They say opposites attract. But this trite chemist’s platitude rings truer for friendships than relationships. For as generic and formulaic as most shows can be, there are moments when TV creators and writers will throw a curveball in terms of female friendship pairings. We’re talking Oscar and Felix divergent. And, speaking of Oscar and Felix, there seems to be a pandemic of shows with male personality pairings that are noticeably at odds (e.g. Peep Show, Breaking Bad and Ren and Stimpy). Whereas, with female friendships (à la Daria, Broad City, 2 Broke Girls), the two main characters tend to be very similar in style, humor and world view. And so, it is rather refreshing to see a rapport between two decidedly different individuals. What follows is a list of the most unlikely female friendships in TV history.
Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz, I Love Lucy: Unified over a not so secret hatred of their husbands, Lucy and Ethel were the earliest example of two women from decidedly different backgrounds. Ethel was complacent, while Lucy was a scheming and dreaming dynamo. Together, they balanced each other out more perfectly than yin and yang.
Charlotte York and Samantha Jones, Sex and the City: The prudishness of Charlotte York didn’t always jive with the sexual frankness of Samantha Jones, and vice versa–particularly in an episode where Samantha sleeps with Charlotte’s brother. Nonetheless, these two “auxiliary” characters often proved more interesting as a duo than Carrie Bradshaw herself.
Kelly Taylor and Brenda Walsh, Beverly Hills 90210: These two “teens” were so alluringly disparate that it was all Dylan McKay could do to keep from forcing them into a threesome. Kelly’s bubbly, California girl persona was in sharp contrast to Brenda’s generally angst-ridden attitude (which is why she had to bounce from the whole “L.A. scene”).
Rory Gilmore and Lane Kim, Gilmore Girls: Sure, they were both meek, knowledgeable on a range of subjects and had men throw themselves in their direction without even trying, but what made Rory and Lane so diverse from one another (apart from their ethnicities) was their upbringings. Rory operated under the lax tutelage of Lorelai Gilmore, as Lane endured the strictness of the scary Korean Mrs. Kim (whose first name is rarely mentioned).
Blair Waldorf and Serena Van der Woodsen, Gossip Girl: You would think that privileged white girls of the Upper East Side would be nothing but a bag of sameness, but not when it came to the carefree, reckless nature of Serena and the tightly wound, manipulative propensities of Blair. When the two combined their powers to rule Constance Billard, it was beautiful. During their “off” periods, it was even more beautiful.
Marnie Michaels and Hannah Horvath, Girls: As much as I fucking hate this show, it definitely falls under the category of narratives with unlikely female friendships. Frumpy, sloppy Hannah is a noticeable variant next to polished, poised Marnie. But the two are bonded through a directionless existence and a committed cause to making Brooklyn as over as possible.
Rachel Green and Monica Geller, Friends: Obviously, if you’re going to be boning someone’s brother, you need to be pretty good friends with his sister. Rachel Green, the ditzy, lackadaisical counterpart to Monica Geller’s intense, perfectionist persona managed to do just that. Even though they were friends long before Ross slimed his way into Rachel’s vag, the richness of their friendship wasn’t really solidified until the whole Ross “we were on a break” drama went down.