powered by FreeFind

Apple iTunes


Best to try something other than CBS' Friends With Better Lives


The vexed sextet of Friends with Better Lives. CBS photo

Premiering: Monday, March 31st 8 p.m. (central) on CBS before moving to regular Monday, 7:30 p.m. slot on April 14th.
Starring: Kevin Connolly, Majandra Delfino, James Van Der Beek, Zoe Lister-Jones, Brooklyn Decker, Rick Donald
Produced by: Dana Klein, Dave Hemingson, Aaron Kaplan

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
From NBC’s Friends to the same network’s Friends With Benefits to CBS’ new Friends With Better Lives.

Elongating the title does not make for a better sitcom. But here we go with another sextet of youngish pals in various states of unrest.

Entourage emigre Kevin Connolly and Majandra Delfino play Bobby and Andi, whose seven-year marriage is getting bogged down with a toddler in the house and another baby comin’ ‘round the bend. It’s the second new mid-season sitcom in which the kid-plagued parents at first appear to at long last be having sex but instead are merely catching up on Homeland episodes. The other is NBC’s About A Boy.

James Van Der Beek, the one-time philosopher teen of Dawson’s Creek, is the outwardly jaunty Will, who’s cryin’ on the inside after his wife dumped him. He’s also a doctor, as is Bobby.

Zoe Lister-Jones plays Kate, a terminally unsatisfied sour ball single whose signature flashback line is, “God, his wiener smelled weird.”

Jules and Lowell (Brooklyn Decker, Rick Donald) are the newly minted lovebirds. She’s more than a little vacuous and he’s more than a little hard to take as a prettily perfect Prince Charming.

Put them all together, add a way too giggly laff track and you have a show that’s easily stolen by Lister-Jones’ caustic Kate. Unfortunately it’s mostly petty theft.

Monday nights are already readily “adult” on CBS, with 2 Broke Girls leading the double entendre charge while Mom and Mike & Molly also contribute their share of off-color jokes. Besides the smelly wiener riff, Friends With Better Lives has a double shot of breast pump jokes (“What’s up with lefty?”), an extended exchange on “nut cheese,” a “pap smear” reference, several oral sex ba-da-booms and Kate’s recollection of what it was like to date a guy with one testicle. “It was right in the middle,” she says. “Comin’ at me like the boulder in Raiders of the Lost Ark.” The laff track goes positively nuts.

Previewing on Monday after the special one-hour episode of How I Met Your Mother, the newbie will tuck itself into its regular 7:30 p.m. slot on April 14th, following 2 Broke Girls as the night’s new lead-off hitter.

Maybe Friends With Better Lives can somehow mature into something quite a bit more than what goes down during its first outing. For now it’s pretty much something you wouldn’t wish on your best friends. Saucy, grumpy Kate is in there slugging away, though. So if this doesn’t work out, she might be perfect for an arc on Two and a Half Men or maybe even as the star of ABC’s next edition of The Bachelorette. “Lex, I’d really like to give you a rose, but that smelly wiener is a real turn-off. So I can’t.”


GRADE: C-minus

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net