The below is cut from my review of "Best of Friends Season One"
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 Two" 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 Ross's New Girlfriend - Ross is back from China, and Rachel is upset to find out he has a new girlfriend. Monica begs Phoebe for a new haircut.
The One Where Heckles Dies - Mr. Heckles, the weirdo who lives below Rachel and Monica passes away. In a strange twist, he leaves his belongings to the girls. Ross and Phoebe discuss evolution.
The One With Phoebe's Husband - The gang discloses secrets about each other, which leads to the revelation that Joey was in a porno. Phoebe's "husband" asks for a divorce. Rachel gives Ross "tips" for dating.
The One With The List - Ross weighs the pros and cons between Rachel and Julie, and writes them down on Chandler's new computer. Monica gets a job cooking recipes for a chocolate substitute.
The One After the Superbowl (Parts 1 and 2) - Ross finds about the whereabouts of his former pet monkey, Marcel. Joey goes out with a stalker who can't distinguish between the real Joey and the character he plays on TV. A prank Chandler played in his youth comes back to bite him in his "underpants". This episode is all about guest-stars, as it includes an impressive array of celebs (Brooke Shields, Julia Roberts, Jean-Claude Van Dam, etc).
"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 (VQ-wise, it's a step up from episodes from season one). 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 Two DVD set or something?
What is with Warner Brothers? Take a look at this timeline…
12/19/00 – Best of Friends vol. #2 is released
9/3/02 – Friends Complete Season Two is released
4/1/03 – Best of Friends Season Two 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 Two set, you get 16 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.