Friends: The Complete Series [Blu-Ray]

BY Serena WhitneyPublished Dec 21, 2012

Whether you consider the sound of the Rembrandts' "I'll Be There For You" a security blanket aimed at the Generation X demographic or a dry form of water-torture, there's no denying that Friends was one of the hugest pop culture phenomenons. At some point, everybody experienced it, whether they liked it or not. It may seem odd that it's taken over eight years since the series finale to release a Blu-Ray collection of one of the most celebrated sitcoms of all-time, but it's an easy cash-grab, getting all those gullible, die-hard fans to spend their hard-earned money on episodes they most likely know verbatim. Ironically, die-hards will be the most disappointed with this expensive Blu-Ray set, since all of the discs only feature the broadcast versions of the episodes, rather than the extended cuts the previous DVD box sets offered, which is unfortunate since the extended cuts featured profanity and some of the show's funniest set pieces. Also, the episodes are now in wide-screen, which makes it a little uneasy to watch when the episodes randomly change ratio to hide the behind-the-scenes crew during certain scenes. However, one of the best things this collection offers is the ability to watch this once beloved show from the very beginning to the end, with viewers witnessing how the group changed over the years. Viewers will witness the evolution of the Rachel 'do, while also seeing the devolution of Ross's I.Q. the better his hairstyle got and how obvious Phoebe's wig was in season six. Fans will also get a kick out of Matthew Perry's yo-yoing weight during his drug addiction years and can even pinpoint the exact episode Courteney Cox made the ill-advised decision to start botox injections. The most surprising revelation is that dim-witted Joey was honestly the most consistent and funniest of the entire group. The Blu-Ray collection comes with a slew of extras. All 236 episodes come in 21 Blu-Ray discs in a hardcover book inside a lenticular box cover. There are over 20 hours of bonus material; however, most of those special features (including gag reels, music videos and interviews) were featured in the previous DVD releases. There are, however, four hours of new extras that include true documentaries, with interviews with the series' creators, writers and producers. (Unsurprisingly, there are no new features involving the actors.) The best new feature is the original producer's cut for "The One Where Rachel Tells Ross," as it involves inappropriately funny footage cut from the original broadcast (due to 9/11 happening a week earlier), including Chandler getting arrested at the airport for joking about bombs.

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