At first glance one may not believe there are enough Friends having babies to warrant a compilation DVD. But don't be misled by the title: only three of the five episodes are set in the hospital. A couple of miscellaneous baby-themed episodes--"The One With the Baby on the Bus" (season two) and "The One With the Male Nanny" (season nine)--are good installments, but still feel out of place against the more showy where's-my-epidural hospital-set shows. The One With All the Babies
compilation begins with "The One With the Birth," in which Ross (David Schwimmer) and lesbian ex-wife Carol welcome their son Ben. "The One Hundredth," in season five, had the loopiest premise--Phoebe's surrogate delivery of her half-brother's triplets--but Lisa Kudrow's stellar acting as she struggled with giving up the babies won her an Emmy. An Emmy also went to Jennifer Aniston the year Rachel went through pregnancy, culminating in a 48-hour labor in the aptly named "The One Where Rachel Has a Baby" (season eight) that's at once hilarious and tearful. Sadly, the series-finale birth of Monica (Courteney Cox) and Chandler's (Matthew Perry) adopted twins is not included, but should have been.
Watching them back to back, it's funny seeing how much the characters' maturities have evolved (not to mention their hairstyles). However, the disc adds nothing new in addition to the extra footage never aired on TV and producer commentary found on existing Friends DVDs. If you already own several season boxed sets, these repackaged highlight reels are completely redundant. But if you're enough of a fan to want some of the best episodes of the show's 10-year run, this is not a bad place to start. --Ellen A. Kim
The smash-hit comedy series Friends is now available in three new compilations, including Birthday, Wedding and Baby themed collections. Compiling the best episodes from all ten seasons, these compilations make the ideal gift to mark life's special occasions!