Writing a strong but unique and interesting friendship is one of the greatest challenges a TV show can face. It’s always a gift when a show gives us a truly great friendship. Here are my choices for the best TV friendships of 2015.
15. Dinesh & Gilfoyle (Silicon Valley)
What I love about Dinesh and Gilfoyle is how unspoken the friendship is. They’re not willing to acknowledge that they can even stand each other, yet we see over and over again that they’re rarely apart and that they respect and can communicate with each other more than anyone else in their lives. They don’t get the big ‘you’re my best friend and I love you’ moments, but whether Dinesh is full of confidence that Gilfoyle can handle anything an angry hacker throws at him or Gilfoyle is dutifully climbing a tree to get a lemon that’s up to Dinesh’s standards, these two are always showing what they’d never say out loud: they’ve become each other’s best friend.
14. Jules & Laurie (Cougar Town)
Jules and Laurie’s friendship became closer than ever, now that Laurie is the mother of Jules’s grandchild. Episodes like “The Wild One, Forever” show how much they understand and support each other.
13. Rachel & Quinn (UnREAL)
This relationship is often unhealthy– Quinn blackmails Rachel right off the bat and by the end of the season Rachel was asking “we killed someone, didn’t we?”– but, it was always fascinating to watch.
12. Gretchen & Lindsay (You’re the Worst)
What I loved about Gretchen and Lindsay this season is how much they accepted each other when, sadly, it often felt like no one else in their lives did.
11. Jeff & Abed (Community)
Community is fully of strong friendships, but I feel it’s the relationship between Jeff and Abed that really became the core of the show. In a finale full of heart-warming moments, the one that stuck out to me most was when Jeff gives Abed a hug, then pulls away for a second before hugging him again. Jeff’s sheer vulnerability in this moment, and Abed’s mix of surprise and understanding, were a perfect pay off to six years of relationship development.
10. Kimmy & Titus (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
Kimmy and Titus were thrown together by circumstance. They may not have much in common, but they quickly came to be each other’s support system.
9. Leslie & April (Parks and Recreation)
In Parks and Recreation‘s last season it was satisfying to see how the relationship between Leslie and April changed from one where Leslie was a mix of a pestering boss and a mentor, to one where they were able to relate as grown women and equals.
8. Leslie & Ron (Parks and Recreation)
Leslie and Ron’s friendship ended up being one of the most important relationships in the series. The show forced them apart then brought them back together beautifully.
7. Steven & Connie (Steven Universe)
Steven and Connie’s relationship started off as a fairly typical one where Steven was pining after a girl he thought was cute. But, the show has been dedicated to infusing the relationship with communication and mutual respect.
6. BoJack & Diane (BoJack Horseman)
This relationship is more than a little messy, but I love seeing a TV show take on the fact that friendships take work. Moments of raw vulnerability like when BoJack told Diane simply, “You hurt my feelings and it’s weird that you never apologized for it” are incredibly resonant. Diane knew she could safely crash at BoJack’s place for an unspecified amount of time while she was in a downward spiral. While you could argue that’s called enabling, it also shows the strength of their bond.
5. Jake & Charles (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
All the relationships on Brooklyn Nine-Nine are incredible, but Jake and Charles take the cake. I mean, they sang an impromptu “My Humps” parody together.
4. Jessica & Trish (Jessica Jones)
There are several excellent themes in Jessica Jones, but one that really stands out is the strength of friendship. This never comes off as cheesy and, in fact, shows how complicated and messy friendships can be. But, at the end of the day, Jessica and Trish’s determination to protect each other is beautiful.
3. Abbi & Ilana (Broad City)
Broad City‘s strength comes from the fact that Abbi and Ilana are very different women, but at the end of the day they’re always there to support each other. The way they play off each other is always a delight to watch.
2. Riley & Maya (Girl Meets World)
It’s refreshing that Riley and Maya’s friendship doesn’t hold back. They have nothing but gushing love and admiration for each other. When they hit a bump, they communicate until they’re once again on the same page. It’s idealistic and a joy to watch.
1. Jules & Ellie (Cougar Town)
Over the years, Jules and Ellie’s friendship has come to mean a lot to me and it didn’t let me down in the final season. These very different women continued to love each other with their whole hearts and give each other exactly what they need.