Plot: What’s it about?
As a casual observer of the hit show, "Friends" I sat down and watched the "Best of…" first ten episodes last year. I found that I not only liked them, but they were very funny and cleverly written. Since then, I’ve become a loyal viewer of the show and as it enters it’s latter years, we have to wonder how much longer these six people will remain "Friends". For 750,000 and episode, I’d make my friendship last as long as it could! We are now treated to ten more episodes that fans have deemed worthy. While I have to say that these were enjoyable, only a few of them really lived up to the first two volumes. Still, I’m sure everyone has their set of favorites and these two new volumes will sit right beside the other two volumes in my collection, ready to be watched at a moment’s notice. Below, here are some breakdowns of the episodes and what you might expect from them.
Volume III (Disc One)
The One with the Blackout (11/3/94) – New York City has found itself in the midst of a blackout, thereby giving the Friends (minus Chandler) time to talk about sex and discuss some good times. Chandler, meanwhile, has found himself stuck inside an ATM vestibule with none other than Victoria’s Secret supermodel, Jill Goodacre. Chandler owns this episode!
The One with the Candy Hearts (2/9/95) – Chandler helps Joey out by going on a blind double date with Joey (so he can score), but to his shock, Chandler’s date is his annoying ex-girlfriend Janice! Conversely, Monica, Rachel and Phoebe decide to cleanse their karma and have a ritual to rid themselves of their "bad boyfriends". A fire ensues and "you know who" shows up to the rescue…
The One where Ross and Rachel…You Know (2/8/96) – Ross has made no secret of this like for Rachel and on a trip to the museum (Ross got called in late to work), the two…you know. Probably one of the funniest episodes that I’ve seen!
The One with the Football (11/21/96) – Being the competitive friends they are, they decide to play a game of touch football. Monica and Ross are the captains of the respective teams both vying for the coveted "Geller Cup". A side story involves Joey and Chandler both fawning over the same girl who becomes interested in the game.
The One that Could Have Been (I and II) (2/17/00) – Wondering what their lives would have been if they had chosen different paths, this is more of a fantasy episode than anything. The best performance (with the funniest story) has got to be Phoebe as the power/money hungry stock broker who has a heart attack.
Volume IV (Disc One)
The One with Chandler in a Box (11/20/97) – Joey is still mad at Chandler for kissing his girlfriend, Kathy. As Ross pleads with Joey (as his new ‘best’ friend) to make amends with him, he refuses. Chandler suggests that he will stay in a box, as did Joey when they got robbed, for six hours to show how much their friendship means. A side plot with Monica and Dr. Burns’ son also occurs…
The One Hundreth (10/8/98) – Phoebe’s triplets of her brothers are finally delivered and Joey has pains of his own, in the form of Kidney Stones. The doctor who delivers the babies steals the show as a true "Fonzie-lover".
The One with all the Resolutions (1/7/99) – At New Years, all the friends make their New Year’s Resolutions which ends up getting all of them in some trouble. Rachel overhears Monica and Chandler talking and finds out about their affair…
The One where Ross Got High (11/25/99) – Chandler has always wondered why Ross’ parents didn’t like him, as it turns out, the reason is because Ross blamed Chandler for smoking pot in college.
The One with the Proposal (I and II) (5/18/00) – The moment everyone has been waiting for…Chandler proposes to Monica, but Monica is in the midst of possibly getting back with Richard (Tom Selleck). Are they "Friends" anymore?
Video: How does it look?
The Best of Friends is shown in it’s full-frame aspect ratio, which makes perfect sense seeing as how it’s a television show. Just like the previous Volumes, these appear very clear and the level of detail is excellent. Though some episodes tend to vary in clarity, I did a comparison to the digital cable that I’m used to watching them on and the DVD is superior to even that. Some of the episodes tend to have a bit of "jagginess" to them, mainly in the panning city shots (that feature a lot of shots of the World Trade Centers), but that’s about all the fault I can find with the way these look. Fans of Friends will not be disappointed as it’s more of the same and that’s a good thing.
Audio: How does it sound?
Again, just as last year, Friends is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.0 mix that does add a new layer of depth the audio portion of the show. While a dialog-driven comedy, the scenes do feature some fairly strong audio portions. What I notice most is the applause (filmed in front of a live studio audience) coming from the rear speakers and the guitar music for the "in between" shots does sound nice as well. I think I said the same thing about the previous version, but it’s essentially the same thing, just different episodes. While not the best audio presentation in the world, it certainly gets the job done.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Both of the discs contain cast bios and a documentary that is aptly entitled…"The One that goes Behind the Scenes". A near 45 minute documentary shows the process of writing the episodes and how much thought goes into each and every line. The writers are truly clever and it’s no wonder that the show has become the hit it is. Nothing else can be found, but the episodes themselves are great! For fans of the series, highly recommended.