Funny? Well, it’s com­pli­cated

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Pay Television - Friends from Col­lege,

Be­gin­ning a TV se­ries about re­la­tion­ships with a sex scene seems de rigueur these days. I’ve be­gun to sus­pect they are teach­ing it at film school: S-Ex­po­si­tion 101. It at least sup­ports the screen­writ­ing maxim “show, don’t tell”.

Co­me­dian Kee­gan-Michael Key, of Key & Peele fame, is hot prop­erty these days. He has done voice work for an­i­mated come­dies such as Bo­jack Horse­man, Archer and Su­perMan­sion, and has a star­ring role in the next Preda­tor film due out next year.

Here he plays Ethan Turner, a semi-suc­cess­ful lit­er­ary nov­el­ist mar­ried to Lisa, a lawyer played by Co­bie Smul­ders ( How I Met Your Mother, Avengers). He is cheat­ing on her with Sam (An­nie Parisse, Law & Or­der). The con­ceit is that this has been go­ing on for 20 years, since they all went to col­lege to­gether. Their other friends in­clude Max ( The Won­der Years’ Fred Sav­age), Nick (Nat Faxon) and Mar­i­anne (Jae Suh Park).

There is more than a dash here of the 1992 film Peter’s Friends, which starred Stephen Fry, Emma Thomp­son, Ken­neth Branagh, Hugh Lau­rie and Imelda Staunton — by which I mean that 30some­thing old friends, as much as they love each other, can be com­pet­i­tive “lit­tle bitches”, as one char­ac­ter says here.

In this first episode, Ethan and Lisa de­cide to move back to New York, while Ethan and Sam agree to end their af­fair. Max, Ethan’s lit­er­ary agent, tries to con­vince him to try his hand at young adult fic­tion — a dispir­it­ing no­tion for him.

It is a fine-look­ing pro­duc­tion, with a sound­track that in­cludes nos­tal­gic songs from The Sun­days. But with so many ex­cel­lent se­ries around, its not clear that this one is dis­tinct enough to claim au­di­ences’ at­ten­tion. Fri­day. stream­ing on Net­flix from

Friends from col­lege raise a glass in the epony­mous Net­flix se­ries

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