About a month ago I did an article on TV romances, where two characters realize they love each other and become a couple. However, today I would like to talk about friendships. Those platonic relationships which people couldn’t live without.

 

Most show’s either present us with a group of friends who sit around making fun of each other, or in the case of family sitcoms we see friends of the main characters. Usually these friends are really just for laughs and comic relief. Of course there are also some shows like Murphy Brown, Seinfeld or Will & Grace where the so-called friends are not really the nicest people but for one reason or another they are stuck with each other. You know if these shows were real these “friends” wouldn’t even be able to stand each other. However, when it’s a sitcom we laugh at these dysfunctional groups and enjoy them.

 

Today I want to talk about the show’s which get it right. These are friends who you feel are truly friends. They care for each other and support each other like real friends do. And, yes, even argue and fight at times. All of these examples work for one simple reason, the chemistry between the actors is just so strong that it just takes these fictional characters to another level, and fans are just as invested with these friends as they may be with a romantic couple. Here now are my five favorite examples.

 

By the way the only rule is that the friendships on this list were just that and lasted through the series. They didn’t become enemies at some point, or develop some kind of romantic relationship after being friends for awhile. Also this list is not sitcom specific (which you will understand when we get to the end).

 

#5.Sam and Rebecca (Cheers)

 

Of course most people remember Sam and Diane. As I have explained before, I did not watch the show during that time. The first real episode I watched was the first episode with Rebecca. I am sure when she first appeared people felt that this would be another Diane story, but instead the creators went a different way. Sam and Rebecca wound up forming a very strong friendship, which I really enjoyed watching. I guess it’s because they shared a lot of character traits, even if they didn’t admit it. That is why Rebecca decided to have a baby with Sam of all people. Of course they finally figured out if they weren’t in love then having a baby was a bad idea. Then when Rebecca burned the bar down, Sam actually forgave her and welcomed her back. That one scene showed how much they care for each other. They were best friends who actually felt like they were best friends.

 

 

 

#4.Benson and Kraus (Benson)

 

I can’t talk about this show enough, and in fact I am going to do a whole article on it down the line. For now, let’s talk about Benson and Ms.Kraus, who were a perfect example of an antagonistic friendship. They got off on the wrong foot when they met, and at first hated each other. As they grew friendlier, they continued to tease and mock each other. Some of Benson’s best one liners were directed at her and she got in some shots too. However, you knew deep down that they were friends and respected each other. Ms.Kraus always went to Benson for help, and when the situation got serious Benson chucked the jokes and was very supporting and comforting. The creators had a clever way of illustrating this, by having Benson refer to her by her first name Gretchen rather than just calling her Kraus like he did most of the time. By the series end, they were more friends than adversaries and while the teasing still continued, you knew they truly cared for each other. I guess this is a great one because the friendship developed, rather than just having us told in the first episode that they were friends and that was it.

 

 

#3.Richie and Fonzie (Happy Days)

 

I have picked on this show a lot, but this one of the things I really respect this show for. The relationship between Richie and Fonzie is literally what made this show. The remarkable is that this shouln’t have worked. How many tough guys become friends with nerdy kids? But you know what, they made it work! Ron Howard and Henry Winkler had the most amazing chemistry, and I loved watching it. Too bad the stories and acting were usually so corny. When Richie left the show and Happy Days became The Fonzie Show, it wasn’t the same. Toward the end Fonzie wasn’t even the same character. However, I am getting off track. Fonz and Richie had a very special friendship which was just so much fun to watch. Fonz was like a big brother to Richie, always watching out for him and helping (thus explaining why his actual brother vanished). Meanwhile, Richie would play the role of conscience for Fonzie. From Richie the Fonz learned to open himself up and let people inside. Richie would also push him when Fonz was at his weakest, even if he did push a little hard at times. The clichéd blind episode is a good example, we see Richie pushing Fonz to not give up and be useless even when it almost causes a fight between them in one of the series most powerful moments, in my opinion. That is one episode I really liked.

 

 

#2.Dorothy, Blanche, and Rose (The Golden Girls)

 

When this show was on originally, I was in high school. My father would always wonder why I liked it. I understand that confusion, after all I wasn’t old or female, and why would I watch a show about four women making jokes about old age and stuff like menopause? Well, there were two reasons. One, the show was genuinely funny. More importantly, you could really feel that these ladies really cared for each other. Sure, they picked on dim witted Rose, how much Blanche slept around, and of course how Dorothy had no life. They also argued, as people who live together tend to do. However, deep down they were always there for each other no matter what. Almost every episode had at least one scene where the girls would sit around the kitchen table, usually with cheesecake, seriously discussing what was going on. Then you had Sophia, who was like a mother to each of them (she was really a mother to Dorothy, but I digress). In one episode where Rose has a heart attack, her daughter realizes just how much her mother’s friends care for her mother and how they are more than just a couple of women who happen to share a house. I admit, I am a fan of this show and always will be. I could list a dozen different examples, but think I will refrain. I think you got the idea.

 

Now, I know I have used all sitcoms but my top spot is not a sitcom. But I had to make it #1…….

 

 

 

#1 Kirk, Spock, and McCoy (Star Trek)

 

Really, what better example of true friends could I come up with? Again it comes down to chemistry, and the chemistry that William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy had on this show was just remarkable. You knew that Spock respected Kirk, and Kirk truly cared for Spock. I could list off all the episodes that demonstrate this. How about Amok Time, where Kirk risks his career to help Spock? Or The Tholian Web, where Kirk is lost and Spock risks the ship and crew to get him back. If that wasn’t enough, you throw in Dr.McCoy who just added to the dynamic. To Kirk, McCoy was a wise and trusted adviser. For Spock, McCoy was a foil. They were adversaries who loved to challenge each other because Spock’s cold logic would conflict with McCoy’s emotionalism. In the end, you know they really were friends who cared a great deal for each other. The friendship between the three is what made this show loved by millions for over forty years now, and yes my name is on that list. This of course blended into the movies, we had Kirk risk is career again for Spock, who had put his katra in McCoy. Star Trek III is a great example of much these people cared for each other, one of the best lines ever when Kirk informs McCoy of what Spock did to him. McCoy responds, “That green blooded son of a bitch. It’s his revenge for all those arguments he lost”. I loved that line! Of course this was the point of the campfire scene in Star Trek V. But did they have to make it so silly and dull? I love the original series and have probably seen the episodes a dozen times. This was a true friendship.

 

 

 

 

Of course there is lot of examples missing from this list. Here are a few:

MASH: I can hear people screaming, “How could you not mention MASH? Hawkeye and BJ? Hot Lips and Frank? Trapper John? Col. Potter? These characters truly cared for each other, and had to face death every day in a war zone!” Yes, I know that. As I have said before, I am not a huge fan of this show. However, I respect the work put in and the actors/characters were fantastic. I saw the final episode, so I know how much these people loved each other.

Mary Tyler Moore-Stop shouting, I know this show had one of the best ensemble casts ever and they were friends, especially Mary and Lou. Anyway, lame attempt at humor aside, if this list had been a little longer this show would have been on here. This show had probably the best final episode, as the characters embraced and cried. Very real and very natural.

Boy Meets World-Yeah, I can see how Shawn and Corey probably deserved a place on here. I didn’t watch much of this show but from what I saw, they were great friends to each other.

Saved By The Bell-Please, let’s be serious!

FRIENDS-How could I not talk about this show in a blog about friends??? The truth is, I wanted to discuss other examples and I have covered this show before. I will say that this is one show were the friends really do feel like friends, which is part of the appeal. They always hung out with each other and were there to support whatever the others were doing. Believe it or not, Joey may have been the best friend of them all. He loved his friends and would do anything for them.

And, as usual, I have slighted dramas. I was going to talk about ER and the friendship between Mark and Susan, but that got pushed off the list. Maybe another time, I really enjoyed their friendship because it felt genuine. There was Beverly Hills 90210, which really deserves its own article someday. As for other drama’s, I’m afraid I am just not that familiar with them so if I have missed one please leave a comment and let me know.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this, and I am sure you have your own picks that I missed so feel free to comment and let me know.

By richb

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