No one was expecting Friends From College to become the next Friends, and at some point executives and networks need to stop looking for a replacement of the iconic ‘90s sitcom, but did anyone really expect Netflix’s latest comedy to be this bad?
The show, about a group of six Harvard alumni pushing 40, is a complete waste of time and talent. Keegan-Michael Key, Cobie Smulders, Nat Faxon and Fred Savage are just some of the familiar faces you’ll see if you decide to torture yourself for 8 long and dreary episodes, but sadly even the great cast can’t fix what’s fundamentally wrong with this show: it’s not funny. Writers Nicholas Stoller and Francesca Delbanco rely on cheap jokes and cringe-inducing plot contrivances, and if you stick with the show long enough to see Seth Rogen (yes, that Seth Rogen), then you’ve gone far enough. Congratulations and I’m sorry.
Comedy isn’t even the only issue with Friends From College; there’s simply absolutely no one to root for on this show. There’s nothing wrong with watching flawed characters, but while creating such characters has become the “cool” thing to do on TV recently, this one misses the point and ends up crafting an unentertaining show about terrible people making terrible decisions. Our two main characters, Ethan (Keegan-Michael) and Sam (Annie Parisse), who have been cheating on their respective partners for years, are beyond unlikable within the first 20 minutes of the show. Their horribleness, which includes burying their friend’s very-much-alive bunny in the middle of the woods, has no boundaries as the season progresses. Their other halves aren’t the greatest people either, but at least Lisa (Smulders) shows some remorse for her actions, regardless of how forced those actions were in the first place.
Ultimately, this show fails at the one thing it was trying so hard at: translate a successful movie genre into a television show. It might be fun to watch a group of idiots at the theaters for an hour and a half as they get drunk and eat McDonald’s outside a party bus (although really?), but there’s no way anyone would want to spend time with these people in the comfort of their own homes.
If you’re looking for a new summer comedy to enjoy, then look as far away as possible. Don’t let the amusing title credits fool you; this one is a complete dud from its semi-promising start to its highly disappointing finish.