We've already watched the pilot for Best Friends Forever, a new midseason replacement show that debuts on NBC this week. And as your BFF, we feel obligated to help you decide whether or not you should watch it. Here we go!
When does this thing air?
Best Friends Forever premieres Wednesday, April 4 at 8:30pm on NBC. It's the time slot vacated by Are You There, Chelsea?, which mercifully ended its first season last week. BFF will be sandwiched between elderly prank show Betty White's Off Their Rockers and "we can't burn this show off fast enough" Bent on a night that NBC has basically given up on.
What fine thespians appear in it?
You might remember BFF star Lennon Parham from Accidentally on Purpose, the CBS sitcom starring Jenne Elfman. But we wouldn't blame you if you didn't. Her co-star Jessica St. Clair made waves in Bridesmaids, but her TV resume is stacked with one-and-dones (Worst Week, How To Be a Gentleman, Love Bites, Sons of Tucson, Notes From the Underbelly, and on and on).
Who created it?
This show is Parnham's baby, and as far as I can tell, her first attempt at behind-the-camera work on network TV. St. Clair and Fred Savage, who directed the pilot, also serve as executive producers.
What's it about?
Best friends Jessica and Lennon live on opposite coasts, but everything changes when Jessica's husband files for divorce. Damaged and lonely, Jessica moves in with Lennon and her new live-in boyfriend Joe, and things do not go well. Joe and Jessica clash, Lennon gets caught in the middle, and what's supposed to be hilarity ensues.
What's the tone of the show?
It's a pretty safe comedy with a "buddies hanging out" vibe, minus the cool-kid factor of Happy Endings or witty banter of Cougar Town. That said, there's a vagina-waxing joke in the first minute—so it isn't for puritans, but it's far from edgy. Really, most of the first 30 minutes is "women are like this and men are like that."
Who's the target audience?
Probably 50-something women pretending to be the 40-something woman who wants to be 30-something.
What's good about it?
The Jessica-Lennon and Lennon-Joe relationships seem pretty authentic, and the show is populated with colorful neighborhood characters like the sassy African-American 9-year-old girl and the deli man.
Okay. So what's bad about it then?
Pretty much everything else. The jokes fall flat and the script feels like a first draft, but the stereotypical gender wars are what really drag this thing down. The women watch Steel Magnolias and talk about clothes while the men love Braveheart and play video games, just like the "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" says. And while we should be feeling sorry for the newly divorced Jessica, her "me, me, me" attitude with regard to moving into her best friend's place is incredibly off-putting. Just because your life sucks doesn't mean you have to ruin everyone else's! HOWEVER: This pilot was filmed over a year ago, so there's been plenty of time for the writers to think about things. The show could get better in Episode 2.
I think I know the answer already, but what's the final verdict?
Don't waste your time. BFF is nothing special and likely won't be getting a second season. It's just something to take up airtime while NBC rebuilds. Don't you have dishes you could be doing instead? Or taxes! Taxes are due soon!
Is there a clip I can take a look at so I can decide for myself?
Heck, go ahead and watch the whole pilot now if you don't believe me.
What should I imbibe while watching this?
If bleach isn't an option, red wine. Lots of light-bodied red wine.