If you've never heard of the television show "Friends", then I'd like to know what rock you've been hiding under for the last 7 years. But in case you've never heard of the show, let me give you a brief summary.
"Friends" is a sitcom about six New Yorkers who happen to be… friends! Ross (David Schwimmer) and Monica (Courtney Cox) are brother and sister. Rachel (Jennifer Anniston) is Monica's roommate. Living across the hall from Monica and Rachel are Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and Chandler (Matthew Perry). Rounding out the six is Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow). Each character is different, and their contrasting personalities make for good comedy.
"Best of Friends Season One" features the five episodes that someone at Warner Brothers considers to be the best ones from the season. Why Warner Brothers decided to release Best of DVDs when they already have season sets and other compilation DVDs available is beyond me. Anyways, here is an episode synopsis:
The One With The East German Laundry Detergent - Chandler wants to break up with Janice. Ross and Rachel do laundry together (it's Rachel's first time). Joey and Monica go on a double date, only Joey has other intentions.
The One Where Underdog Gets Away - It's Thanksgiving time, and Ross butts heads with his ex-wife's lesbian lover. Joey models for an ad for the Free Clinic, which results in disaster.
The One With The Stoned Guy - Chandler quits his job. On a date with a co-worker, things get hot-and-heavy in Ross's apartment, until he attempts to talk dirty. Jon Lovitz makes an appearance to audition Monica for a job.
The One With The Birth - Ross's ex-wife is giving birth, and the gang is there to celebrate the occasion in the hospital. Joey helps out a woman in labor, and Ross, Phoebe and his ex-wife's lesbian lover are stuck in the janitor's closet.
The One Where Rachel Finds Out - Ross is leaving for China, and Rachel finally realizes that she has feelings for him. Joey must abstain from sex because of his latest "job".
"Friends" is presented in full frame 1.33:1. It looks slightly better than it's broadcast television version, but identical to the numerous other DVD releases. Flesh tones look right, and there is very little pixelation or artifacting present, if any.
The audio is presented in Dolby 5.0. It's just what I was expecting (not much surround activity), but sounding better than it does on television. At times, it feels as if the audience is too loud, but I got used to it. Dialogue is clean, and everything else sounds good as well.
A static DVD menu with the "Friends" theme song looping in the background offers the choices of: "Play", "Episodes", "Cast & Crew" and "Languages".
NOTHING. Couldn't they have included any bonuses from the Season One DVD set or something?
What is with Warner Brothers? Take a look at this timeline…
12/19/00 – Best of Friends vol. #1 is released
4/3/02 – Friends Complete Season One is released
4/1/03 – Best of Friends Season One is released
This latest release seems kind of pointless, right? As a result, I recommend you ditch this release and get the affordable season set instead. With the Season One set, you get 17 more episodes, commentaries, and bonuses for around $25 more. Still, if you need your fix of "Friends" on DVD, this may be worth a rental.