For what it’s worth (and since Netflix just cancelled the series, that’s probably not much), I liked the second season of Friends from College more than I liked the first. You can read my review of the first season here.
It’s still a miss for me, though. It tries hard, but the show just isn’t funny. This is harsh criticism to level at something billed as a “comedy.” Season 2 is slightly less wince-inducing, so that’s a point in its favor.
Early in this season, the always-funny Billy Eichner’s character Felix gives a concise synopsis of Season 1 to their instructor as he and Max (Fred Savage) are rehearsing their wedding dance.
Felix says, “All of his straight married friends were sleeping with each other. It was very scandalous. Two words: epic shitshow. People did not like it.” The dialogue also acknowledges the predominant public critical response to the season. This is genuinely funny.
Since relationships were destroyed all around during the first season, we at least get to leave behind all of that sordid stuff. There’s still plenty of sex and shenanigans in these eight episodes, and sneaking around of the non-married variety, but I like all of the characters somewhat more at the end of this season than I did the first.
The premise and the writing on the show never really capitalized on what is an excellent cast. I would love to see someone else scoop all of these actors up and immediately put them in another, better show. Keegan-Michael Key, Cobie Smulders, Nat Faxon and Fred Savage deserve to be called out for their excellent performances. That’s four of the six “friends.” Which is not to say that Jae Suh Park and Annie Parisse are slackers in the acting department either. It’s just that they’re still playing my two least-favorite characters.
The season-long arc is about Max and Felix’s upcoming nuptials. This is what brings the Harvard friends back together a year after the group disbanded due to overwhelming drama. Other things besides the engagement party, the bachelor party, and the wedding happen during the season, but these events form the spine of the arc. The overall result is a more cohesive, mature series this time out. Still not as funny as I want it to be, but you get what you get.
As I mentioned at the top of the page, the show has already been cancelled, so there will be no additional episodes of Friends from College coming out. In a way, it’s a shame. Season 3 may have been the one where everything suddenly came together in a way that really worked.
But that wasn’t my experience with Season 2.
Firewater Season 2 Report Card: C