Tuesday, March 11, 2008
The Duo Duel
OK, lame title, I know. But I've been catching up on all the Boston Legal Ive missed this year (review to come) and felt the need to write a post about TV's best platonic teams. The best friends, the siblings, the odd combos that make TV even more fun.
Denny Crane and Alan Shore (Boston Legal): these best friends are the center of Boston Legal. They are not only hysterical together but the heart of their friendship is truly lovely. How far Alan will go to protect Denny is remarkable.
Christine and Matthew (Old Christine): sibling squabble is always fun. Matthew knows how to push Christine's buttons better than anyone and his interaction with her son Richie and ex Richard is also priceless. Hands down my favourite dynamic in the show.
Buster and Lucille Bluth(Arrested Development): as mother/son relationships go this one couldn't be less healthy. Attached at the hip, Lucille and her youngest son are miserable together and lost without each other. Their banter is hilarious and there's nothing better than a good mother/son costume competition.
Amanda and Mark (Ugly Betty): I would be remiss if I didn't at least mention this infamous bitchy duo. Clawing their way up the fashion ladder and making Betty's life miserable, Mark and Amanda couldn't be more fun. They are one of (if not these) strongest aspect of the show and Becky Newton and Michael Urie's chemistry could not be more spot on. In season 2, Mark and Amanda are expanded as characters and have become not only a brilliant pair but strong characters individually as well (Mark's coming out to his mother was a definite highlight of season 1)
Jed Bartlett and Leo McGarry (The West Wing): When speaking to the minister of agriculture about becoming president, Bartlett asked "do you have a best friend?... is he smarter than you?... that's your chief of staff". The relationship between President Bartlett and his chief of staff Leo McGarry is, in many ways, the heart of the show. The White House staff of the show is often described as a family... these two are the parents.
Will and Grace (self explanatory): the pilot episode says it best when the pair is playing the pyramid game. Will gives hints: "a railing, a fence post... (grabbing grace's hand) each other", "things that you lean on" grace shouts, jumping on Will as they win the game. 8 seasons, multiple significant others and a major parting of ways later, the show ends with them toasting their friendship as Freddy Mercury harmonizes "oooh you're my best friend". If there's one TV dynamic that revolutionized modern platonic friendships, it was Will & Grace.
Ross and Monica Geller (FRIENDS): two words: the routine. these uber competitive siblings served up some of the best laughs of the show. From their football rivalry for "the Geller cup" to revealing each others' secrets to their parents on thanksgiving to Ross' transition from rage to joy when he finds out that his best friend is in love with his sister, the Gellers were always my favourite aspect of FRIENDS.
Frasier and Niles Crane (Frasier): an example of perfect casting, Kelsey Grammar and David Hyde Pierce fit flawlessly together as the snooty Crane brothers. Classic moments include opening their restaurant "les freres heureux: it's friendly and just hard enough to pronounce to keep the riffraff out" and singing Gilbert and Sullivan songs with their pseudo father (David Ogden Stiers)
Dan and Casey (Sports Night): a long term friendship, a working relationship, excellent casting, Sorkin speed banter... pitch perfect best friends. Its as simple as that.
Veronica and Keith Mars (Veronica Mars): no one writes Father/Daughter any more. It's too bad because Veronica and Keith were the perfect duo. They never had to finish a sentence when they other was around. They always knew when they other needed help. Is Veronica trapped and about to burn alive? Keith'll save her, even if it means (literally) running through fire. It was her dynamic with her dad that allowed viewers to see the "marshmallow" side of the persnickety and defensive private eye. A more important and flawless relationship couldn't have been written for the show.
Willow and Xander (Buffy the Vampire Slayer): she didn't destroy the world because he reminded her that he loved her, always had and always will. Hyperbolic metaphor? perhaps. A friendship ideal that makes us all wish we had someone who could save our lives with a yellow crayon? definitely.
Dawson and Joey (Dawson's Creek): Joey asks "Do you think every Joey has a Dawson and every Dawson has a Joey?", Dawson answers "for their sake I hope so". A little ruined by their own romance but as friends who sit and debate the Oscar snub of "ET" and whether ideals of beauty are culturally imposed, Dawson and Joey were pitch perfect friends. He's the person who knows her best , her soul mate and without each other they wouldn't be who they are. Sappy, I know, but lovely and true.
Ephram and Delia Brown (Everwood): Ephram could be the biggest jerk in the world and Delia would give him perspective. They were very a very honest and believable brother/sister combo and good for some of the sweetest character moments in all 4 years.
JD and Turk (Scrubs): over the top? yes. but this hilarious "guy love" is the center of the show and a "must include" for this list. "this is the man with whom you'll be competing for Daddy's love" said Carla to her daughter... so true. Funny and true.
and... of course, the be all and end all of dynamic duos...
LORELAI AND RORY GILMORE (Gilmore girls): at a rate of 300 miles a minute, this mother/daughter team conquered the world from the small Connecticut town of Stars Hollow. Though this show was home to some of the best relationships on air (Sookie/Lorelai, Emily/Lorelai, Rory/Lane, Rory/Paris), the central mother/daughter dynamic was what made the show special and is completely unique in its awesomeness.