Once again, they could have picked over the leftovers better
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 12/12/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Once again the six episodes collected on "The Best of Friends Season 2" are what was selected after the choices episodes were already selected for the "The Best of Friends: Top 10 Episodes" ("The One Where Ross Finds Out," "The One with the Prom Video") and "The Best of Friends: 10 Fan Favorites" ("The One Where Ross and Rachel...You Know"). Fortunately, that is only three episodes out of the mix, so there are better pickings for this collection than we found on the same DVD for Season 1. The problem is there are really only two solid episodes here:"The One With Ross's New Girlfriend" is the season premier for Season 2, which picks up at the airport where Rachel discovers her big plan to reveal her love for Ross will be rather difficult now that he is back in town arm-in-arm with paleontologist Julie. However the fun part is when Phoebe confuses Dudley Moore with Demi Moore while working on Monica's hair. This is where a strong start becomes a "Friends" tradition."The One Where Heckles Dies" has mean old Mr. Heckles downstairs dropping dead and getting back on Monica and Rachel beyond the grave by willing them his entire apartment of junk. Meanwhile, Ross is losing it because Phoebe refuses to believe in evolution. This is the second of the two really solid episodes here."The One With Phoebe's Husband" revels that Phoebe has been married to Duncan, her gay Canadian friend, so that he can get a green card. But that is not the only secret that is revealed as we learn who has more than two nipples and who has only been with one woman in his life. I always had a bit of a problem with this episode because Rachel goes way too far in trying to break up Ross and Julie."The One With The List" is another episode with a problematic contrivance. Ross has to choose between Rachel and Julie, so of course he makes a list and checks it twice. Actually, he checks it once; Rachel checks it the second time. I know the Ross-Rachel bit has a great payoff with the end of "The One with the Prom Video," but they are really stringing us along here."The One After The Superbowl (Parts 1 & 2)" should have been called night of the Hollywood stars since we have Chandler meeting up with the girl he teased in the fourth grade, who grew up to be Julia Roberts, Joey being stalked by Brooke Shields, Phoebe falling for Chris Isaak, and Rachel and Monica fighting over Jean-Claude Van Damme on the set of "Outbreak 2," which leaves Ross to hook up with Marcel, the new movie star. Talk about overkill, this is a case where more is less. Roberts and Matthew Perry are far and away the best of these bits, which just makes the rest of them look like the people on the losing side of the biggest football game of the year. Who was it that year? I know this is a memorable episode, but it is not a great one by any means.Once again, I have to question some of the choices here. I would keep the first two, ditch the rest, and substituted "The One with the Breast Milk," "The One with the Baby on the Bus," "The One with Barry & Mindy's Wedding," and "The One Where Old Yeller Dies." How could you not put that last one on this list? Even "The One Where Joey Moves Out" and "The One Where Eddie Moves In" would have been better. One of the things that you notice about Season 2 is that "Friends" got off to a great start and then things went into a holding pattern while Ross and Rachel put off the inevitable. Maybe the idea is to convince you to pass over this less than adequate selection and go right for the complete Season 2 on DVD."