Netflix’s Friends from College has been renewed for a second season.
This renewal, which was announced on Monday, was a bit of a shock, considering that reception of the series was almost universally poor. Alan Sepinwall of Hitfix, for example, wrote of the series: “Though its title and its cast suggest a hangout comedy in the vein of Happy Endings, the actuality of Friends From College is a shrill and unpleasant dramedy about the dangers of maintaining youthful friendships deep into adulthood.”
More eloquently, Maureen Ryan of Variety wrote: “Once in a while, members of the cast are able to lend a poignant or bittersweet note to the proceedings. But far more often, they are asked to pitch their performances in gratingly large and loud ways. Everything is oversized in ‘Friends From College’: Characters scream, shout and gesture wildly, to the point that other people on screen repeatedly ask them to rein in their sweaty hyperactivity.
Sepinwall and Ryan clearly were not the only critics to express distaste with the series, considering its volatile 24% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
As Sepinwall mentions, the show boasts a stellar cast. Cobie Smulders, Keegan-Michael Key, Annie Parisse, Fred Savage, Nat Faxon, Jae Suh Park, and Billy Eichner all are featured prominently in the series as a group of Harvard alumni who make up the titular friends from college. These performances were by far the least criticized element of the show, however.
Friends from College is only the most recent in a stream of Netflix renewals. Ozark, Netflix’s diet-Breaking Bad crime drama, was renewed last week, and GLOW, a comedy about women’s wrestling in the 80’s, was renewed the week before. The Naomi Watts drama Gypsy was not so lucky, however, joining the ranks of Bloodline, Sense8, and The Get Down in the cancellation pile. Perhaps with a second season, however, the show will have the opportunity to improve itself.
What do you think of this news? Do you think the critics were wrong about this one?