‘Friends From College’ Season 2 Review: Netflix Sitcom is Most Improved in Sophomore Year

IndieWire | 1/11/2019 | Staff
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Hey, it worked! A comedy with all the right pieces, which were pushed and pulled into all the wrong places, got the time to learn, adjust, and grow. Season 1 of Nicholas Stoller and Francesca Delbanco’s “Friends From College” was a messy disappointment, making Season 2 is a charming surprise. It’s almost like time, patience, and talent are … virtues? Like TV creators often need a little trial and error to crack their projects? Like this is how TV is supposed to be made?

Not that any of these characters would know it. Still revolving around a group of dysfunctional, self-centered friends, the second season of Netflix’s comedy lays out the hard truth fast and often — taking its cue from Felix (Billy Eichner) during the opening scene. As he and Max (Fred Savage) rehearse a (pretty great) dance routine for their impending nuptials, Felix has to explain to their instructor why his fiancé is so worried about all his friends being in the same room again.

Friends - Felix - Essence - Season - Anyone

“All of his straight married friends were sleeping with each other,” Felix says. “It was very scandalous.” That, in essence, sums up Season 1 for anyone who missed it, and his next line perfectly evokes the consensus critical and cultural reaction: “Two words: epic shitshow. People did not like it.”

That should change in Season 2. So much of “Friends From College” Season 1 is about hiding, lying, and faking. The series began by showing Ethan (Keegan-Michael Key) and Sam (Annie Parisse) in the throes of their adulterous affair, and the following eight episodes danced around Ethan not telling his wife, Lisa (Cobie Smulders), Sam not telling her husband, Jon (Greg Germann), and the rest of their friends not getting too caught up in their toxic relationships that they, too, fall prey to cheating.


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