They said “they’d be there for you” and here they are on dazzling Blu-ray. Friends is a timeless sitcom that entertained and lasted a solid decade on NBC. The entire series delighted audiences for ten seasons and then some, syndication, DVD and now, Blu-ray. The show was and will always be known as one of the funniest and most charming sitcoms of all time and now, for purposes of this review, seasons one and two will be discussed.
For those living under a rock, Friends follows six young and likable individuals in New York City as they face everything life throws their way. The diverse and charismatic cast includes David Schwimmer who plays Ross Geller, a nerdy paleontologist who struggles with a lifelong crush on former ditz, trying to get her life together Rachel Green played by Jennifer Aniston. There’s a pre-plastic surgery Courteney Cox who plays obsessive compulsive neat freak and Ross’ sister, Monica Geller. Matthew Perry keeps things light and fun as the comedic Chandler Bing. There’s hippie-ish Phoebe Buffay played very well by Lisa Kudrow and lastly, there’s pretty boy, dimwit Joey Tribbiani played humorously by Matt LeBlanc. Together, these six formed a strong group of, well, friends.
Like most freshman sitcom seasons, things start off a little awkwardly. We are introduced to all of the main characters and are given a glimpse into their unique personalities and various quirks. Season one focuses primarily on Rachel as she leaves her fiance at the alter only to enter the life of her high school chum Monica. Together, they become roommates and deal with various issues that come up. Ross has basically been in love with Rachel since high school, so things get rather interesting in this season and in the next.
The chemistry between all six actors is truly remarkable. They are all quite different yet when put in a room life the famous Central Perk coffee house or Monica and Rachel’s living room, they mesh and rib on one another in an absolutley genius way. Seasons one and two introduce these six very different characters as they are. Friends is the perfect title of this show because the relationships and bonds that they share are the very definition of the word “friendship”.
Over the years, Friends has been presented to us in many formats. There was of course, its broadcast run on NBC. There were VHS (remember those?) editions. There were DVD sets and now in 2013, we are given the clearest picture and sound in remastered versions of the show on society’s current video format: Blu-ray. The episodes look amazing and one has to thank Warner Home Video for taking the time to clean up the picture and sound. This is the way Friends was meant to be seen. The wizards behind this remastering process deserve a round of applause because Chandler’s jokes sound clearer and funnier and Jennifer Aniston never looked better.
NBC has made it a tradition coming up with fun and original programming. In 1994, the entertainment giant gave us Friends and nearly 20 years later, we are still thankful to them. Over the course of its decade on the air, we were given a glance into the lives of total strangers. Sure, they were fictional characters but the talented cast brought them to life. They lived on our TV screens and in some, our hearts. Few shows these days capture the heart and humor that Friends instilled in its audiences. Now, go out and make a friend with Blu-ray.
Blu-ray Bonus Features
The bonus features for Friends: The Complete First Season and The Complete Second Season are average at best. For the first season, there is a producers’ commentary for the pilot episode. There are clips of notable guest stars and lastly, there is a trailer for season two. For the second season, there is a cameo guestbook. There is an uncut version of Smelly Catand lastly, What’s Up With Your Friends?