DAVID BIANCULLI

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FRIENDS FROM COLLEGE
July 14, 2017  | By David Bianculli

Netflix, 3:00 a.m. ET

 

SERIES PREMIERE: In the opening sequence, the words of this comedy’s title come up one at a time – so for a second, the first thing you see is a sitcom named Friends. But though Netflix would love for you to confuse this with that classic comedy – after all, it’s about a half-dozen friends who seemingly can’t stop hanging out together, despite other relationships in their lives – there’s no way. In Friends from College, the college is Harvard, the graduates are getting together in New York 20 years later, and they all seem aggressively self-centered. Imagine Friends as populated by the characters from Seinfeld, and you’ll be close. Imagine some of them having vocal sex or secret affairs with one another, and you’ll be closer. But why would you want to be? This sitcom employs some talented performers I really like a lot: Fred Savage from The Wonder Years, Cobie Smulders from How I Met Your Mother, Keegan-Michael Key from Key & Peele, and such supporting players as Greg Germann from Ally McBeal. But only Germann and Savage elicit the right amount of empathy and humor. For the rest, it’s nothing more than Alumni Behaving Badly, and not really worth the time.

 
 
 
 
 
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