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True Friendships in a Comedy Series Part Two
More Comedy Shows where Friendship Enhanced it
In part one of True Friendships in a Comedy Series I mentioned great comedies that had heart. Friendships played an important part of the series. Shows like Seinfeld, 30 Rock, I Love Lucy, etc. these friendships gave special meaning to the shows. I would like to continue in that vein with more series that had the friendships you wanted to see more of.
THE GOLDEN GIRLS these ladies got together to help cut expenses, but they grew very close and found life was much easier to handle with friends who would love and support you. You had Blanche the man crazy southern belle, Dorothy the schoolteacher and voice of reason that would often get irritated with Rose’s stories, but listened just the same. There was Rose who was a little spacey, but very loveable, and last, but not least there was Sophia, Dorothy’s mother, who was a little senile and always told stories, whether true or not, about her life. Living together as a group can make you want to kill each other from time to time, but these ladies always smoothed out their problems. If one of them was in trouble the rest of them were right there to make things right. I think everyone would like to be in Miami with these ladies as roommates.
THE BIG BANG THEORY this is a great series that celebrates friendships of the geeky kind. Big personalities abound in this funny comedy of highly intelligent guys who lack the social graces, but don’t really care. There is Leonard Hofstadter, an experimental physicist, who is roommates with Sheldon Cooper. Sheldon is a gifted man who got his diploma from graduate school at 16 years old. He is a theoretical physicist and he may know science and equations he is clueless on how to interact with his mankind. Slowly his friendships and his girlfriend Amy are teaching him to be a more considerate person. Howard Wolowitz is an aeronautical engineer who thinks he is a ladies man, but wasn’t very successful till he meets and eventually married his girlfriend Bernadette. Last but not least is Rajesh Koothrappali he is a particle astrophysicist at Caltech. He is very shy around the ladies, but he has been more successful than Howard at getting them because of his sweet ways. These guys love to go to lunch together, and play games. They take pot shots at each other, but they do truly love each other. The most recent episode ended with Howard going into space. Howard’s friends gathered at Leonard and Sheldon’s apartment to watch his rocket go into space. Words were not needed to show how concerned they were for their friend and their hopes for his safe return. Friendships should be like this.
THE ANDY GRIFFIN SHOW in this series once more a working relationship turned into a great friendship. Andy Taylor was the sheriff of Mayberry a small, quiet town in North Carolina. Andy is the Sheriff but he has a way with people and would rather handle problems with down home wisdom rather than to resort to violence. His deputy and his best friend is Barney Fife. Barney is a little guy with big aspirations. He wants to be more than a deputy, but he doesn’t have the skills to achieve his goals. Andy sees Barney and his flaws and his insecurities, but chooses instead to see his great qualities like honor, loyalty, and how he always had his back no matter what the situation. Their friendship worked well for them. Andy was there to calm down Barney and to show him he had many admirable traits, Barney was there to back up Andy not only in their work relationship, but as a friend. There was never a more loyal friendship.
GILLIGAN’S ISLAND the greatest friendship on this show was between the Skipper andhis first mate, and friend, Gilligan. This show had great slapstick humor and the relationship between the Skipper and Gilligan gave a nod to the Laurel and Hardy movies. The Skipper was overweight and had a bit of a short fuse when it came to nonsense. Gilligan, on the other hand, was skinny and a bit naive and clumsy. No matter how many times Gilligan messed up their rescue from the island the Skipper would always forgive him. In friendship you sometimes look past the flaws of your friends and see the bigger picture. The Skipper knew that Gilligan meant no harm and that he truly cared about him. Gilligan looked up to his friend and his accomplishments and enjoyed his company. If they had to be on a deserted island I think they were glad they were there together.
HAPPY DAYS those teenage years can be difficult, but if you have your friends beside you it helps to ease any problems you might encounter. The characters in this show were Ritchie Cunningham a wholesome kid who respected his parents and who loved to hang out at Arnold’s a hamburger restaurant with his friends. Potsie Weber a want to be singer, Ralph Malph the clown of the group, and last, but not least Arthur Fonzarelli or Fozie as he was known in the neighborhood. He was a high school dropout and a mechanic, but he had a great heart under his tough exterior. This show had nostalgia of the 1950’s, but it showed that friendships are ageless.
ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS the friendship of Edina Monsoon a PR agent, and Patsy Stone who works, sometimes, at a magazine is probably the worst kind of friendship. Edina is a drug user and loves to drink, and Patsy is there for the ride. Work takes a back seat because they girls are looking for a good time no matter what the consequences. They seem to have no feelings for anyone and are constantly trying to stay current and youthful even it kills them. Under their seemly unfeeling personalities there are glimmers of humanity. Edina loves her daughter Saffie and depends on her to help her through her problems of drink and drugs. Edina sees Patsy has even more problems than she does and always offers a place to stay or a loan. If they didn’t have each other they would not have survived. Their friendship isn’t the normal kind, but it works for them.
LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY one cannot talk about friends in a comedy series without mentioning this show. Laverne Defazio worked in a brewery in Milwaukee with her friend and roommate Shirley Feeney . These friends spent a lot of time together at home and at work. Laverne was outspoken, a tomboy, and a bit cynical about life. Shirley was more soft spoken and perky. Together they balanced each other out. Not only was theirs a great friendship the show also introduced us to two more great friends- Lennie Kosnowski a truck driver for the brewery, and Squiggy alias Andrew Squigman he also worked at the brewery. They were close friends just like Laverne and Shirley. Lenny was very likeable and not too bright, while Squiggy was more obnoxious and wanted to get rich not matter what it took to do it. The pairing of Laverne and Shirley was similar to that of Lucy and Ethel. Their friendship would survive any ordeal they faced.
True friendships never die and neither will these shows. Comedies are more than a punch line and to be successful you have to have empathy for the characters. All of these shows had friends who made you care about them, and in some cases made you wish you had a friend like that.