Netflix has made many more headlines this year with cancellations than with renewals, making any news of a series renewal good news for Netflix subscribers eager for more of their favorite Netflix series. This week’s news that coming-of-age-way-too-late sitcom Friends From College has been renewed, however, has more than one reviewer scratching their heads in confusion.
Friends From College premiered on Netflix in July to mostly negative reviews. The series might boast an all-star cast featuring Keegan Michael-Key, Fred Savage, Cobie Smulders, and a wide range of A-list guest appearances, but the show’s execution hasn’t particularly impressed many reviewers. The series currently has a 24% ‘fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 44% rating on Metacritic based on 31 reviews. Deadline’s TV critic Dominic Patten was particularly rough on the series, bashing it for its worn-out dead-horse-beating humor and lack of originality:
Take every recycled or well-worn Ivy League college reunion, cliché and despicable adult trope, drain whatever Big Chill charm it has and dump in talent into a narrative food processor. Flick the script switch so they, empathy, humor, and overall interest are pulped and liquefied versions of themselves and you have this eight-episode comedy series.
Still, it seems enough Netflix subscribers tuned in solely for the ensemble cast to warrant a second season, because the streaming giant issued a short winded press release this week announcing the renewal stating merely that the series will return for another eight-episode season.
Sense8 and The Get Down get cancelled and this series gets another season? It really goes to show you that while Netflix might be pouring money and resources into series and films by some of the industry’s most talented filmmakers, they’re no different from any other television distributor or studio when it comes to making decisions. Ratings, rather than reviews, are king – even in the streaming world.
Season two of Friends From College does not yet have a release date.