The Mediocrity Of "Friends From College"

The Mediocrity Of "Friends From College"

...But Why It Works For A Netflix Show.
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The new Netflix Original show, "Friends from College," is exactly what you would expect it to be. A show about middle aged friends who are experiencing life after college. Now, I am using middle aged sparingly because they are either in their forties or just turning it. This is not a typical show about thirty-somethings experiencing (the soon thereafter) life after college and partying twenty-four-seven.

This is entirely different. Most of the characters are married, or married and have children, or married and are trying to have children. Some are single; some are living the forty-year-old life after college. However, this is still not the typical “life after college” show. The show is centered around a twenty-year adultery scandal, which is an overused plot and very very bland nowadays; but, “Friends from College” did it once again in 2017.

What makes this show different is the cast, right off the bat -- we have one part of "Key and Peele," Keegan-Michael Key who plays the main character of the show, Ethan Turner. He is hilarious in this show; I would watch the show just for the fact that he is hilarious in anything he ever does. That saves the show often.

Cobie Smulders as Lisa Turner who is Ethan Turner’s wife. This is a different casting choice because I only see her as Maria Hill nowadays. Annie Parisse as Sam, Nat Faxon as Nick, Fred Savage has made a return as Max Adler, and Jae Suh Park as Marianne. These six characters make up “Friends from College.”

Why It Only Works For A Netflix Original Show

It works for a Netflix Original show because Netflix is known to take leaps of faith. It works in a sense that – it would not work for any other network but Netflix. The show is quite bland and does not bring anything ‘interesting’ to the table.

It is a show about forty-somethings who are terrible people; this can be seen in episode two, titled “Connecticut House.” In this particular episode, it is entirely about adultery and killing a bunny... so they think.

There is nothing special about the episode that stands out; however, Ethan and Sam are toying with fate as they continue their cheating scandal. Moreover, what makes matters even worse is – Sam has children with her husband John, played by John Germann. It appears that these set of couples are terrible people in a terrible TV show.

The only thing that saves this show is the comedic relief from Keegan-Michael Key and often, surprisingly, Fred Savage. Without Key and Savage in this show, it would have faltered more so than it already did. That does not mean it is a bad show. It works for Netflix as I said.

Most Netflix Originals are bland and very hit-or-miss. Netflix, as I stated before, seems just to be taking a leap of faith on shows and movies that do not work for Networks. This is one of those shows. While it is not bad, it is not good. There is a category of shows on Netflix that can be titled, “Background Noise Shows;” this would be under that category.

It overestimates the audience it is pulling for. Most Millennials are watching Netflix and baby-boomers in their forties are not necessarily watching new shows on a streaming site called Netflix. While they might, and the demographic could be at least half of baby-boomers are watching Netflix and new shows on Netflix – it is still a small percentage.

Most Millennials are watching these new TV shows and, dare I say it, taking a leap of faith on them. They are watching the first episode and deciding from then on if they will continue. This show might make half continue and half not continue (hit-or-miss).

The characters of the show are simply forty-somethings doing childish things: taking drugs, cheating, complaining, getting drunk every other day (or every weekend), taking Adderall, and merely acting like they are twenty in a forty-year-old body.

There is nothing wrong with that, it is perfectly fine, but there is also an adult world; bills need to be paid, jobs need to be worked, and the characters on this show simply come off as a privileged joke.

It is more so like they just graduated college, instead of being out of college for years and years, maybe even a decade now. Moreover, what makes matters worse is – most, if not all, of these characters, went to Harvard. They remind you of that. However, they do not act like it.

What makes the show irritating, at best, is Ethan is continuing to work with his wife using IVF to get her pregnant. This is even though he has been cheating on her for over twenty years. It makes you angry, more than anything else watching the show; in the episode titled, “Mission Impossible” it shows just that.

Ethan is going through everything and trying to get his wife pregnant, but he knows he is cheating on her in that same retrospect. I wish the show centered around the aftermath of adultery or how to work through adultery. It would have made the show more prominent and relatable, in a way.

Why It Would Not Work For A Network Show?

It does not work for a network show because no one would tune into a show about forty-somethings trying their hand at life. Most people want to see “Friends from College” as people in their thirties. They want to feel related to these characters. What “Friends from College” falters in is that relatable factor.

While people can relate to adultery and trying their hand at life, these characters are wasted on bland acting and bland results. We do not get many dimensions; it is very one-dimensional with these characters in the show.

They are nearly forty, or forty, and living on their friend’s couch because they decided to get a U-Haul and move back to New York. Usually, people get an apartment soon thereafter when they are forty because who wants to live on a pull-out couch at forty years old?

There are just some aspects that are not relatable, which results in inconsistency. By episode six titled, “Party Bus” it becomes a daunting task to finish the series. With just two episodes left, you get bored, and the plots seem to all blend into one another. By the sixth episode, you are wondering, “Okay, but what else?” It is the same old, same old, and makes you want to switch to something else.

It would not work for a Network for that reasoning. Networks need polished shows, with multiple plot points, and multiple ‘jaw-dropping’ episodes. Affairs do not do that for TV anymore. The use of affairs on TV, sadly, has become the norm. It does not provide anything for the TV series that it is being used in – shows can do it correctly, but they can also do it incorrectly.

“Friends from College” does it incorrectly. It does not show any resentment from these characters that are having an affair. Sam does not take her children into account. Ethan still tries to have a child with his wife, although he is having sex with another woman. No one thinks about their choices at their age in the show. Which, again, is weird because they are forty. At that age, you usually do not make drastic decisions such as the ones these characters are making.

Ethan and Lisa live on their friend’s couch, yet still have money to go on wine tastings and go to expensive restaurants. It appears that they are not thinking about their own life or even finding their own place. The first time they look for their own place is in episode three titled, “All-Nighter.” It took them three episodes to look for a place.

The show falters in many ways that would lead to a Network not picking up the show.

Verdict: Is It Any Good?

It is decent; if you want a new show to watch that will keep you interested – not the show for you. If you want a show for background noise, that you can work and watch at the same time – I would say go for it.

The show has some interesting moments, such as the IVF moments. They are relatable – but, are often downplayed by the preceding or upcoming events that happen. It appears while this show stands on good morals and a good, decent plot -- it does not efficiently produce those well for the show.

Terrible acting clouds the course of these eight episodes, and forty-year-olds acting like twenty-year-olds. That sucks because some of these actors are some of the best actors in the game. It is a show full of adultery and terrible choices if that is something you are into then, by all means, check out "Friends from College."

Cover Image Credit: Deadline

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50 Quotes from the Best Vines

If you're picturing the vines in your head, you're doing it right
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In 2017 we had to say goodbye to one of the best websites to ever roam the internet: Vine. In case you have been living under a rock since 2013, Vine was -(sad face)- a website and app that took the internet and the app store by storm in Winter 2013. It contained 6-second videos that were mostly comedy- but there were other genres including music, sports, cool tricks and different trends. Vine stars would get together and plan out a vine and film it till they got it right.

It was owned by Twitter and it was shut down because of so many reasons; the viners were leaving and making money from Youtube, there was simply no money in it and Twitter wanted us to suffer.

There's been a ton of threads on Twitter of everyone's favorite vines so I thought I'd jump in and share some of my favorites. So without further ado, here are some quotes of vines that most vine fanatics would know.

1. "AHH...Stahhp. I coulda dropped mah croissant"

2. "Nate how are those chicken strips?" "F%#K YA CHICKEN STRIPS.....F%#K ya chicken strips!"

3. "Road work ahead? Uh Yea, I sure hope it does"

4. "Happy Crimus...." "It's crismun..." "Merry crisis" "Merry chrysler"

5. "...Hi Welcome to Chili's"

6. "HoW dO yOu kNoW wHaT's gOoD fOr mE?" "THAT'S MY OPINIONNN!!!.."

7."Welcome to Bible Study. We're all children of Jesus... Kumbaya my looordd"

8. Hi my name's Trey, I have a basketball game tomorrow. Well I'm a point guard, I got shoe game..."

9. "It's a avocadooo...thanks"

10. "Yo how much money do you have?" "69 cents" "AYE you know what that means?" "I don't have enough money for chicken nuggets"

11. "Hurricane Katrina? More like Hurricane Tortilla."

12. "Hey Tara you want some?" "This b*%th empty. YEET!"

13. "Get to Del Taco. They got a new thing called Freesha-- Free-- Freeshavaca do"

14. "Mothertrucker dude that hurt like a buttcheek on a stick"

15. "Two brooss chillin in a hot tub 5 feet apart cuz they're not gay"

16. "Jared can you read number 23 for the class?" "No I cannot.... What up I'm Jared, I'm 19 and I never f#@%in learned how to read."

17. "Not to be racist or anything but Asian people SSUUGHHH"

18. 18. "I wanna be a cowboy baby... I wanna be a cowboy baby"

19. "Hey, I'm lesbian" "I thought you were American"

20. "I spilled lipstick in your Valentino bag" "you spilled- whaghwhha- lipstick in my Valentino White bag?"

21. "What's better than this? Guys bein dudes"

22. "How'd you get these bumps? ya got eggzma?" "I got what?" "You got eggzma?"

23. "WHAT ARE THOSEEEEE?" "THEY are my crocs!"

24. "Can I get a waffle? Can I please get a waffle?"

25. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAVEN!" "I can't sweem"

26. "Say Coloradoo" "I'M A GIRAFFE!!"

27. "How much did you pay for that taco?" Aight yo you know this boys got his free tacoo"

28. *Birds chirping* "Tweekle Tweekle"

29. "Girl, you're thicker than a bowl of oatmeal"

30. "I brought you Frankincense" "Thank you" "I brought you Myrrh" "Thank you" "Mur-dur" "huh...Judas..no"

31. "Sleep? I don't know about sleep...it's summertime" "You ain't go to bed?" "Oh she caught me"

32. "All I wanna tell you is school's not important... Be whatever you wanna be. If you wanna be a dog...RUFF. You know?"33. "Oh I like ya accent where you from?" "I'm Liberian" "Oh, my bad *whispering* I like your accent..."

34. "Next Please" "Hello" "Sir, this is a mug shot" "A mug shot? I don't even drink coffee"


35. "Hey did you happen to go to class last week?" "I have never missed a class"

36. "Go ahead and introduce yourselves" "My name is Michael with a B and I've been afraid of insects my entire-" "Stop, stop, stop. Where?" "Hmm?" "Where's the B?" "There's a bee?"

37. "There's only one thing worse than a rapist...Boom" "A child" "No"

38. "Later mom. What's up me and my boys are going to see Uncle Kracker...GIVE ME MY HAT BACK JORDAN! DO YOU WANNA SEE UNCLE KRACKER OR NO?


39. "Dad look, it's the good kush." This is the dollar store, how good can it be?"

40. "Zach stop...Zach stop...You're gonna get in trouble. Zach"

41. "CHRIS! Is that a weed? "No this is a crayon-" I'm calling the police" *puts 911 into microwave* "911 what's your emergency"

42. "WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? "

43. *Blowing vape on table* * cameraman blows it away* "ADAM"

44. "Would you like the spider in your hand?" "Yea" "Say please" "Please" *puts spider in hand* *screams*

45. "Oh hi, thanks for checking in I'm still a piece of garrbaagge"

46. *girl blows vape* "...WoW"

47. *running* "...Daddy?" "Do I look like-?"

48. *Pours water onto girl's face" "Hello?"

49. "Wait oh yes wait a minute Mr. Postman" "HaaaAHH"

50. "...And they were roommates" "Mah God they were roommates"


I could literally go on forever because I just reference vines on a daily basis. Rest in peace Vine

Cover Image Credit: Vine

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Do not fear the subtitle, embrace it

Why you shouldn't let a fear of "reading" while watching stop you from amazing shows or films...why you should embrace the subtitle.

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I am a lover of all movies, encompassing drama, comedy, romance, action, adventure, etcetera, etcetera. Whether films have subtitles is of no consequence to me now, but it wasn't always like that. In my younger and more vulnerable years, I heavily feared and avoided the dreaded subtitles, pesky words that meant reading when all I wanted to do was mindlessly absorb whatever moving image was on the screen of choice in front of me. I consciously stayed away from foreign films where I would have to put subtitles on and read actual words instead of just being able to listen and absorb whatever the characters were saying. I would love to say that my eluding of foreign films went away with age and was replaced with an eclectic taste for all films subtitled with languages alien to my American ears. Alas, that would not be the truth.

In actuality, my venture into the world of foreign films was forced upon me by high school level French classes where the teachers thought all of us 15 year-olds would suddenly become half fluent in a language we spoke 40 minutes a day if we watched a movie in said language. Sadly, I did not become fluent in French thanks to those high school classes; they did, however, lay the groundwork for a foundation of appreciation for foreign films. And they erased my fear and avoidance of all movies subtitled, instead, the forced high school French films of my mid-teen years created an appreciation for subtitles.

Instead of avoiding movies where I had to read the dialogue at all costs I, cautiously at first, started watching movies where the language was not of my tongue. I started with French films considering I was taking the language, and have been for five years but somehow still do not know it very well, and was pleasantly surprised with how well I actually liked reading the subtitles. I know it sounds crazy, but I really did like it and I will tell you why. First, it immensely helps when the movie you are watching with subtitles is one that you actually picked out yourself with a plot that intrigues you. I think in high school when kids are forced to watch movies in a foreign language class they think it's the subtitles they hate when in actuality it is just the extremely boring or underwhelming plot of whatever "school appropriate" and approved movie the teacher lazily clicks play on. It is so much easier to lose yourself in the feelings of a film when you are the one who picks it, subtitles or no subtitles, and that's a fact.

Second, people's main problem with subtitles is that they have to "read" when all they want to do is mindlessly melt into the couch while numbly consuming the movie in front of them. Well, that is just not possible with subtitles...but, that's a good thing. For one, you literally can't go on your phone because then you will miss whatever is happening on screen due to the face that you actually have to be engaged to keep up with what is going on. And two, a certain feeling of achievement washes over you after finishing a film with subtitles (as silly as that sounds). For one, you feel that you not only just watched a movie but you were also reading at the same time. Ergo, that feeling of having actually read something replaces the feeling of guilt at having not left your house all day to watch television instead. Therefore, making watching a movie with subtitles a very "intellectual" activity.

Also, many people do not take into account the amount of American or English films that subtly use subtitles in the film. Most famously Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds" which switches from French to German to English and back again (I would say Italian but I do not think Brad Pitt's southern accent twanged "Buongiorno" counts). In cases such as those, yes you are watching a movie primarily in English but isn't there something unnameable and special when those scenes in an international tongue come on. Maybe you realize it and maybe you don't but I bet you're hanging on the edge of your seat just a little bit more or paying attention just a little bit harder because the characters on screen are speaking in a way your brain cannot translate so your eyes have to do it for you.

So, the next time you are scrolling through Netflix or Amazon Prime or any form of movie streaming services you prefer do not knock films with subtitles out of the waters right away. Take a minute, maybe two or even three, to see if there are any foreign movies that tickle your fancy whether they be dramas, comedies, romance, or anything else. Engage with movies and characters that may seem far removed from your life because they speak a language different than your own, but really they are just like you. Or maybe they're not, and that's why you love them. But, you will never know if you never try and read while you watch. Do not fear the subtitle, embrace it.

Cover Image Credit:

c1.staticflickr.com

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