I’m a little embarrassed to say this right now but…. I actually… kind of enjoyed Friends With Better Lives. It might have been me coasting the high I had from that absolutely fantastic How I Met Your Mother series finale, but… I don’t know. There was something oddly charming about the show. Maybe I’ve gone brain dead? I have had an intensely stressful couple of days.
Friends With Better Lives is your typical CBS sitcom. It’s a show about a group of friends, two couples, one divorcee, and one “very very single” woman. The comedy revolves around bad sex and gender stereotypes. The jokes are obvious and exactly what you’d expect. The characters pause for laughter (Seriously, how do people watch all the CBS shows with their copious laughter pauses?? It takes me out of the show completely). There was nothing particularly special or different or even terribly amusing about the show.
You know what? I think I just got it. And it’s name is Zoe Lister Jones.
She played the “very very single” woman, and I hated practically every joke that came out of her mouth. But I loved the way she said it. She has intense comedic chops, and a such an interesting characterization. Lister Jones did a ton of creative things with a character that was a one joke punchline. I looked forward to her lines in every scene, just to hear the way she said them. With the right script and a slightly better cast surrounding her, this girl really could be great.
Unfortunately there isn’t much to be said for the rest of the cast. Even James Van Der Beek, who show incredible comedic skills on Don’t Trust the B just wasn’t given much to do and did barely anything with what he had.
Zoe Lister Jones is awesome, and I hope she only gets awesomer as time goes on. Friends With Better Lives on the other hand? Do yourself a favor and just watch Coupling instead. It’s on Netflix!