7/13/2017

Review:Netflix's 'Friends From College' Starring Keegan Michael Key, Fred Savage, & Cobie Smulders


So Friends from College is an interesting show because it doesn’t start out that funny and is pretty sexually explicit, which you really wouldn’t expect from the trailers they had going around. The show has a large and talented cast with Keegan Michael Key, Fred Savage, Cobie Smulders, Annie Parisse, Nat Faxon, and Jae Suh Park with Billy Eichner recurring in most of the episodes. The main thrust of the season has Ethan and Lisa Turner (Key and Smulders) moving to New York City for a new job Lisa just took, putting them closer to their very close friends from college. So again going back to the promotion of the show you’d think this would be more of a group storyline but it’s really mostly about Ethan and Sam (Parisse) who (*SPOILER ALERT*) are in an affair that started before Ethan and Lisa moved to New York from Chicago. So much of the season deals with their need to be together while being unable to leave their marriages. The whole time you’re sitting there waiting for Lisa to find out, to see this betrayal from two people she’s so close to, but something else happens. Fred Savage’s Max is played a lot of the time as out of the loop while Eichner’s Felix, his partner, is played as the ultimate straight man to the group’s antics. Eichner was pretty much a standout in this whole show because you could end up getting tired of a lot of the characters' actions and decisions pretty quickly.

The show is more drama than comedy , and I ended up interested but usually pretty depressed from each of the episodes. The actors and the writing do a great job of making fully well-rounded characters. They do choose to focus on Than, Sam, Lisa, and Max while leaving others unexplored.  Faxon’s Nick is just shown basically as a man who really hasn’t grown up too much (Travis' edit: Isn't that every role for Faxon?) and you don't see many possibilities of a story for him until the last two episodes. The one I feel the most wanting for is Park’s Marianne. sShe’s essentially the group’s sidekick, and as a viewer I want to see more and more of her life and how she puts up with her self-absorbed friends.

The tone I pure Nicholas Stoller (Neighbors) pretty much the whole way.  Filled with moments of heart but also middle-aged adolescence is fully apparent here in this show. So many characters are assholes yet also likable but they still kind of turn you off in the end. There is a moment of just unbearable awkwardness and selfishness that made it a bit of a chore in the middle of the season. The end of the season brings things up to an interesting place that gives you the energy to watch more, but not enough to sit through another whole season.

Friends from College hits Netflix on July 14th.

Rating: 3 out of 5