Babelgum’s New Best Friend: Old Friends

[show=oldfriends size=large]Last fall, I reviewed the first few episodes of Old Friends with the hope that the independent web series would be able to find a home for its fresh take on urban friendships and relationships. And, unlike that pony I’ve been dreaming of since the third grade, this time my wish came true, as Babelgum continued its forays into original programming by acquiring the series and exclusively launching the second season today.

While the show now falls under the Babelgum Comedy banner and comedy head Amber J. Lawson has an executive producer credit, it remains unchanged from its original incarnation — if anything, it’s only gotten funnier. Each episode continues to use heavy amounts of improvisation and loose, intimate handheld cinematography to draw out awkward yet hilarious moments from the uneasy friendship between Nick (Nick Ross) and Tim (Tim Curcio), whose bond over Tim’s wife Andrea (Amy Flanagan) has only grown more complicated.

For even though Nick has (since deflowering Andrea in high school) found some measure of happiness with Andrea’s best friend Katie (Natalie Knepp), he’s still uncomfortably close to the couple, and the brilliant decision to escalate that situation by having Nick move in with them in the second season premiere should keep things interesting down the line.

Some of Babelgum Comedy’s early original launches, including The Occulterers and Hurtling Through Space At An Alarming Rate, were creatively disappointing — due not to the talent involved, but because the shows didn’t appear to receive enough development either in the scripting or editing stages.

But by partnering with a low-budget series that needs little development, and giving it a larger platform to do what it already does so well, Babelgum’s multimillion-dollar commitment to original programming has a real chance to gain some new momentum. Because anyone who watches a lot of online content knows there are plenty of quality indie series out there — the saying goes that 90 percent of everything is crud, but that other 10 percent has real potential.