Category Archives: List

BFFs on Screen and in Print

*** Spoiler Alert! This post includes spoilers for last week’s Glee and Lie To Me season finale, and includes details about some other older films and books***

I wanted to think about something beautiful tonight, so I turned on the part of the latest Glee episode where Kurt confesses to Blaine that he thought Blaine wanted to ask him out and not that strange guy from the store, and then Blaine admits that he only pretends he knows what he’s doing. And I thought how nice their friendship was, that they were both able to tell things to each other that were obviously difficult to admit or say out loud. Then I suddenly realised that in most of the books I read and films or shows I watch, my favourite thing about them are the beautiful friendships. So, I decided to count ten of my favourite fictional friendships (some of them with some delightful angst and romantic undertones). In no particular order, because, really, how can you put a number on friendship?

Harry and Hermione (from Harry Potter books, by JK Rowling). I think, it’s beautiful in its simplicity, for the lack of a better way to put it. I mean, people both in the books and in the fandom always think there’s more to it, but I think, that if it wasn’t pointed out to them in Goblet of Fire by the Daily Prophet, Harry and Hermione would have never even thought of it, and I love how little the whole deal affected their relationship. Because there honestly is just that – true friendship.

Harry and Sally (from film When Harry Met Sally). This is one of those with romantic undertones which actually become the main colour of the relationship in the end. This one has the cuteness I love in the situation when totally opposite people become friends. It’s so fun to watch how they clash at first and gradually actually become attached to those annoying details.

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson (from Sherlock Holmes stories and numerous screen adaptations). This was actually the very first fictional friendship that stood out to me in my life. It might not seem like an equal partnership at first glance; Holmes is definitely a dominating personality, but it’s Doctor Watson who tells the stories, so it’s really his voice we hear. They may not express their feelings or anything like that, but each knows that the other would save his life.

Cal Lightman and Gillian Foster (TV series Lie To Me). Now, this one has some serious romantic angst going on and it’s a huge part of this friendship’s charm: you can see two best friends and business partners, who seemingly are also very much in love (well, at least now we know for sure that this is true on Lightman’s part), and apparently don’t quite know what to do about that.

Kurt and Blaine (TV series Glee). Well, I already pretty much covered that in the beginning of this post. At first it seemed that this was going to be a sort of mentor-student relationship, but I guess now it’s clear that both of these boys are pretty clueless about how to handle romance and stuff – and I like that the writers decided to point that out, it gives new tones to the relationship. They both have a lot to learn and I can’t wait to see how this relationship develops.

At this point I notice the apparent lack of female-female friendships in my list, but none really come to mind, so if anyone knows any books, films or TV series featuring a beautiful friendship between female characters, let me know, I’d love to check them out.

Drey and Dan (from film Half Nelson). This one falls into the category of highly questionable morals, being a friendship (for the lack of a better word) between a drug-addicted teacher and one of his female students who is somehow connected to a gang or something. However, I love this film from an artistic point and it’s all about the friendship.

Daniel and Karen (from film Love Actually). The beauty of this one is not very ‘visible’ but that’s a big part of why I like it so much. In the beginning of the film, Daniel calls Karen, because he literally has nobody else to talk to. It seems that they’re completely honest and tell each other everything.

Emma and Mr Knightley (from Emma, by Jane Austen). Again, this evolves from friendship to love, but it’s the bickering unaware-of-stronger-feelings stage of it that I love most.

Abby Sciuto and Jethro Gibbs (TV series NCIS). This isn’t your conventional frienship, it’s actually more of a father-daughter relationship, but it wins in cuteness.

And I also just realise now that all the friendships in this list are pairs. That’s not to say that I don’t think a wonderful thing is possible among more than two people. But when you take more than two friends, every two you take have slightly different dynamics.

Rory and Lane (TV series Gilmore Girls). Finally! Two girls best friends. Best friends since kindergarten, they may fight sometimes, but ultimately they can trust each other no matter what. And I like that they are just always sort of there, together, no need to make a deal out of it.

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Imaginary Idols

I have a couple of things to confess tonight. First, I love many books and many movies and way too many TV shows. Second, I love making lists. To-do lists, pro/con lists, and the like (it’s how I keep the hang on my life and free my mind from having to remind myself constantly about things I have to do). However, not usually lists of my favourite things, mostly because I tend to change my mind about them so often and other times I can’t even decide. Also, lately, thinking about grad schools and what I would like to do in the future has led me to think about people I admire. Rather strange jump, but what can I do – my mind sometimes works on its own. Anyway, all these things need to be connected, and they will do just that in the form of a list of fictional female characters that I admire the most from books, movies and TV. I know I know – admiring a fictional character may be dangerous, as fiction is, well, not real and that can lead one to do stupid things. But I think I have a tight enough grip on reality and over my life I’ve been forced to dethrone so many real people I admired. So often I choose fictional heroes, because I can imagine them as I want and they can’t disappoint me. I’ve chosen female characters tonight, because I’m, well, a girl, but finding female role models has always been hard for me for some reason. I could count many intelligent and cool men I admire, both fictional and real, but coming up with admirable women is way more difficult.

Disclaimer: just like pretty much all lists of favourite things that I make this is by no means definitive or final list. I can remember someone I’ve forgotten or change my mind as soon as I’m done writing this.

#10 Margarita (Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakhov)

She was the first fictional woman that ever left an impression to me. Sure, her relationship with her lover may be a little dysfunctional, but I love that for once it’s the woman who saves her loved one, and not the other way around, even though I do love a good save-the-princess story, but I admire and want to be a sort of woman who can fight.

#9 Matty Crompton (Angels and Insects, the movie, but she shouldn’t be that different in the book)

Disregarding some weirdness and stuff, what I find is a great scientific mind and enough courage to pursue it.

#8 Katherine Watson (Mona Lisa Smile, movie).

I always admire a good teacher, also someone working to get to her goal as long as it takes and not afraid to live in an unconventional sort of way.

#7 Elisabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen)

Cliché, I know, but I can’t help it (even though she isn’t my favourite character in the book). I mean, she’s THE Lizzy admired by pretty much every girl who reads Pride and Prejudice. Although, admittedly, she’s prejudiced and somewhat too proud.

#6 Sophie Deveraux (Leverage, TV)

So she’s a criminal, but she’s one of the good guys. She’s excellent at getting people to do what she wants (something I’d like to do sometimes too).

#5 Gillian Foster (Lie To Me, TV)

She’s good at what she does, and how cool is it – seeing so many things just listening and observing people. If it wasn’t for her, the Lightman Group would be working out of a cardboard box. I also love the naive and happy side about her (I have that too and I hope it doesn’t disappear).

#4 Hermione Granger (Harry Potter books, by JK Rowling)

I used to deny my being in so many ways just like her, but coming to think of it – she’s clever, she’s brave, and she’s got a heart even bigger than her brain, which is saying something. And after she works out her thing with sticking to the rules so much, she’s almost too close to perfect.

#3 Trinity (The Matrix movies)

She cracked, well, I don’t know what exactly, but Neo sounded seriously impressed. She’s also courageous. She can jump over buildings. And she looks way cool in black leather.

#2 Irena Adler (from Sherlock Holmes stories, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

The woman outsmarted Sherlock Holmes himself! If I could do that, my life would be complete.

#1 River Song (Doctor Who, TV)

What can I say – the woman is just cool. She has smarts, she has spunk. She can get out of prison. She is an archaeology professor (when I was in fifth grade, I wanted to be an archaeologist, too). She has this mystery thing working really well. She helped the Doctor save the world. And she graffitted the oldest rock in the universe. ‘Nuff said.

Now, who have I forgotten?