Friends from College: Welcome to New York
July 18, 2017 5:55 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Lisa and Ethan move to New York, meet old friends from college, and discover that some secrets are hard to maintain.
posted by bunderful (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I watched the whole first season before starting this, so I'm re-watching the first episode and lots of things jump out at me on the second watch. I'll try to set that aside. Stuff that stands out:

* I liked Key and Peele so I wanted to like Keegan Michael Key in this. On first watch I was still giving his character the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he's just that good at playing an overgrown jackass.
* Cobie Smulders is likable as Lisa.
* Sam buying a bed for Ethan and Lisa is downright weird. The fact that it coincides with the "end" of her affair with Ethan might suggest that on some level she's trying to return Ethan to Lisa ... wait, no, she's just inserting herself into their marriage. Never mind.
* Ethan seems to have a little trouble with telling the truth. Also with listening to other people.
posted by bunderful at 8:10 PM on July 18, 2017

I was really turned off by their 20-year affair. Who does that? It's cruel. I like Key's comedy but not enough to suffer through an unlikeable character.

However, I liked the first two seasons of Grace and Frankie and this is more-or-less the same betrayal. I'm going to try a few more eps. Maybe it'll grow on me.
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 9:10 PM on July 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

I heard about this on the Late Show when Cobie Smulders was on.

Immediately hated this show and the characters and the story, but gave it the 3 episode chance... and I'm still working through it although there are a lot of cringey bits. Maybe it's that I just turned 39 and the characters being able to afford that lifestyle in NYC continues to be galling.

However, I'll concede that Lisa is a high powered lawyer, Max (really!? Fred Savage?!) is coupled to a fancy doctor (and presumably has his own thing too), and Sam's married to some exec (?) with three kids.

So yeah, Lisa is so far the only character who doesn't piss me off.

The 20-year affair thing, it's absolutely incredulous that they haven't been found out decades ago, but I'll give credit that it's more like a friend-with-benefits scenario run completely rampant.
posted by porpoise at 9:34 PM on July 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

The 20-year affair thing, it's absolutely incredulous that they haven't been found out decades ago

If aksme's human relations section has taught me anything, it's that this is totally a thing that is happening like all the time.
posted by French Fry at 7:28 AM on July 19, 2017 [4 favorites]

I have a lot of conflicting feelings about this show. I didn't like it, but I also sort of did? It's really sort of bad, but I still watched the whole thing.

I guess I just get tired of shows about awful people. Sam and Ethan really don't have a lot of redeeming qualities. I like Lisa (and I continue to like her) and I like Max (although he has his own issues).

I appreciate that this show is about how sometimes old friends really do bring out the worst in you. Or sometimes you just remain friends with people out of habit. I'm not even sure how much these people like each other so much as they're just stuck with each other.

The show sort of gets better. It also kind of gets worse. I don't know. I feel really conflicted about it. But I'd also probably watch a season 2.
posted by darksong at 1:53 PM on July 19, 2017

One of the things I really didn't like about this series is how much of the humor is dependent on shame, humiliation, and mortification. Even though we don't always like these people, I don't want to be a part of those moments, even if it's on the other side of the wall. And it might be different if any of them ever learned anything from these events, but they never seem to.
posted by Stanczyk at 2:44 PM on July 19, 2017

The crappiness of the main characters makes me notice the moments of good behavior from the minor characters even more.

I like what Marianne says about how she's tired of keeping a secret (about the affair) for Sam, and she hates that Marianne made it her secret by telling her about it.

Jon's character has a lovely, sincere moment when Sam is being gossipy about Lisa and Ethan and he says that he thinks about whether he's happy, whether she's happy, whether the kids are happy, and that's what he worries about. Also when they're talking about YA lit over dinner in the country house and he says he likes the Hunger Games books (which he can't remember the name of) because they're exciting but you know they're going to be okay - totally unpretentious and unaware that the dinner conversation is a kind of contest in pretension, and SAM says "OMG, nobody listen to him."

Nick complaining that because he can't say the c-word "they've taken everything!"

When Ethan admits that to Sam that he lied about his book to impress her, I'm not even sure if that's the truth.

I like Lisa's seal thing.
posted by bunderful at 5:05 PM on July 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

'Nick complaining that because he can't say the c-word "they've taken everything!"'

Not to go off-topic, but I find it weird anyone anytime says "I can't say...[whatever]". Um, yeah, you can literally say any word you want to say at any time you want to say it. Oh, you want to say a word without being judged... That's a luxury none of us have - expressing sentiments without being judged.

sorry for derail
posted by el io at 10:00 PM on July 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

Both Nick and Mary are played as stupid rich trust fund assholes, and aside from Mary's "acting" neither are really invested in doing much with their lives nor do they really care about anyone other themselves.
posted by P.o.B. at 6:07 PM on July 23, 2017

« Older Podcast: My Brother, My Brothe...   |  The Strain: The Worm Turns... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments