Ah yes, the writers of Friends had their own logo at the end of each episode. I didn't think much of it. When I watched the show on Netflix I didn't care about it. I just noticed it looked pretty and colorful.
Then I got the Blu-rays and noticed it looked... not good... but oh well, no biggie. It's just a logo.
But then I got to Season 4 and was surprised at the end of an episode where the logo now looked crisp, it looked great!
So I went ahead a couple of episodes and checked if it would now be this high quality logo for the rest of the show, but nope. I got past Season 4, apparently missed the ends of S05E24 and S06E15 and got to S07E03, and noticed something. It was the high quality logo again!
Unfortunately I had to get up for work 4:30 in the morning, so I had to sleep, but I thought of it and decided to write a script to get to the bottom of it. I need to figure out which episodes has the high quality logo, and if possible, why?
So I wrote the script: BrightKauffmanCrane.py (it's pretty well documented, by my standards) and ran it and extracted all the logos:
So, here are the Blu-ray episodes that have the high quality logo:
Seemingly no pattern.
So that's great and all. Now I know which blu-ray episodes have the high quality logo and which doesn't. But this almost raises more question than it answers... Why only a few episodes? Presumably, the bad quality logo is from the original prints, so did it take them up to S04E13 to notice it and then decided to start replacing them? But then their boss came in and said that they're wasting money, and then the guy who did the other scattered episodes didn't get the memo and kept on replacing them with the high quality logo?
Here's the real mystery: On Netflix, all the episodes have the high quality logo.
This perplexes me as Netflix seemingly uses the Blu-ray versions:
So what did Netflix do? Here are my theories, sorted from most likely to least likely:
UPDATE August 7th 2016: I got a Viaplay account and saw that they had Friends on there, so ofcourse I have investigated.
Their versions are weird. They seem to be some kind of "WarnerTV" version.
Season 1 through 5 is some kind of 4:3 NTSC TV rip it looks like. It's not the extended DVD versions as the voices are pitched higher and the episodes arent over 22 minutes.
Season 6 through 10, however, is a 16:9 version. Initially, I thought this was just a plain Blu-ray version, as they have the bad quality BKC logo. But I then looked at one of the episodes that are susposed to have a good quality BKC logo and nope, it didn't have one.
Unlike the Netflix version, the one scene that is cut in TOW In Barbados (see footnote 1 below), is not cut in Viaplay's version, so there's one upside.
Sadly, all the episodes are watermarked by this WarnerTV logo, so here's my recommendation if you wanna stream the show legally and you're in Sweden:
Use Netflix for every episode except TOW In Barbados.
On the other hand, that one cut scene is not that much to care about (it's a phone call) so you can just use Netflix for all the episodes.
So that's it. Another blog post dedicated to something about Friends! I am really obsessed with that show. Usually my mind fluctuates and changes interest/thing to obsess over every week or so, but Friends has been obsessing me for over a month now.
2: I'm hoping to borrow my sister-in-laws' Friends DVD set and rip them all some weekend when they come up here so I can enjoy the extended versions in good quality (really hard to find a good quality rip of the DVDs)