Friends from College

The glorification of adultery.

Created by: Francesca Delbanco & Nicholas Stoller

Starring: Keegan-Michael Key, Fred Savage, Annie Parisse & Cobie Smulders

friendscollege

One of my favorite things to do is check out a film or tv show that I have absolutely no clue what its about. Just sit back and allow a story to be told to me without a predetermined conscience to effect my enjoyment. It can be a hit or miss kind of game to play and this round was most certainly a miss.

This show is nonsense. Its entire premise is centered around six college friends who are so consumed with their own lives that they fail to notice how selfishly terrible of a human being they are. I’ll be honest and upfront here, I have personal bias towards the subject matter of adultery. So my opinion may be swayed a touch. The opening scene of this eight episode series on Netflix is a man and woman engaged in the intimate throws of passion. An attempt at a comedic scene where the man has to go out in a snowstorm to get a box of condoms follows. The man then returns to find out the woman has to leave immediately and get back to her husband…oops. She suggests the man get back to his wife who, oh by the way, she has known since college because they belong in this fun group of friends that stayed close all these years.

I honestly don’t know what this series was going for. It wasn’t a drama and it had minimal humor. Keegan-Michael Key whom I normally am a big fan of, pretty much played his Key and Peele character the entire series. Over-the-top paranoid eccentricities that was constantly spelled by he doing funny voices in random moments. I was pretty disappointed in this as the lead character for the series.

He was not alone because there was only one character that you feel any emotion towards. Each one of them takes turns pushing you to not like them that by the end of the series you simply don’t care what happens to them. The one character that gains any sympathy was played by Fred Savage. You feel his turmoil as he struggles to integrate his long time friends and his current fiancé. The fiancé, played by Billy Eichner, is written to be over the top bland so he can automatically not fit in with the rest of the group. If this was the sole purpose of writing this character this way, then cool. If it was as added dead-pan comic relief, then they failed horribly.

Cobie Smulders and Annie Parisse both gave solid performances in their attempts to give arc to their characters. Yet, none of it came off as genuine. Every time Parisse said she would never sleep with Keys character again you never once believed it to be true. Smulders, playing the wife of Key, never in over 20 years suspects an affair until a failed In Vitro attempt creates a post partum situation which pushes her away from her husband. She then chooses not to communicate with him about this but to sleep with one of the other men in their friend group.

The lack of depth to these characters was what was most disappointing. Were they only given an eight episode run so they chose to rush through these storylines? Why couldn’t they have developed better and left more adultery for season two?

I won’t stop randomly watching shows without any research first. Win some and lose some with that game and I truly enjoy it. Again, this round is a loss. With no moral standard and a glorification of adultery, lack of character development and depth as well as bland storylines…I can’t really recommend checking this out.

4.5 outta 10

-Brian

 

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