Thursday, August 6, 2015

6 Friendships of Epic Proportions

Fictional friendships can be amazing. Some of them are BFFs 'til the end of the line... and others are just plain awesome. In honor of Friendship Day on July 31st (or August 2nd, depending on who you ask), we've gathered together to discuss six friendships of epic proportions.

Jaime Heller
Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson (Marvel’s Daredevil)
Spoilers for Season One

One of my favorite things about Marvel’s Daredevil (aside from Matt Murdock kicking butt) is the relationship between Matt and his law partner, Foggy Nelson. They’re not just business partners out to make a few bucks. They’re best friends, even platonic soulmates. They’ve been best friends since college when they became roommates and they’ve had each other’s backs ever since. One of my favorite scenes from the show so far (which there are a lot) is the flashbacks to their college days. You can see the friendship form in the first few moments of their meeting ,and later you can see how close they've become when they share their dreams of being lawyers and helping people together as the “avocados” at law.

Because that’s the thing about these two, despite all their differences, they hold the same ideals: helping people. While they go about it in different ways—Matt fighting crime with his fists while Foggy fights crime with the law—they bond over their similarities. They’re different in a lot of other ways too: personality, how they deal with one another, how they deal with the city and people in general. Foggy is definitely the more optimistic, the happier, funny guy while Matt could sit in silence for hours just to think. Foggy is kinder to the people he interacts with (I mean, he’s not the one punching them up against the wall and demanding inside information).

Matt doesn’t tell Foggy his secret right because he knows it’ll change their relationship. When he does reveal the truth, Foggy leaves and they don’t talk for a time. But they still remain loyal to each other and to trust each other, no matter what happens. Foggy never tells Matt’s secret to anyone else, no matter how mad he got. They still believe in each other and they try to push past their differences to remain friends, to, as Matt says, “move forward.”

They’re relationship isn’t perfect, but that is what makes them feel more human. They’ve got significant differences, but they don’t let that get in the way of what they share: a bond of friendship and ideals for their city. Together—and only together—can they be the “best damn avocados this city has ever seen.”

Ashes Tahg
Fezzik and Inigo (The  Princess Bride)

Fezzik: “I don’t think its right, killing an innocent girl”
Vizzini: “Am I going mad, or did the word ‘think’ escape your lips? You were not hired for your brains, you hippopotamic land mass”
Inigo: “I agree with Fezzik”
Vizzini: “Oh, the sot has spoken”

What strikes me right off in Fezzik and Inigo’s friendship is the way they accepted other as they were. Both are misfits of life who don’t particularly fit well among society, and the snide remarks of a boss who thinks himself both your savior and salvation... can definitely form a bond.

Inigo never questioned Fezzik’s intelligence and he even sided with him. Inigo’s drinking habit was gracefully handled by Fezzik. They didn’t have much backstory, and during the movie, their friendship neither grew nor lessened. They just continued. When Fezzik discovered the six fingered man, he went straight to Inigo and nursed him so very tenderly back to health. He hardly needed to be asked to join in on Inigo’s intense crusade for revenge because that is what friends do, right?

To Fezzik, Inigo wasn’t just a crazy drunk who would never amount to much in life; to Inigo, Fezzik wasn’t just some ‘friendless, brainless, helpless, hopeless’ brute. They are both brutes in their own ways, but with soppy hearts of gold deep down within.

After rescuing Wesley and bringing him to Miracle Max, who in turn brought Wesley back from the realm of ‘mostly dead’ (because the only thing to do with ‘all dead’ is go through their pockets and look for loose change), the two planned, with their man in black, to find a way into the castle to rescue Buttercup and, also, ya know, the little side quest of Inigo’s revenge.

What interests me is, none of this has anything to do with Fezzik. He’s on the brute squad. He has a very weak but still present, place in society. A place that will, quite likely, be disrupted by aiding Inigo. But bros help bros.

After an elaborate and unbelievably successful plan, they get into the castle where the wedding to Wesley’s beloved is being held and they encounter Count Rugen and his men. Inigo gets to quote his practiced, immortal line of “you killed my father, prepare to die,” and Rugen runs like a scaredy cat.
Inigo gives chase, only to lose him to a locked door (darn those doors!!).

Fezzik, hearing Inigo’s frantic pleas for help (I mean, I’d be desperate too if my life long mission is being hampered by a solitary locked door) has a bit of a dither on whether to abandon the still-recovering-from-the-whole-’dead’-thing Wesley, or to ignore Inigo. Thankfully there is a suit of armor nearby, and Fezzik leaves Wesley to go bust down the door for Inigo.

By the end of the movie, true love has been reunited, Inigo is left without much to do since his life goal, revenge, has been achieved and, Fezzik (congratulated by Inigo) has thought ahead and shown to be both the true brains and brawn of this mission (which, I guess makes Inigo the drive and Wesley ...the pretty poster boy? I mean, come on, the whole rescue attempt didn’t even need Wesley, if we are speaking truthfully).

So if a kissing book movie isn’t your thing and you are wanting something with a little more friendship, a little more camaraderie, a little more besties-who-don't-know-they-are-besties...
despite its name, The Princess Bride still has you covered.

Sky Destrian
Shawn Spencer and Burton Guster (Psych) 

Shawn Spencer and Burton Guster met when they were young, and it's been one adventure after another ever since. One such adventure is volunteering for the police department to solve crimes--psychically.

Okay, okay, so Shawn's not really a psychic. And Gus knows it. (And we know that he knows, and you know that I know.) In fact, Gus is often the only one applying the brakes in the relationship. Shawn is high-velocity. Gus is mellow and easy-going... yet just wild enough to go along with Shawn's schemes. And together, they make the perfect pair.

These two have stuck by each other through thick and thin. Whether it was Shawn's parents getting divorced or Gus' endless search for the right girl (did you hear about Pluto?), they've been there for each other through all of it. Arguably, Psych wouldn't be the same without the dynamic of these lovable buddies--or shall I say Shawn Spencer and his partner, Lavender Gooms?

Their friendship has been put to the test in many ways--after all, psychic crime-solving is not for the faint of heart. Amidst dealing with serial killers and danger around every corner, Shawn and Gus have never lost their excitement for life. And they have held onto their friendship, even after everything they've been through. One thing is perfectly clear: these bros are in it for life.

Anna Catherine
Arthur and Buster (Arthur)

Arthur and Buster could possibly be the best friends in PBS Kids history.   They share a few common interests, such as the Sugar Bowl or Bionic Bunny, but for the most part the two are polar opposites.   Arthur often serves as Buster's voice of reason by helping him to study, read, or clean up his food collection.   Buster is Arthur's joker, and knows how to lighten up a situation by telling a good alien story.   Buster is also quite a foodie, which is handy if you're eating somewhere new and are curious as to what something tastes like.   Together, the two make each other's lives better in many ways.

Galahad Strange
Chandler Bing and Joey Tribbiani (Friends)

At first glance, you wouldn’t think a snarky IT guy working in statistical analysis and data reconfiguration would be best friends with a sometimes-airheaded Casanova actor who specializes in bouncing from job to job.  And yet…Chandler Bing and Joey Tribbiani have one of the most celebrated friendships in pop culture.

Many of us ‘90s babies remember our parents staying up late to watch Friends, and now that we’re grown up and “old enough”, many of us are discovering Friends for ourselves (and if you’re like me, binge-watching it on Netflix). One of the aspects of the show that really shines is Joey and Chandler.

Like I said, in the beginning these two should probably have not ended up friends…but are we ever glad they did.  A long time ago, in a galaxy actually not quite far away, Chandler Bing was searching for a roommate to share the rent on his two bedroom apartment.  Joey didn’t quite make the good first impression, but the two of them wound up bonding over beer and the TV show Bay Watch and the rest, as they say, is history.

These two get into so many scrapes it’s almost quite frankly ridiculous—and hilarious.  Like the fan-stalker debacle. 

The ever-youthful and gorgeous Brooke Shields stepped into the role of Joey’s Days of Our Lives fan-slash-stalker Erica Ford, who couldn’t differentiate Days from real life to the extent that she actually thought Joey was his character “Dr. Drake Ramoray”.  Who could forget the boys arming themselves with a frying pan and a bottle of dish soap?  (See above picture.)

What about the baby-chase escapade?  The one time Ross trusts the boys with babysitting his toddler son Ben, what is the first thing they do?  Lose him, on a bus, while Joey is putting the moves on some girls who were enchanted by Ben, and Chandler joining in on the action.

  And let’s not forget the infernal entertainment center.  When Joey gets a home-improvement bug, what does he build but a gigantic entertainment center with a million compartments and shelves, that blocks up a good portion of both the boys’ bedroom doors.  For me, I’ll never forget the scene when Joey’s drill goes straight through Chandler’s bedroom wall, missing Chandler’s head by a hair, and as Chandler bounces out into the living room, hopping mad, Joey looks up and says as nonchalantly as you please, “Oh, sorry, did I get you?”  To which Chandler shrieks—

That had me laughing for days.

But no matter how many or what kind of scrapes or fights these two friends get into, in the end they’ve always got each other’s back.  One time when Chandler at last got Joey to agree to get rid of the entertainment center unit, Joey was trying to make a sale and prove to a potential buyer that a grown man could indeed fit in one of the compartments; he voluntarily got into the unit, and the guy locked him in.  When Chandler got home, everything was gone, from their kitchen table to their cherished barcaloungers.  Chandler was angry (and with good reason) at Joey for a long time, but eventually all was forgiven, and when Joey struck it big with a major role on Days of Our Lives, he replaced everything with better, brand-new models, like a gorgeous new TV and luxurious new barcaloungers.  And then years later when Joey lost not only his gig on Days, but his swanky apartment and everything in it, Chandler didn’t hesitate to offer him back his place in the old apartment.

These boys made the previous generation laugh and cry, and now our generation is getting to do the same: laugh ourselves silly and watery-eyed at their escapades, their quips, their pranks and jokes; and mourn their losses and movings-on.  Friends was and is still one of the greatest shows of all time, and Joey and Chandler are one of the best friendships to ever grace our screens.

Amanda Horn
Abby Sciuto and Ziva David (NCIS)

One of my favorite things about NCIS is that everyone is truly friends with each other, even if they won’t all admit it. One of my favorite friendships on this show (one that is often overlooked) is the friendship between Abby Sciuto and Ziva David. I love well-done female friendships, and theirs is definitely awesome!

While they ended up being great friends, Abby was initially wary. Since Abby viewed Ziva as Kate’s replacement and Abby and Kate were practically best friends, she didn’t even want to get along with Ziva. While eventually they did become friends (hence this post), their friendship definitely had a rocky start.

Even though it didn’t start as smoothly as some friendships do, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t a strong friendship. For seasons 6-10 of the show, they are the only two women who are regular characters, so even though they work in different jobs and areas, they stick together and support each other. In some ways it may have started as a friendship born out of necessity, but it has developed into a true, deep friendship. They are true partners-in-crime.

One of my favorite examples of their friendship is when Ziva gives Abby a ‘Chocoholic’s Choice” cupcake as a gift for letting her stay at Abby’s apartment while Ziva’s home was being fumigated. It’s such a lovely, sensitive present for Ziva to give, which is sometimes surprising to see. This cupcake goes missing, so Abby launches a whole investigation for it. I think this is one of the greatest times when you can see how strong their friendship is, as Ziva almost threatens to get in anybody’s way if they get in Abby’s way. To put it one way, that would be terrifying. You just don’t mess with Ziva. These are some great women and, like I stated earlier, I love good female friendships. What are some of your favorites?

1 comment:

  1. Arthur and Buster as well as Inigo and Fezzik are TOTALLY two of my favorite friendship pairs. They make me so happy. :) I think the best thing about them is that they're always together, through whatever comes, and that makes them all the stronger. In terms of some of my favorite friendship pairs, I would say the Leverage crew. They are such friends they are family. :)