Plot: What’s it about?
With the unparalleled success of the first season, a second season was a given. Friends quickly became the number one watched television show in America (and in the seven years since the second season aired, little has changed). The cast clicked and it was time to introduce some higher profile talent, in the form of guest stars, to the show. Monica (Courtney Cox-Arquette…then just Courtney Cox) and Ross’ (David Schwimmer) parents were featured as were a slew of moviestars. Julia Roberts, Tom Selleck, Brooke Shields, Charlie Sheen, Chris Isaak and Jean-Claude Van Damme just to name a few. Things between Ross and Rachael were heating up, which are only starting to get interesting again as the show enters its last season. But one thing that I liked is the fact that they were all still "Friends". Monica and Chandler (Matthew Perry) weren’t married (if I spoiled that for anyone, sorry) yet and there was no love triangle between Joey-Ross-Rachael. It was just a simpler time for the Friends and I, for one, liked seeing them in their adventures minus all of the romance involved.
Season Two of the show features some of the better episodes in the series. We’ve already been exposed to two volumes of the "Best of…" episodes and it’s amazing how many of these were originally aired during the second season. My personal favorite of the year is "The One where Eddie Moves In". Eddie (Adam Goldberg) takes the place of Joey after he has moved into a luxury apartment elsewhere in New York. Eddie is a less than perfect roommate and I personally think it’s one of the best episodes…ever. Nevermind the fact that the cast is now getting 1 million dollars an episode (per person), and the new episodes don’t pack quite the punch that these did, but sit back and enjoy the second season of "Friends". Here is a listing of episodes that are included:
The One With Ross’ New Girlfriend, The One With the Breast Milk, The One Where Mr. Heckles Dies, The One With Five Steaks and an Eggplant, The One With Phoebe’s Husband, The One With the Baby on the Bus, The One Where Ross Finds Out*(Recommended), The One With the List, The One With Phoebe’s Dad, The One With the Prom Video, The One With Russ, The One With the Lesbian Wedding* (Recommended), The One After the Super Bowl (Part I), The One With the Super Bowl (Part II), The One Where Ross and Rachel…You Know, The One Where Joey Moves Out, The One Where Eddie Moves In* (Recommended), The One Where Dr. Ramory Dies, The One Where Eddie Won’t Go, The One Where Old Yeller Dies, The One With the Bullies* (Recommended), The One With the Two Parties, The One With Barry and Mindy’s Wedding, The One With the Chicken Pox.
Video: How does it look?
Friends is presented in it’s original aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The DVD does add a bit of clarity to the original broadcast episodes and the level of detail is much sharper here. The bright surroundings of Monica’s and Rachel’s apartment (where the majority of the action takes place) is a good example of how good a television show can look on DVD. Add to it the sound and you’re in "Friends" heaven!
Audio: How does it sound?
The benefit of a Dolby Digital 5.0 soundtrack (minus the LFE channel) is a welcome addition as well. Granted, it’s not something that will blow you away, but the sound is a noticeable improvement over the regular broadcast episodes. Dialogue is clean and clear and the surround effects (mostly heard during the transition of scenes with the guitar) are very nice. Not a whole lot else to say, as television shows weren’t meant for sound. This just makes everything sound a little better.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Serving up a little bonus material, "Friends" comes equipped with two commentaries (on two episodes) and the rest of the extras can be found on the fourth disc. First up is "Open House at Monica and Rachel’s Place" in which you can highlight certain items of interest (a fruit bowl, the picture frame on the door and the mysterious "green door" to name a few) to see what their significance is. "Friends of ‘Friends’" is a segment that lists the names of the movie stars that played on the show. Highlight their name and there’s a brief video snippet of their appearance on the show. "How well do you know your Friends"? is an interactive trivia game that uses questions from the season and if you answer them right, you’re treated to the segment in which you got the answer from. Answer it wrong and you get a different type of video clip…Finally, "What’s Up with your Friends" has six (duh) parts to it and when you select your favorite friend, you get a collage of their moments on screen (I chose Phoebe, as she’s my favorite).