Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Friends 10th Anniversary Boxset DVD Review

I received this from my friends (Thanks again guys!) for my 18th and half a year later I have finally finished the whole box set.  Friends is definitely one of my favourite TV shows ever as you can watch any episode in any order and it is still so funny. 

The 10th Anniversary box set comes in a small and compact hard cardboard box which has the guys and girls stylishly printed in the iconic picture frames on either side. Lifting the lid, you can smell the plastic as all ten seasons stare at you, waiting to be picked up and watched. 

Included is also a very appropriate episode guide with colourful pictures and the inclusion of props used which really add to the full on experience that this product provides- I love the pictures of the Mochalate and Science Boy comic.

Each season contains four discs, all kept in one DVD case, with artwork printed on the front, back and character portraits printed on the discs. I particularly like the individual colours on which defines the seasons, taken from the original individual season box sets.

'Friends' is a sitcom about six friends, Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler and Ross, living in New York City, their work, relationships and the hilarious day to day situations they face. The success of 'Friends' comes down to the individuality of each character and how relateable they all are.  

Lasting ten seasons, each character becomes fully developed into their particular archetype and fills a social niche, which makes them perhaps the most naturally funny comedic gang. There is an obvious shift in initial portrayals of characters as Joey seemingly becomes dumber as the seasons progress, whilst Monica assumes a far less slutty (she goes out with so many guys) and more of a homey, motherly role.

Whilst the show does not assume a particular obvious direction throughout, there are general themes that are maintained from the beginning such as the advancement of the friends' careers and their progression of their individual romantic relationships, with the relationship between Rachel and Ross taking centre stage for most of the show (Were they/Weren't they on a break?!).

The show's peak was perhaps in season 4 and 5 as these two seasons contained some of the funniest episodes and some of the biggest plot twists. However, the show is extremely consistent in every season in providing shockingly hilarious episodes which makes each season unique and equally funny due to the wonderful script.

Unfortunately, the show had to come to an end, but I was very glad that it ended with a BANG as it was still very popular so the last episode was an emotional journey in itself and it did not fail to disappoint. It wraps up the story nicely, provides moments of seriousness and sadness but throws in hilarity and humour in the one hour finale which defines the series. A beautiful ending to a beautiful show.

Favourite Episodes:
The One After The Superbowl (Season 2)
The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break (Season 3)
The One with Ross's Wedding (Season 4)
The One Where Everybody Finds Out (Season 5)

The One with Rachel's Inadvertent Kiss (Season 5)
The One In Vegas (Season 5)
The One on the Last Night (Season 6)
The One with the Routine (Season 6)
The One with Rachel's Sister (Season 6)

The One with All the Cheesecakes (Season 7)
The One with the Cheap Wedding Dress (Season 7)
The One With Chandler and Monica's Wedding (Season 7)
The One with the Stain (Season 8)
The One with Rachel's Other Sister (Season 9)

The One with the Boob Job (Season 9)
The One with the Memorial Service (Season 9)
The One with the Lottery (Season 9)     
The One Where Rachel's Sister Baby-Sits (Season 10)
The Last One (Season 10)  

Jennifer Aniston- Rachel
Courtney Cox- Monica
Lisa Kudrow- Phoebe
Matt Le Blanc- Joey
Matthew Perry- Chandler
David Schwimmer- Ross

Maggie Wheeler- Janice
James Michael Tyler- Gunther
Paul Rudd- Mike Hannigan
Anna Faris- Erica

The show managed to pull in some pretty great guest stars which include Brad Pitt, Jason Donovan, Sean Penn, Alec Baldwin and Bruce Willis. These are my favourites:

Julia Roberts- Susie
Christina Applegate- Amy
Reese Witherspoon- Jill

With the 10th anniversay edition box set, the extra features have been seamlessly integrated into the episode discs. Most of these features come in the form of commentaries on special episodes, but there are also some trivia games, interviews and more. Unfortunately, these don't contain much more content than previous collections/discs.

Friends has to be one of the most successful sit coms ever, lasting a whole decade- still being aired in the UK regularly and making people laugh. This timeless series is original, funny and ultimately iconic, and this product houses this in a stylish and compact collection. Unfortunately, the visual bonus content has not expanded much, though it is counterracted by the sheer beauty and efficiency of this product. I eagerly wait for the 50th anniversary edition- maybe then it'd be a perfect product.

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