Thursday, July 27, 2017

Friends from College Season 1 Netflix Series Review

Friends from College (2017-)
Season 1 - 8 episodes (2017)

Watch Friends from College on Netflix
Created by:  Francesca Delbanco, Nicholas Stoller
Starring:  Keegan-Michael Key, Fred Savage, Nat Faxon, Cobie Smulders, Billy Eichner
Rating: TV-MA

This dramedy follows Harvard alums in their 40s balancing old friendships, former romantic relationships, and varying degrees of success as they reminisce about college life.

This feels like a Saturday Night Live skit adapted to a drama. Keegan-Michael Key hams up every scene he's in and it rarely makes sense in the context of a drama. He could do the exact same thing in a SNL skit and it would fit the scene.
The audacious scenes are broken up with boilerplate drama, romances and affairs. This could be a likeable sit-com if it was toned down to be simple and funny. I didn't watch all the episodes, but I can only take so much.
Skip it.

It frequently feels like it's trying too hard. It's a tepid drama with really over the top comedy relief or a unfunny comedy with a lot of standard drama. This is all over the place, going from affairs and fertility doctors directly to drug binges and illicit affairs. It's not grounded. While real life can be incredibly funny, it's not silly just to force a joke. This show has no subtlety.

A group of college friends are all back in the same city. They've experiencing varying levels of success and one of the spouses comments that the group is petty, always trying to outdo each other. That's a good hook that can take dark turns while still being funny, but the show doesn't really explore further than surface level, at least not in the four episodes I saw. Instead the show would rather present us with a trio of many trying to grab each other's genitalia because that's their special greeting from college.

Key is the opposite of a grounded reality. Taking him out of the show would make this much more realistic and more of a drama, or re-tool the show to be about this really awkward guy that's hitting a mid-life crisis of sorts while he tries to write a mainstream book. I don't know what this show is because it tries to do everything and succeeds at nothing.

Key does impressions whenever he's nervous which is far beyond my suspension of disbelief. When he runs the risk of getting caught in an affair at his partner's house as the alarm isounds, he throws a chair through the window so it will look like a break in. The show addressed how the glass will be on the wrong side of the window, but it's a decision that makes no sense, much like many decisions in this show. He then takes a call from his wife with all the commotion. Why not wait? That's the logical thing, but this show is always looking for a way to create some comedy relief out of stupid character decisions. That's fine for a wacky comedy, but this frequently seems to attempt drama.

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