As the end of the regular TV season draws near, shows are getting axed left and right, but the broadcast networks are still debuting new series, because "midseason" is a relative term. Most shows that debut this late in the game are just burn-offs, but every once in a while, one turns out to be really great (lookin' at you Buffy!). CBS's newest addition to the fray is Friends With Better Lives (which really needs a better title); could it be the next big thing in comedy, or is it already predisposed to a quiet mercy killing? That's what I'm here to tell you, so pour yourself a glass of wine and settle in for the latest edition of Hey TV.com, Please Tell Me What To Watch!
Friends With Better Lives? Are you trying to tell me something?
Not even close, buddy. Friends With Better Lives is CBS's attempt to fill the void left by departing veteran comedy How I Met Your Mother; it's the network's next "group of friends hang out together and discuss their lives over alcohol" sitcom. The show's grass-is-greener premise centers on a group of friends who are all in different places in their lives, but who all secretly think their friends have it better. There's a married couple, a newly engaged couple, a man who's getting divorced, and an eternally single woman who's only single because she's picky, harsh, and kind of a bitch. They all spend a lot of time at the home of the married couple, and they all drink a lot of wine because they're ADULTS.
Who behind the show? And who are these new friends, anyway?
Friends With Better Lives was created by former Friends producer Dana Klein and is executive-produced by Klein, Dave Hemingson (Don't Trust the B---- in Apt 23), and Aaron Kaplan (The Neighbors). Entourage's Kevin Connolly stars as Bobby, and Bobby's married to Andi, who's played by Roswell's Majandra Delfino. They couple has a toddler, which automatically means they're terribly boring people now. James Van Der Beek (Dawson's Creek) plays their soon-to-be-divorced pal Will, who's completely hung up on his ex, Zoe Lister-Jones (Whitney) feels like a poor man's Kat Dennings as the bitchy, #foreveralone Kate, and Brooklyn Decker (Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue; the "Cooler" episode of New Girl) and Rick Donald (House Husbands and various shows in Australia) play the extremely good-looking newly engaged couple Jules and Lowell.
When do the friends move in?
Friends With Better Lives premieres Monday, March 31 at 9pm following the one-hour series finale of How I Met Your Mother. The show will then move to its regular 8:30pm time slot on Monday, April 7, when 2 Broke Girls moves up by a half-hour to 8pm. That means it'll do battle with The Voice on NBC, Star-Crossed on The CW, Bones on Fox, and Dancing With the Stars on ABC.
Who might enjoy Friends With Better Lives?
Those who enjoy the "comedic stylings" of shows like 2 Broke Girls and Whitney.
Why should I befriend Friends With Better Lives?
Ummmm, because James Van Der Beek is it? Maybe it's because Don't Trust the B made Van Der Beek likable again, but he's the strongest member of the cast and the only one who can really deliver one of its lowbrow jokes. Also, he's come a long way from the crying face. He's really slumming it here, though, and his character is a total sad sack.
What isn't so great about Friends With Better Lives?
Oh my God, the jokes. So much the jokes. The show is not funny. I won't spoil all the "zingers" for you here in case you decide to experience them for yourself, but please know that they include a joke about a carrot as a penis, a joke about an incontinent bird, and a running gag about "nut cheese." Friends With Better Lives is attempting to appeal to hip adult viewers with its "grown-up" humor, but the pilot might as well have a big neon sign in the window that reads, "TRYING TOO HARD."
So, should I watch it?
Unless poorly constructed jokes and even more poorly constructed characters are your thing, you can—and probably should—pass on this one.
Hmmm. Can I at least see a trailer?
Friends With Better Lives premieres Monday, March 31 at 9pm on CBS.
AIRED ON 5/26/2014
Season 1 : Episode 8