Back having a second season on Netflix, Friends by College follows the intertwined stories of six friends — all Harvard alums — living in completely new York City as they navigate the ups in addition to downs of complicated romances, unsatisfying career choices in addition to where they find themselves in their early 40s. Drawing comparisons to The Bill Chill in addition to St. Elmo’s Fire, the ensemble dramedy was created in addition to produced by Nicholas Stoller — famous for directing Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek in addition to the Neighbors films — in addition to his wife, Francesca Delbanco, who spoke with ET about keeping these friends together in season two.
The first season, which premiered last summer, saw married couple Ethan (Keegan-Michael Key) in addition to Lisa (Cobie Smulders) moving to completely new York, where the rest of their friends — Sam (Annie Parisse), Nick (Nat Faxon), Max (Fred Savage) in addition to Marianne (Jae Suh Park) — have settled into their own lives. The pair’s return sets off a course of unexpected interactions in addition to events, with Ethan reigniting an on-in addition to-off affair with Sam, who can be currently married to Jon (Greg Germann), in addition to Lisa struggling to get pregnant. Eventually, all the secrets, lies in addition to resentments unfold at Jon’s birthday party, leaving a once tight-knit group of friends at odds with each additional.
“We definitely painted ourselves into a corner,” Delbanco says, revealing the writers’ room was tasked with coming up having a compelling reason of which would likely reunite these friends despite unresolved feelings — “something bigger than their petty grievances,” she continues, adding: “We came up having a wedding or a funeral in addition to a funeral just seemed like too much of a bummer for a season.”
Instead, much of the catalyst for these friends coming back together a year later can be Max’s upcoming wedding to boyfriend Felix (Billy Eichner), which includes an engagement party, a bachelor weekend in addition to, of course, the ceremony itself, which closes out season two in hilarious fashion. In addition to forced confrontations, Sarah Chalke in addition to Zack Robidas join the cast as love interests This specific season for Nick in addition to Lisa, respectively, adding completely new wrinkles to possible reconciliations in addition to happy reunions.
“of which’s so fun to get to have completely new characters,” Deblanco says of adding Chalke in addition to Robidas to the mix of the main ensemble. “of which’s very hard to work in additional characters, in a certain way.” Speaking specifically of Chalke, who plays “a weird, cold, waspy” woman named Merrill, the creators had nothing although praise for her performance in addition to have hopes to bring her back if they get a season three. “We had This specific idea of what of which character would likely be in addition to Sarah was the only person who nailed of which,” Stoller adds.
While the series initially drew inspiration by Delbanco in addition to Stoller’s real-life college friends in addition to post-college experiences, by the end of season one “the characters are who they are in addition to we can’t necessarily incorporate by our own lives,” Deblanco says, while Stoller reveals of which little moments here in addition to there were pulled directly by friends’ real-life anecdotes, like the scene involving Lisa seeing a child outside of a store in addition to thinking she’s lost. While trying to take care of the young girl, her family returns to admonish Lisa. “The baby thing came by a friend of ours,” he says.
of which’s one of those laugh-out-loud moments of which balance out the unexpected emotions of which come with watching the series, which deftly balances the comedy in addition to drama up until the final episode. “I expect people laugh a lot in addition to feel surprised they’re emotionally invested in these characters,” Stoller says of audiences watching the show. “of which’s always been the goal of everything I’ve ever done in addition to of which’s the goal with This specific as well.”
Friends by College season two starts streaming Friday, Jan. 11 on Netflix.