Starring Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer
- All 23 episodes of the second season
- Running audio commentary from executive producers Kevin S. Bright, David Crane & Marta Kauffman on “The One With the List” and “The One With the Prom Video”
- Friends on Friends: Video snippets of guest stars from the second season
- Open House at Monica and Rachel’s Place: Virtual tour of the props and layout of the set, complete with audio and video commentary by props masters and set decorators, among others
- Trivia game
- “What’s Up With Your Friends?”: video montages for all six lead characters
- “Smelly Cat” music video
Released by: Warner Home Video.
Anamorphic: N/A; episodes appear in their original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Rent it.
The last season dealt with Ross (Scwhimmer) and Rachel (Aniston) nearly-almost becoming a thing–but something always seemed to step in and thwart them. Thanks to an indiscrete comment from Joey (LeBlanc), Rachel found out how Ross really felt this entire time–but too late. Now Ross has found Julie (Lauren Tom) and is trying to get on with his life. Thus we get to have the same story arc as last season–for the most part–except for the elegantly simple twist that Rachel is the one in the hot seat this time around.
Not to say that there’s nothing for everyone else to do as well. Certain revelations about Phoebe (Kudrow) occur, among them her father…and her husband. Chandler has to deal with some heavy (yet manly) jewelry and a huge falling out with roommate Joey. Monica (Cox) gets to fall for Tom Selleck and deal with career issues.
As I stated in my review of the previous set, I never got into the whole Friends frenzy simply because I don’t watch a lot of television–time constraints, you understand. And this set is perfect for me because I can watch several episodes at a clip and get through them. It’s encouraging that the characters, writing–all the elements that made the first season so enjoyable seem to have remained consistent if not gotten stronger once they realized, you know, that the show wasn’t getting canned.
The features for this set have seen some improvements and additions over last time as well. The fan of the show, of course, will inhale this thing without any prompting from me–but we’re glad they chose to throw us some other bones. This time around you get two commentaries from the creative team/executive producers. Again, they’re not the most stellar commentaries I’ve ever heard–they spend a great amount of time marvelling at the great cast they managed to assemble–but on occasion they lapse into interesting tidbits about what’s unfolding on screen. In one case, they discuss a line that had to be changed because Kudrow just couldn’t get through it without laughing, and in another case they talk about the logistics of having the shoot the “prom video” segment of that particular episode. So when they start getting into actual behind-the-scenes chatter, it’s good stuff.
The trivia game and the “Friends on Friends” are pretty much what you’ve seen with the last set, although the bonus for completing the game is to witness the uncut “Smelly Cat” video–which is too sick to be believed. There’s a “virtual tour” of a major locale like the “Peek at Central Perk” from the first collection, but this time it’s Monica and Rachel’s apartment. Whereas last time you had just an audio commentary regarding what’s on the screen, when you select the commentary you get a video snippet with the expert involved. So that’s nice. What’s an unwelcome addition is the sound effects that go along with each highlightable item in the apartment–they’re not quite annoying, but they are a bit unnecessary.
This set is again choice, packed with good shows and then enough features to ice that particular cake. Fans of the show and the newly converted–like yours truly–should definitely invest that coin, though.