I am a huge fan of Keegan Michael-Key, so when I saw the new Netflix series Friends from College being advertised, I knew I would be watching it. When I found out Nicholas Stoller, director of the unconventional rom-com Forgetting Sarah Marshall directed the whole series, I became even more excited. I ended up binging the 8 thirty minute episodes over a period of two days.
Friends from College has a solid cast and proven comedic director
I think that the writing of the series has its ups and downs. As can be expected, knowing the rest of the director’s filmography, a lot of the humor is dirty or raunchy. It can be funny at times, but instead of the darkly sarcastic tone held by many of the director’s other works, it went more for shock humor most of the time. There are glimmers of brilliance in the humor, but for the most part, it just provides mindless laughs. The storyline is also a lot more conventional than I would have expected. The “twists” are all really predictable. The character development is what made me enjoy the show so much. The characters are all made to be flawed and human so that they can be sympathetic.
The execution is definitely solid, with production values on the higher end of sitcoms. There are a lot of cool editing tricks used in the series because of the structure of the storyline. The acting is great, too. One of the biggest surprises was Billy Eichner, who played a surprisingly subdued role. Other than him, Keegan Michael Key brings his signature charm and charisma to the role, and Fred Savage is lovably goofy as his character too.
Overall, I ended up enjoying “Friends from College”. With only eight thirty-minute episodes, it’s an easy watch that still feels satisfyingly complete. It isn’t perfect, but I think it’s “Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy”.
This review was written by Big Tuna from the Big Tuna on Film Blog. Make sure to check out bigtunaonfilm.weebly.com for more great movie reviews!