March 31st, 2014 would certainly be a ‘red letter day’ in the history of American sitcoms. While one legen-wait for it-dary show went off air forever and its famous characters bid their adieus to their fans, another show that might be the new ‘apple of all eyes’ in the years to come kick started its journey. The much talked about show ‘Friends with Better Lives’ premiered just after the series finale of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ which had left some fans heartbroken, dissatisfied and wanting for more. The much talked about show is written by the writers of famous American show ‘Friends’ and is being successfully promoted on the established brand value of same.
FWBL revolves around six friends, thirty something of age, all at different stages of life, each of whom thinks that the other has it better. Talking about the leads, Bobby and Andi– the happily married couple and parents of a toddler, Will – a divorcee, Kate – a single career oriented woman who has not found the right match yet and the ‘just engaged’ couple – Jules and Lowell.
The pilot episode is woven around characters of Bobby, Will and Kate played by Entourage fame Kevin Connolly, James Van Der Beek and Zoe Lister Jones, known for their amazing comic timing as they never miss a beat to entertain and tickle the audiences. Being on spot with his dialogue delivery, Kevin Connolly has delivered an excellent performance. The pilot belongs to Zoe Lister Jones who plays Kate, the single unlucky with dating woman, who is the highlight of the episode and might be the person around whom this show could revolve.
The show yet again revolves around three men and three women, and so far looks like it talks about their personal relations, ups& downs. From the comic perspective the show looks promising, but the storyline looks like ‘old wine in new bottle.’ There isn’t a catchy theme song introduced yet, that can be the USP of the show like ‘I’ll be there for you’ for Friends & the HIMYM theme tune.
Sitcoms do not usually garner much of positive response in their pilots because of the sheer disability of the people to understand and recognize the characters and their relations. FWBL needs to have more character development in the next few episodes for audiences to be able to relate to and care for. The show can overcome the familiar story line challenge and and could become something special if the group solidifies,strengthens into a strong dynamic where viewers begin to identify with the characters and relate them to people in real life.
The Overall View
Watch the show as an independent comedy, not drawing comparisons from any of the classics and you will certainly not be disappointed. Another reason to watch it would be the amazing star cast The channel CBS has not been quite successful with their new shows but FWBL with some excellent writing and by not going for the obvious jokes and gags, could be the next big thing.
The Official Trailer of ‘Friends with better lives’
Guest post by Abhinn Khanna
Abhinn Khanna is a fourth semester Commerce student at Delhi college of Arts & Commerce and an avid TV series and movies buff.