FRIENDS: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON
Reviewed April 4th, 2003 by Dan Jones
Nothing much really has to be said about Friends that hasn’t been said already. Its one of the few shows that continues yearly to grow in popularity, with the main cast (Aniston, Courtney Cox, Emmy winner Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer) each making a cool one-million-dollars per episode. The show’s formula is simple: the life of six close friends; allows for a lot of writing room, aye?
Season three marked that point in the series were the characters were truly developed, storylines seemed better written, and just overall the actors seemed more confident and relaxed in their characters. In fact, this is probably one of the best Friend’s season on record; seems series normally find their peak somewhere in the early middle, at least in my experience. This season also had quite a few cameos, namely from Billy Crystal, Ben Stiller, David Arquette, Isabella Rossellini & Jon Favreau.
The complete episode listings of season three is:
The One With The Princess Leia Fantasy..
The One Where No One's Ready, The One With The Jam, The One With The Metaphorical Tunnel, The One With Frank Jr, The One With The Flashback, The One With The Giant Poking Device, The One With The Football, The One Where Rachel Quits, The One Where Chandler Can't Remember Which Sister, The One With All The Jealousy, The One Where Monica & Richard are Friends, The One With Phoebe's Ex-Partner, The One Where Ross & Rachel Take A Break, The One The Morning After, The One Without The Ski Trip, The One With The Hypnosis Tape, The One With The Tiny T-Shirt, The One With The Dollhouse, The One With A Chick and A Duck, The One With The Screamer, The One With Ross' Thing, The One With The Ultimate Fighting Champion, and The One At The Beach
On to the DVD presentation, which spans over four discs.
Video wise, the third season of Friends has again given nice remasters in its original 4:3 aspect ratio. Colors are robust without bleeding, contrast is a bit pumped up, blacks and darks look nice without being washed out and detail is fairly solid for a TV show. Nice job; very similar to pervious seasons.
Audio wise, Friends is presented in Dolby Digital 5.0, as were the previous two seasons on DVD. While this mix is hardly enveloping or aggressive, it does do a good job of presenting this type of material, namely dialogue. Most of the action will be in your front three speakers, but little ambient sounds have been placed throughout in the rears, along with the score. Also included are English Closed Captions and subtitles, and more subtitles in French and Spanish.
Starting out the extras, each episode is supposedly in its “uncut” format, giving us a couple more minutes per that were not shown on broadcast television to fit the proper time slot.
An audio commentary with producers Marta Kauffman, Kevin Bright, and David Crane goes along with three of the episodes on the set, namely “The One Where No One is Ready,” “The One with the Football” and “The One with the Morning After.”. These are definitely worth a listen, and without a doubt the best supplement in the set, I just wish they did more of them (although they did only two in the previous season and only the pilot in the first season).
Rounding out the extras we have a handful of short interactive features in “Tour of Chandler and Joey's Bachelor Pad” which gives us a look at Joey’s pad as well as a few clips, “Friends of Friends,” which gives us a look at the guest starts in the season, a trivia game called “Ross and Rachel: On a Break?” and video profiles in “What's Up with Your Friends?” You’ll probably notice the similarities between these extras and the previous sets.
With a low retail price, solid video and audio, a few nice commentaries and possibly the best season of Friends providing the content, this is an easy recommendation for Friends fans.
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