: Just tell her the truth! Tell her you're not ready.
Ross: I can do that. Oh, oh... what if she gets upset?
Chandler: Then you distract her with a Barbie doll.

Chandler and Monica compete with Phoebe in an effort to get Rachel a date for a charity ball and it soon becomes clear that they are more determined to find Rachel a date than she ever was. Joey's fridge breaks, so he in turn spends the entire episode trying to get money out of everyone he knows to get a new one. Ross' student girlfriend tells him that she is going to Daytona Beach for Spring Break without him. There is a moment in this episode involving Ross, Joey, and the fridge that makes me laugh each and every time I see it. Four and a half for said moment alone.

The One with Mac and C.H.E.E.S.E.

"I want this part so much! You know? If I don't get this part I'm never gonna eat macaroni and cheese again! No, I didn't say that! That's a lie. -Joey

Joey finally gets a chance to star in his own television show called Mac and C.H.E.E.S.E. in which he will play a detective who is partnered with a robot to solve crime. The show is more of an excuse to offer up clips from previous seasons and I simply hate clip shows, so that may explain why this episode gets only two Marcels.

The One Where Ross Meets Elizabeth's DadRoss: I just found out that Elizabeth's dad wants to meet me.
Chandler: Wait a minute, hold the phone! You're not Elizabeth's dad?

Bruce Willis appears as Elizabeth's dad, Paul, and he has an immense dislike for Ross given the situation with his daughter, but he is attracted to Rachel. Joey starts on his television series but clashes with the operator of the star robot and his job may be in jeopardy. Phoebe starts to write a book that mirrors the day-to-day activities of Chandler and Monica. The appearance of Bruce Willis elevates this episode to four Marcel status.

The One Where Paul's the Man

"Wow, the only thing I got from my grandmother was her eyes. I mean not her actual eyeballs..but people say....hey do you wanna make out? -Ross

When Ross' job is threatened by Paul if he does not stop seeing Elizabeth, the pair sneak off to a cottage for a nice quiet weekend. When Paul shows up with Rachel, complications ensue and the situation is brought to a head. Chandler is shocked to hear that Monica has put the couple on a two-year waiting list for a wedding. Joey tries his best to get his picture back up on the wall of the local dry cleaners now that he has his own television show. Four and a half out of five Marcels.

The One with the Ring

"You can see my dad in Vegas....kissing other dads." -Chandler

Chandler begins to plan his proposal to Monica with Phoebe's help, but after finding the perfect ring, Phoebe lets it get away. Ross and Joey feel left out and think Chandler is mad at them because he is being secretive about the ring. Paul suffers an emotional breakdown after Rachel prods him to open up a little more with his feelings. Three and a half out of four.

The One with the Proposal

Monica: I thought you were going out with Elizabeth tonight.
Ross:Well, I was, but she was a little busy with a water balloon fight.
Monica: Oh, Ross, sometimes grownups have commitments they just can't get out of.

Chandler plans to propose to Monica over a nice romantic dinner, but things go awry when Richard (Selleck) shows up with a date and his feelings for Monica resurface. Joey, Rachel, and Phoebe attend a charity dinner where Joey mistakenly buys a boat for twenty-thousand dollars. Ross breaks up with Elizabeth over concerns about her maturity after helping her participate in a water balloon fight. Five out of five for this closing episode.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: A


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: Friends has always featured a bright color palette, and they are well represented on this new DVD. In fact, everything about the full-frame transfers on each of the six episodes per disc is near flawless, with the exception of some slight edge enhancement problems scattered throughout. Very well done.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The audio on the episodes is far from being reference quality but, for the most part, each mix satisfies. Throughout the episodes, the music used fills the room and the laugh track can often be heard in the rear speakers. Dialogue is clear and easy to decipher with no apparent harshness. A nice sound experience.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 6 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
2 Featurette(s)
2 Feature/Episode commentaries by Producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, David Crane
Packaging: Four fold case
Picture Disc
4 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extra Extras:
  1. Gag Reel
Extras Review: A nice handful of extra features are available with the majority of them located on the fourth disc. Commentary tracks for The One That Could Have Been and The One with the Proposal are provided by series creators Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane. Each one is enjoyable with very little behind-the-scenes information; instead, we get a very self-congratulatory track that is winning in that the trio never recalls the success of the series or their stars and instead sit back and appreciate the hard work that everyone has done.

Friends of Friends is a brief look at the guest stars of Season Six with interviews aplenty, while a ten-minute Gag Reel is a very funny look at some of the mistakes that have happened along the way. Finally, we get Gunther Spills the Beans About Season Seven, which is an all-too-brief look at the seventh season, due on DVD in April of 2004.

Extras Grade: B


Final Comments

Given that there have been six seasons released to this point on DVD, it is a safe bet if you are the least bit interested you are most certainly going to purchase this latest release. You will not be disappointed as there are some truly exceptional moments to be found. Highly recommended.


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