Why “Friends from College” is a really bad show

In the short periods of time that I’m able to procrastinate during midterms season, I’m always on the hunt for a new, somewhat relaxed sitcom or comedy-drama that can serve to relieve at least some of my stress. I stumbled across “Friends from College” recently on Netflix, and while I’d heard scathing reviews (mostly from Rotten Tomatoes, who can be quite harsh), I also knew that Cobie Smulders is one of my favorite actresses from one of my favorite shows of all time -- How I Met Your Mother, of course! Also interesting to note is that this show focuses on a close group of middle-aged adults who all attended college together and end up reuniting in New York City. I’ve always wondered whether I’m going to maintain my friend groups from college after I graduate and start my career and how our relationships would evolve, so maybe this show would realistically portray my future in some way. After watching both seasons, however, I sincerely hope my life never comes to mirror the screwed-up decisions, attitudes, and dreadful behaviors these immature adults engage in. If you watch the first episode of the series, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

I’m aware that in order for programs to showcase a compelling element for viewers, there has to be a good deal of drama and tension incorporated among the character dynamics. Additionally, some of the characters have to be unlikeable to some degree, so we can easily differentiate between those who are good (the ones we care about) and those who are bad (the ones we can roll our eyes and scream at). The issue is, unfortunately, all of the characters suck and barely possess any redeemable qualities that can make them bearable to watch for half an hour. Two of the individuals from the friend group, Lisa and Ethan, have been married for years -- yet unbeknownst to Lisa, Ethan has been carrying on affair with one of the other women in the group, Sam, for a total of 20 YEARS. In my opinion there also exists zero chemistry between Lisa and Ethan, who it seems were intended to be the glue of the overall plot. Then you have Marianne, a failing actress who possesses the most nauseating voice and assumes the role as the weak link of the bunch -- as expected, her characterization goes no further. Max is the sidekick of Ethan and also doubles as his writing agent, yet in the midst of his 40s, it’s crazy he can uphold a full-fledged career given how childish he is. Nick, whom I initially overlooked as one-dimensional and boring due to living solely off his trust-fund and seeming like a stereotypical “macho” guy, is actually the person I was drawn to the most -- he has his own set of problems, namely his lazy lifestyle and inability to commit to a real relationship, but he doesn’t make me want to throw popcorn at my laptop screen for being incredibly foolish like the rest of his friends.

I’m someone who enjoys watching trashy comedies, in fact some of the most memorable programs or films have been those that aren’t always well-received by critics and viewers alike. But if I’m watching a show and I’m literally speaking aloud how stupid the plots and characters are, how these depictions would never exist in reality, and how I would do things so so so much differently when I grow older, then I need to stop. I don’t know how I watched two seasons -- I think I was zoning out half of the time and contemplating how in the world I would finish my massive load of homework for the ensuing week. On the other hand, if you’ve exhausted all of the availabilities on Netflix and don’t have a tendency to severely analyze and criticize every miniscule aspect of a show like I do, then maybe you’re in luck. I’m just warning you in advance, it’s really bad.