Review: Season Two of FRIENDS FROM COLLEGE Is Deeper And Funnier


Friends from College improves in its second season by increasing its depth and heart while elevating its humor to better take advantage of the cast.
Technical Merit

Friends from College is a Netflix original series created by Francesca Delbanco and Nicholas Stoller. Season One debuted in 2017 to mixed reviews but had enough fans (including this critic) to warrant a renewal. Season Two picks up a year after the end of the first season, as Max (Fred Savage) is about to get married, bringing the fractured group of friends back together again.

The comedy in this season is much more likely to be well-received. Whereas the first season was based primarily in broad raunchy humor, this season is more focused on creating relatable humor out of awkward situations. As a result, audiences are even more likely to connect with the characters and their experiences. There are still a few episodes that are heavy in the broader style of humor, such as the inevitable bachelor party episode, but for the most part, the comedy is more elevated.

This season also felt much deeper than the last. The show used quite a few metaphors and symbols that helped create a more profound connection with the story. None of them were particularly mind-blowing, but they didn’t feel like an afterthought, either. One of the most thought-provoking moments in the season comes in the first episode when a character compares the main conflict of the story to being sprayed by a skunk. “The woman always gets the stink,” she explains.

friends from college party
Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke/Netflix.

The most significant success of Friends from College is the chemistry between the actors. The relationship between the characters is extremely complex, and that is what makes the series interesting. Even though some characters, like Marianne, don’t have strong individual storylines, they are an integral part of the whole. It is the overall connection that really sells the story and the emotion therein.

Although the show features an ensemble cast, the main focus is on Ethan. The character is made to be much more likable and sympathetic this season. In the first season, he was the part of “us” that we all hated, but we know it is there. Some of that is still present, but he becomes a much more rounded character, with not just one, but many characteristics we can see in ourselves. Keegan-Michael Key is also far more subtle in this role than is usual for him, which is refreshing.

Lisa (Cobie Smulders) is perhaps the most complex character this season. Since Ethan is the de-facto protagonist, Lisa is, in turn, the de-facto antagonist. However, the show presents her in an ambiguous light, allowing the audience to make their own decisions regarding her. She has the most exciting storyline in the entire season and the one with the most twists. However, her new romantic interest, Charlie (Zack Robidas) is somewhat underdeveloped.

friends from college club
Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke/Netflix.

The most welcome change in the series, though, is that Max (Fred Savage) is given a much larger role to play. He becomes more than just the humorous sidekick to Ethan, allowing Savage to flex not only his comedic muscles, but his dramatic muscles too. Max’s love interest, Felix (Billy Eichner), is also given more to do in this season. It is refreshing to see both actors playing roles outside of their normal range, and they have great chemistry together.

That being said, the character Nick (Nat Faxon) does have a very disappointing arc this season. In the first few episodes, it seems like he is going to legitimately grow into a fuller, more interesting character, but this arc isn’t fully explored, and his more annoying traits remains constant. This largely fails if only because Faxon is miscast. It is hard to believe he would be an eternal playboy because he so often plays the lovable goof.

Overall, Season Two of Friends From College takes the foundation laid by its predecessor and expands upon it with tons of heart and humor. Fans and new viewers alike will be enchanted by the story.

Season Two of Friends from College debuts on Netflix on January 11. (All eight episodes were reviewed.)


All American | BreZ Interview: Tyrone Is Back | The CW

Stream new episodes of All American Tuesdays, free only on The CW App: SUBSCRIBE: About All American: When a rising high school football player from South L.A. is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High, the wins, losses and struggles of two families from vastly different worlds - Crenshaw and Beverly Hills -…

We Are the Dream (2020): Tucker Eddy “Stand Up” (Clip) | HBO

Tucker Eddy performs "Stand Up" at The Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest. Watch We Are the Dream, now streaming on HBO. #MLK #WeAreTheDream #HBO #HBODocs Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: Don’t have HBO? Order Now: Get More HBO: Get HBO GO: Like on Facebook: Follow on Twitter: Like on Instagram:…

Star Trek: Picard – Elnor & The Qowat Milat

Get to know Elnor, who was one of the Romulans relocated to planet Vashti and raised by a sect of all-female warrior nuns called the Qowat Milat. Stream all-new episodes of Star Trek: Picard on Thursdays, exclusively in the U.S. on CBS All Access. Stream all-new episodes of "Star Trek: Picard" on Thursdays, exclusively in…

The Weekly | Season 1 Ep. 27: The Promise Preview | FX

After a year-long investigation, metro reporter Benjamin Weiser comes across a horrific case of abuse inside one group home in The Bronx, New York. The Weekly investigates how and why the state fails to protect these residents and what happens when society forgets the most vulnerable. Subscribe now for more The Weekly clips: The…

How the Miss Americana Filmmakers Captured Taylor Swift Behind the Scenes in Miss Americana |Netflix

Miss Americana director Lana Wilson and producer Morgan Neville discuss their process of editing the film and capturing Taylor Swift behind the scenes. Watch Miss Americana, only on Netflix: SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 167 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series,…

We Are the Dream (2020): Lincoln Elementary “Things We Carry From the Sea” (Clip) | HBO

Lincoln Elementary performs "Things We Carry From the Sea," featured at The Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest. Watch We Are the Dream, now streaming on HBO. #MLK #WeAreTheDream #HBO #HBODocs Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: Don’t have HBO? Order Now: Get More HBO: Get HBO GO: Like on Facebook: Follow on Twitter:…

The One Thing Noah Centineo Needs When He Arrives On Set | Netflix

To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You’s Noah Centineo fills us in on his daily routine. Watch To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, Only on Netflix: SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 167 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying…

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow | Season 5 Episode 4 | A Head Of Her Time Scene | The CW

Stream new episodes of DC's Legends of Tomorrow Wednesdays, free only on The CW App: SUBSCRIBE: About DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW: The Legends continue their new mission to protect the timeline from temporal aberrations - unusual changes to history that spawn potentially catastrophic consequences. When Nate, the grandson of J.S.A. member Commander Steel,…
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here