The ending of my all-time favourite (comedy) show, How I Met Your Mother (the post is yet to come, though I’ve stopped perusing the HIMYM reddit every night), left a huge gaping hole into my heart and life and I did what was logical. Stuffed myself with whatever crap was nearest — this time a new CBS comedy called Friends With Better Lives, following six friends on their ventures… or lack thereof.
Essentially, there are two interesting characters: fresh divorcee and “romantically challenged” Will (James Van Der Beek, Mr. 90s Problems meme) and the hilarious, at times caricaturistic Kate. They are the only single friends (I wouldn’t call it a group, they don’t seem to hang out together all that much) in the show. The other people are horribly bland, I don’t know the names or the actors and I don’t care either: two blonde chicks, one married and one engaged and two guys, their respective partners. The married couple is nothing new, nothing exciting and frankly, a bit depressing; and the fiancée guy is the worst character of them all. A hipster vegan café owner with an accent (Australian?) who simply doesn’t belong to a main character ensemble. He’s the kind of guy Robin could’ve dated over an episode of HIMYM, nothing more. There is no singular identity to any of these four characters, they’re both hermaproditic blobs, and that’s not good enough. The married guy kind of tries, so there’s still hope.
So, I propose a list. What Friends With Better Lives should do to become a series worth watching:
- Lose the f–king hashtag. #FWBL, you’re trying too hard.
- Develop characters and identities for all six of them.
- Drop the hippie/surfer/accent dude (even his name… UGH) from the main cast or perform a magic trick on his character. Quick. He’ll drown you all.
- Get a central location, a place where they meet. It’s six random friends doing nothing. I’m not interested. (Two of them did go to a bar, once, though.)
But all things considered… there’s charm in there somewhere, something that has made me watch the second episode, and then the third. This could be a series that grows immensely and becomes really freaking good, but the odds are thin. After all, if every other joke around is crude and shallow, why should they bother to be better? Oh, CBS. I think I hate you.
I’ll get back to you if it becomes a good show. Just don’t hold your breath.
Note (13/09/14): This show has since been cancelled, so you’re really better off not holding your breath.