TV & Movies

Friends From College Seriously Taps into Our College Nostalgia

We didn't all do keg stands and join sororities in college but this new Netflix original series, out now, gets at least one thing right: the nostalgia many of us have for that time in our lives

In this Friends from College review, two editors reflect on their own college days and what the new Netflix series gets right; inline image 1

(Photo: Netflix Canada)

Friends from College made me realize that the nostalgia for ‘the good ol’ days’ is real AF”

When I was in college, my family kept giving me the same advice. “Enjoy it, these are the best years of your life,” they would say, as I rolled my eyes and told them how stressed out I was about finals. It’s been nearly a decade since I graduated, and I now see the wisdom in their words. College was freaking great—as were the people that I met there. Maybe it’s because we were all simultaneously learning how to adult, or because of the collective Smirnoff-fuelled stupidity that took place each week, but the crew of friends that I made during my four years after high school have always felt like extensions of myself.

We no longer live together in the decrepit student house we dubbed the “Dollhouse” because it literally looked like a square with a triangle drawn on top. We have moved on to different cities, careers and lives—but when we get together, we are the same old friends from college. That’s what this Netflix series got right. Watching Keegan-Michael Key (Ethan), Cobie Smulders (Lisa), Annie Parisse (Sam), Nat Faxon (Nick), Fred Savage (Max), and Jae Suh Park (Marianne) simultaneously revert back to their younger selves while also struggling to deal with serious grown-up life and challenges. To be clear, my squad cannot relate to the incestuous dynamic that seems to plague this Harvard crew. That being said, Friends from College was a fun ride that combined real life with nostalgia for “the best years of your life”—and I was into it. —Ishani Nath, associate editor

In this Friends from College review, two editors reflect on their own college days and what the new Netflix series gets right; inline image 2

(Photo: Netflix Canada)

“My college experience was decidedly ‘un-college’ but Friends from College made me wish for that carefree time in my life, nonetheless”

I had the least college-y college experience. I went to university in the same city where I grew up, Montreal, and I never lived in a dorm. I got my first apartment at 20 and would go to my parents’ place, which was five minutes away, every Sunday for dinner, a.k.a. to do laundry and raid their fridge. My friend group from high school didn’t change dramatically when I started college, in fact I didn’t really form many friendships in university that went beyond “How was your weekend?” chit chat before early-Monday morning classes. But I did have a college-age experience that I saw reflected in Friends from College—the carefree lust for life and DGAF attitude, the obsession with your friends and the wanton disregard for hangovers—that made me nostalgic for that time in my life when my biggest worry was whether to spend my last $5 on another vodka cran or after-club pizza.

There was a lot in Friends from College that I absolutely couldn’t relate to: the 20-year-long affair between two members of the friend group feels so unrealistic now that I’m in my 30s (like I know life is complicated but if you want to be together, just be together), the strange competitiveness that still lingers two decades after graduation, and the one 40-year-old friend who “f-cks teenagers”—statutory rape jokes are never funny, P.S.—but the familiar routines you fall back into with your besties from that time is something I’m lucky enough to be familiar with. I don’t have all the same friends from college—time, life and heartache moved some of us in different directions—but I am hashtag blessed that most of my very best friends now are women I’ve known since my late teens and early twenties, and almost 15 years later, when I’m with any of that old crew, it feels like no time has passed at all. Vodka crans are now chardonnay spritzers, but I’d still dance on the bar with every single one of them.” —Jennifer Berry, staff writer

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