New Netflix series features trip to the North Fork

Actors Cobie Smulders and Keegan-Michael Key film a scene from the fifth episode of “Friends From College” at Macari Vineyards in September. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

(Warning: This post contains spoilers about the new Netflix series “Friends from College”). 

A failed pregnancy isn’t the most likely occasion to send a group of friends off on a bus trip from New York City to the North Fork, but that’s the premise behind an episode of the new Netflix series “Friends from College,” which debuted today.

The fifth episode, “Party Bus,” features actors Keegan Michael-Key (“Key & Peele”) and Cobie Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother”) attempting to escape the heartache of a failed IVF pregnancy by going wine tasting on Long Island.

“The North Fork … they make wine on Long Island?” Key’s character Ethan says as he stumbles across a blog post about “unsouring your grapes” with a trip to Long Island.

While the show has been met with sour reviews, I have to admit I got a few chuckles from the plethora of local references in this particular episode. They didn’t get it quite right and the show isn’t particularly funny, but the episode is worth a watch for any fan of Long Island Wine Country — even if it will annoy you at times.

Cobie Smulders and Keegan-Michael Key on the Mattituck set of the new Netflix series “Friends From College.” (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Here are five observations from the episode:

• “I’m excited to explore the burgeoning new Long Island wine scene with you guys,” Ethan says. “Some are calling it the new Napa.”

• There’s a sign in the tasting room they visit that says: “Stirring Cup Winery: New York Winery of the Year 2015.” Like most of the episode, it was filmed at Macari Vineyards in Mattituck.

• They crash the party bus on the LIRR overpass on South Jamesport Avenue.

• They get way more wasted than you really should at a winery and end their trip with a meal at the Riverside McDonald’s. I suppose that’s been done before.

• Other familiar faces in the episode include Fred Savage (“Wonder Years”) and Nat Faxon (“Married,” Oscar-winning screenwriter of “The Descendants.”)

HBO’s “Girls” also featured an escape from NYC to the North Fork filming in Greenport and East Marion in 2013. They were kind enough to let us on set for photos with the stars. (As you can tell from our photos, the “Friends from College” crew made us keep more of a distance). Amazon’s “Z: The Beginning of Everything” and Hulu’s “The Path” also filmed on the North Fork in 2016.

The upcoming Netflix movie “The Week Of” starring Adam Sandler and Chris Rock might also include some wine country activities, though I don’t believe they actually filmed here. The film’s producers did, however, reach out to us recently for permission to feature the Long Island Wine Press in the film. As our editor Vera Chinese recently said, “Even if it’s just Adam Sandler holding up our magazine saying it sucks, it will be worth it.” She then signed the release.