Judge David Johnson wonders if they've made latte-flavored baby formula yet.
Our reviews of Friends: The Complete First Season (published June 11th, 2002), Friends: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) (published May 7th, 2013), Friends: The Complete Second Season (published September 16th, 2002), Friends: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray) (published May 7th, 2013), Friends: The Complete Third Season (published June 18th, 2003), Friends: The Complete Fourth Season (published August 8th, 2003), Friends: The Complete Eighth Season (published February 2nd, 2005), Friends: The Complete Ninth Season (published May 18th, 2005), Friends: The Complete Tenth Season (published November 28th, 2005), Friends: The Complete Series (Blu-ray) (published November 26th, 2012), Friends: The Complete Series Collection (published January 24th, 2007), Friends: The One With All The Birthdays (published May 31st, 2006), and Friends: The One With All The Weddings (published May 10th, 2006) are also available.
"Every day is lesbian lover day!"
For the rabid Friends completist, this baby's for you.
Facts of the Case
Ahhh, Friends, how my reactions to you are mixed. One part of me enjoys settling into one of the syndicated shows rerunning on any one of a three quarters of a million networks and bask in the sharp writing and casual sex. After prolonged exposure, though, the other part of me grows annoyed with the cutesy mannerisms, the syrupy soap opera-ness, and the over-exuberant studio audience. That's my full disclosure aspect of the review.
Friends—The One With all the Babies is a compilation disc featuring five episodes pulled from the 10-season run that deal with giving birth and babies and all that fun, schmaltzy sitcom fodder that goes with it.
Here's the breakdown:
• "The One with the Birth"
An okay show, though the locked-in-the-janitor's-closet was pretty
unoriginal. Joey's gig with Remini was entertaining enough and the
Rachel-flirting-with-doctor routine paid off some solid yuks.
• "The One with the Baby on the Bus"
This is actually one of my favorite episodes of the series, with the frantic dialogue between Joey and Chandler in child services hilarious. E.g. "What kind of scary-ass clowns came to your birthday parties?" A
• "The One-Hundredth"
You know, there sure are a lot of births in this series, and to the writers'
credit, they manage to find crazier and crazier things to do in the confinement
of a hospital. Lots of wackiness here makes for an entertaining show.
• "The One Where Rachel Has a Baby"
The highlight of this mega-episode is Joey and Phoebe's subterfuge (Joey
portrays his soap-opera doctor persona). Chandler and Monica's baby talk
provides the necessary relationship grist, while the ever-present Ross/Rachel
tension makes a comeback. Weirdly, this is all culminates in one of the most
awkward and forced cliffhangers ever.
• "The One with the Male Nanny" (super-sized)
Yeah, this is probably my least-favorite episode on the disc. The crying
male nanny gag wears thin fast and the writers missed a great opportunity to
bring Chandler and his humor-nemesis together for what could have been a
supernova of sarcasm. No thanks.
What's nice about this disc is the inclusion of three commentary tracks, delivered by showrunners Kevin S. Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane. They do their thing on "The One-Hundredth," "The One Where Rachel Has a Baby," and "The One with the Male Nanny" and talk about, among other things, the inspirations for the episodes, casting the guest stars, and formulating the stories. The only other aspect of note is the sound mix, an odd but appreciated Dolby Digital 5.0 surround mix.
If you have to possess every single Friends release ever, or, if you don't want to buy season sets and are content with picking up samplings like this, I'd recommend the disc. With the two extended offerings, you get a pile of Friends minutes to sift through, and there are some certifiable classic moments. Plus, the three commentary tracks are a most excellent addition. The series finale is conspicuously missing.
Not guilty. Back to the fountain with all of you.
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