It's the next Friends! People have been declaring this of sitcoms since, oh, around 1995. It's a battlefield strewn with slain comedies about groups of twentysomethings living together, figuring out their place in the world, and hooking up with each other — and only a few, like How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, and let's say the first season and a half of New Girl, would really hold up to that comparison. Still, we know the situation is ripe with humour, so why not try it again? NBC is about to do just that with Bright Futures, a pilot starring Emily Ratajkowski and some other equally attractive up-and-comers.
If we jumped right into descriptions of our possible next Monicas, Rachels, and Joeys, you'd likely remain skeptical of this "next Friends" pretension (and to be fair, none of the people involved in the show are claiming that label). But let's start with these beacons of hope: Bright Futures will be executive produced by Black-ish creator Kenya Barris and written and produced by Grown-ish writers Hale Rothstein, Danny Segal, and Isaac Schamis. Also, there's the power of Phoebe herself, Lisa Kudrow, who narrates the single-camera show.
Unlike Friends, the cast is quite diverse racially. Now, let's get to the eyebrow-raising details of this show, the character descriptions that Variety reported on Thursday: actress and YouTube star Lilly Singh is Sid, "a recent med school graduate and who became a doctor mostly so people would call her a doctor." So, smart but shallow?
Fellow YouTuber Jimmy Tatro plays Berger, a hater on the surface who "would be the first one to take a bat to someone for any one of his friends." Um, that's a plus? Shameik Moore is Aaron, a law grad whose drinking "blowout on the night he passed the bar put a halt to any grandiose ideas and he now works as a lowly personal injury attorney.”
As a thinly veiled stand-in for the writers, you've got Calum Worthy as Danny, a "gung-ho yet ultra-neurotic USC film school grad and a wannabe screenwriter who’s just landed his first job working for Hollywood’s hottest up-and-coming writer."
Then, of course we have Ratajkowski, who plays Sarah, "a girl-next-door type but also with a behind-the-ear tattoo. She can just as easily bro out with the guys as she can be the girliest girl." That might just be a tip-off that all of these descriptions are just messing with us. No one really still describes female characters like that, do they?
"Now also seems like a good time to confirm that no women are listed as creators or producers of this show," W Magazine writer Kyle Munzenrieder quipped after re-reporting that description, saving us the trouble.
Could it be that Bright Futures is going to be hilarious, relatable, and last 10 seasons, inspiring multiple generations to watch and rewatch on the streaming devices implanted in their brains? Or will it be the next Joey?
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