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Friends Complete Fourth Season

Warner Bros. // Unrated // July 15, 2003
List Price: $44.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Shannon Nutt | posted July 14, 2003 | E-mail the Author

Although there are a few less than stellar episodes in the batch, Friends really started hitting its stride in Season Four – a season in which begins with Chandler and Joey attracted to the same girl; has Ross falling in love and getting engaged; and closes out with Ross' wedding and the first hints of the relationship between Monica and Chandler.

Here's a look at what the Season Four box set of Friends has in store for viewers:

The One With The Jellyfish - Picking up where Season Three left off, this is quite a good start to the season as Ross and Rachel get back together…and then split up once again.

The One With The Cat - Phoebe believes that her mother's spirit resides in a cat she has found at the Central Perk coffee house.

The One With The Cuffs - Chandler has a fling with Rachel's boss and finds himself handcuffed to the chair of her office for the majority of this episode.

The One With The Ballroom Dancing - Joey strikes up a friendship with the building superintendent and helps him practice his ballroom dancing technique.

The One With Joey's New Girlfriend - Joey finds a new love named Kathy, but Chandler soon finds himself falling head over heels for her.

The One With The Dirty Girl - Ross thinks he has found the perfect woman (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos)…until he sees the shape that she keeps her apartment in.

The One Where Chandler Crosses The Line - Chandler and Kathy start to get closer, while Ross entertains the troops with some keyboard playing.

The One With Chandler in a Box - My second favorite episode of Season Four, this one has Joey putting Chandler in a large box on Thanksgiving as "punishment" for going behind his back with Kathy.

The One Where They're Going To A Party - One of the least entertaining episodes of the season, this one finds the guys realizing they aren't the party animals they used to be, while Monica gets a new job as a restaurant chef.

The One With the Girl from PoughKeepsie - Ross debates over which of two women he should date, while Chandler gets Rachel a date with one of the guys he works with. Once again, a disappointing episode.

The One with Phoebe's Uterus - Phoebe must decide if she'll be willing to carry her brother's baby in the beginning of a long-term storyline involving Phoebe and the birth of her triplets.

The One With the Embryos - My personal favorite episode of Season Four, not because of the continuing storyline involving Phoebe, but because of the very humorous game that is played between the girls and the guys over the ownership of their respective apartments.

The One With Rachel's Crush - Rachel finds herself attracted to a customer for whom she has become a "personal shopper" for.

The One With Joey's Dirty Day - Joey has a role with the legendary Charlton Heston, but the problem is he still stinks after returning from a fishing trip.

The One With the Rugby - In an episode almost (but thankfully not quite) as bad as "The One With the Football", Ross tries to impress his new girlfriend Emily by playing a game of Rugby.

The One With the Fake Party - Another less than stellar show in which Rachel throws a party for Emily just so she has a chance to see the guy who has been coming in to see her at the store.

The One With the Free Porn - Joey and Chandler discover that their cable system is giving them free porn…and they refuse to turn the TV off, lest they lose it.

The One With Rachel's New Dress - Rachel goes to her boyfriend's parents house for a romantic evening, but gets caught by his parents wearing lingerie. Meanwhile, Joey and Chandler try to get Phoebe to name one of the triplets after them.

The One With all the Haste - The girls try to win their apartment back from the guys by offering them Knicks season tickets.

The One With the Wedding Dresses - Monica is asked to pick up Emily's wedding dress, and then can't stop wearing it and fantasizing about being a bride.

The One With the Invitation - Ross must decide whether or not he will invite Rachel to his upcoming wedding with Emily.

The One With the Worst Best Man Ever - Ross names Joey as his best man, but isn't too happy with him when he loses the engagement ring on the night of Ross' bachelor party.

The One With Ross's Wedding - It's London, baby! (As Joey would put it!) This double-length episode is a quite humorous one, as Rachel races to tell Ross that she loves him before he and Emily tie the knot.


Each episode is shown in its original full-frame format, but the video quality here isn't anything to get too excited about. The quality is about the same as it has been on past episode sets, but it's not quite as sharp as I would have hoped or liked. If you own a prior season set (or one of the "Best of" sets), you'll know what to expect here. Overall, it's fine, but very, very average when compared to other television boxed sets.

The soundtrack has been remastered in Dolby 5.0 for this set, but I didn't really notice that much difference between the soundtrack here and that of a really well-done 2.0 track. In fact, you'll probably only notice the audio during the opening theme. Then again, this is a dialogue-driven show, so the lack of a high quality audio track isn't that big of a loss.

The lack of any meaningful extras on the Friends box sets has been my biggest complaint about the DVD releases so far. At first glance, it appears as if a nice number of bonuses have been added to this set, but when you realize that a large number of these bonus materials are simply clips from episodes already on the DVDs, the value of the extras goes down.

For starters, there are three episodes ("The One With Chandler in a Box", "The One With the Embryos" and "The One With Ross's Wedding") which feature Audio Commentary from Executive Producers Kevin S. Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Chase. Each episode also contains an Episode Preview which is just a clip from the show that you can watch by highlighting the coffee cup to the left of each episode title. Given the fact that this is just a clip from the show you're about to watch…these seem kind of pointless.

Disc Four contains the majority of the extras, including a Friends Around The World featurette which shows how the show is dubbed and subtitled in Germany, Japan and Sweden. The Friends of Friends section is a list of guest stars from season four with a clip of their appearance (once again, kind of pointless since these shows are part of the set). What's Up With Your Friends at least makes good use of clip footage by giving viewers Season Four montages for each of the six main cast members. By far the coolest extra is Who Knows Whom Best: Ross's Ultimate Challenge Trivia Quiz which uses the idea from the episode "The One With the Embryos" to make up a trivia game which you and your friends can play on your DVD player. There's only 20 questions here – 10 for each team (plus a "Lightning Round" question if you tie), so replayability isn't huge, but the first time through was a lot of fun.


Although the set isn't stellar in any department other than the episodes themselves, let's face it…the shows are the real reason why you'll want to add this box set to your collection. While the set itself isn't going to have any appeal to non-fans, those who enjoy the show are going to want to add this one to their collection…just don't expect an improvement over previous Friends box sets.
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