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?

Totally!



thekaitling:list:friends-with-better-lives-will-you-watch/

 

Friends With Better Lives premieres Monday, March 31 at 9pm on CBS.


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 12/30/2014

Season 1 : Episode 12

84 Comments
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"Unless poorly constructed jokes and even more poorly constructed characters are your thing, you can—and probably should—pass on this one."

Show canceled — good call, tv.com. Continuing the proud tradition of absolutely horrible CBS comedies...
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I'm liking this show, really! Give it a break to find its stride. Hope this show stays long enough to find more followers.
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this show with time will improve and become a good show, it is OK so far and i don't mind to watch it at all....
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This show is okay so far. But they should have made it more diverse.
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FWBL was alright, decent. I do feel as though it could be really good if given the time to grow.
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I want to give this a try, mostly for James Van Der Beek who I think is really underrated for his acting and for Majandra Delfino who i have missed since Roswell. Hopefully the episodes get better after the first one.
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I was going to write the exact same comment as you.
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The premise sounded really interesting, but that trailer and this review make me question. I'll still watch, but with caution.
Also, it seems to give off a very Rules of Engagement vibe to me (I've only watched like the first two seasons so far on Netflix) as it looks like both are crowded with sex jokes.
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I'll give it a try.
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I won't be bothering with this, I never cared for CBS sitcoms. Lame joke - laugh track goes wild, over and over and over until the only thing I notice is the laugh track.
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Personally I find the premise very unappealing. I guess I can give them credit for truth in advertising, the show's title basically tells you what it is. It's just not something I'm interested in.
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I thought Schindler's List was funnier than the trailer. Naturally, that means it will be on TV longer than Party Down or Happy Endings. I hate everything.
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I'll give it a shot because of the actors I like that are in it.
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I saw the thumbnail, immediately thought that "Dont Trust the B" was back, opened it and now I miss the sh** outta Dreama and Kristen. GODDAMN YOU TV.COM!
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Wait, isn't it already canceled or something?
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Holy shit that looks terrible!!
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Aw, I really wanted to like this show. But then I saw it compared to Whitney and 2 Broke Girls, and I died a little inside.
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I want Don't Trust the B back!!! That show was funny but fox was not able to handle it :S
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Especially since it was on ABC.
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I appreciate how you're honest and objective about CBS shows despite them being your bosses. Thanks!
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I watched the test pilot for this show last summer and it was horrible. Pass.
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Definitely seems like my type of comedy. I'm gonna watch!
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The only reason I'll watch it is for JVDB. I more wish that "Apartment 23" never got canceled but I guess it was one of those things that was too good for television.
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i love lily from whitney, so i'll give it a try :)
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This is only gives me resolve to take over America and institute my police of Cultural Revolution In Media-- so many people (from Hollywood and beyond that) will be toiling in the beet fields in MN if I get my way! Think of it like the Khamer Rouge meets Robes Pierre crossed with "Captain" (as played by Strother Martin in "Cool Hand Luke" [1967]) all rolled into one and played out on the prairie. It will be a glorious time
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look for a quiet mercy killing

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Loved Van der Beek playing his self on Bitch in Apt 23. Going to be hard for him to top that on a CBS sitcom.

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James Van der Beek has always been underrated. It's hard for me to believe that he can only aspire as high as a CBS sitcom after seeing his fantastic performance as Patrick Bateman's little brother in "The Rules of Attraction".

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FWBL reminds me of Men at Work a lot. I didn't think much of Men at Work until recently; it's alllrrrigggggttt i guess.
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The premise sounds great and the cast is perfect. On the surface it seems like the right show to replace HIMYM. But the commercials don't contain any humor. And it's not that creative unlike HIMYM; so it's really only a simple multi cam concept. This show reminds me more of Rules of Engagement (which was best when it basically became a show about David Spade and the cast rotated around him) than HIMYM. I'm guessing it won't make it.
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"which really needs a better title"

Why? I think it's great. They're all envious of each other's lives. Makes perfect sense.
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That's a lot of white people. And the #foreveralone too picky too bitchy to not be single and desperate not to be single because why would you want to be single is such an old sad pathetic outdated offensive type of character that it makes me hate this show already. I miss Happy Endings and Don't Trust the B... in Apt 23.
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Friends had just many white people.
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Yes, it did.
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Yeah, look at the alleged "foreveralone" character. She's got a lot to offer. I don't see why the every character on the show has to be desparate to be in a long term relationship (JVB's character is supposedly desparate as well). But then again I'm very familiar with middle America where they look at you strangely if you aren't married and with kids by age 21.
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also a lily WASP heterosexual cast is maybe not the cool thing nowadays.
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At first I was like: Ehhh, no.

Then I was like: Hmmm, JVdB and an EP from DTTBIA23, and Brooklyn Decker? Maybe this could be okay?

Then I saw it being compared to Whitney and 2 Broke Girls, and I was like: Nooooooooo!

True story.
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The Whitney and 2 Broke Girls comparison sealed it for me as well.
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Brooklyn Decker was a question mark for me. She can act? Sure, she looks good. She did a Sandler film, which isn't much of a qualification. We'll see.
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Haha, yes, admittedly, her good-looking-ness was the main reason I was okay with her. Thinking about it now, I barely remember her in New Girl, but I do remember being pretty impressed with her acting in The League.
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Yeah, she was funny on The League, but that bunch seem to bring out the best in everyone who crops up. Also, top marks to her and the writers for getting her character to do an "Upper Decker" in Andre's house. Too clever by half.
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I'll wait and see if it gets canceled before I decide to watch.
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Hey it's that guy from Entourage..... nope.
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So mix Rules of Engagement (sounds like the same general types) and any other sitcom with a cast of friends into a new one and see if it works? And the trailer does not convince me that it is worth even giving it a chance...
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I always thought Rules of Engagement had the most boring concept and they often seemed to tilt the show and focus it on Spade's side character. Why would you want to do a similar concept?
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Yeah.. and it is known not to work so no clue why they are trying again. On the plus side, one more show that I won't be trying to fit into my schedule :)
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I'll give this one the old zero episode test.
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PFFFRRRRRRRGGGGG. That's what I think of this show.
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I like a majority of the cast so I'll give it a shot for that, but I'm not expecting it to be too good, mostly filler for is I don't have anything else at the time and I'm sure it'll get cancelled before long.. and also, hey, that's a cheap shot at 2 Broke Girls, it's easily a tie between it and Mike & Molly for best CBS comedy.. although yeah I agree with the Whitney comparison.
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I'll give it the old 4 episode test, but I have no hopes for this show.
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Well, Friends had a pretty good life. But this must be like Friends, just with better lives. Maybe they are all millionaires! This show must be fantastic!
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Even the well-honed comic timing of Brooklyn Decker can't make me watch this.
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Thank you for confirming what their marketing materials suggested in the first place.
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Hard telling with these things the way they go. I thought Two Broke Girls was a hideous show that would get quick cancelled (and a lot of others thought the same on here if I recall correctly) for most of the reasons specified here. Still around.
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