Thursday, September 24, 2015

Hey, I Can Be Friends With Boys!

It's been written over and over again. Guy meets girl. Guy and girl become friends, usually after some minor dislike. Then something more develops between the two of them...

Don't get me wrong, I think it is important to be best friends with your significant other. But why is that formula so pervasive to the point that polls that ask if Men and Women can just be friends, the polls lean towards no. Keep in mind, I don't think there is anything wrong with the formula but why can't we just tell interesting stories of a male-female close friendship with nothing romantic?

I got thinking about how this sort of irritates me because I have so many male friends, most of which I have not had romantic feelings for and I believe it is vise-versa. And as I wrote about before, there is nothing wrong or less about platonic relationships. But Male-Female friendships aren't lesser and they do exist and it is possible for it to remain so. It shouldn't be a foreign concept.

I decided to, to prove my point, make a list of my favorite platonic couples that never had any romance between them on either side and also their relationship is defined as equals (so no older brother/older sister or mentor type relationships).  There is more, but here is my five.

1. Liv Moore and Ravi Chakrabarti -- iZombie

I just want to say that if Ravi wanted to be more than platonic with me, that's okay

This show is what inspired this post and is totally my wheelhouse. I can't believe it took me as long as it did to watch this. It is a Police Procedural with a campy horror aspect. I love both of those things! It also has a cute, snarky, bearded guy -- definitely a plus!

For those not in the know, iZombie is about a pair of medical examiners -- the titular couple-- and one of them is a secret zombie. She eats the brains of those who were murdered and gains memories, talents, and personality traits and she uses those abilities to solve mysteries.

I know technically Ravi is Liv's supervisor but I feel their friendship is that of equals. They completely respect each other and show their love through snarking. There is also no romantic feelings between the two of them. In fact, Ravi dates Liv's roommate -- the only person who is snarkier than he is.

I love their friendship so much and how much they honestly try to support each other. It is a true friendship.

2. Asami and Bolin -- Legend of Korra

We all have that friend

 This friendship is subtle and doesn't get a whole lot of play but it is actually an extremely underrated as far as touching platonic relationships go.

Legend of Korra is the sequel series for Avatar: The Last Airbender that follows Avatar Korra and her friends. Asami is a cool-headed, mechanical genius whose pairing off with Korra broke the internet. Bolin, unfairly called Sokka-lite -- is a spacy, good-hearted earth-bender who never can seem to catch a break.

Bolin and Asami have many touching scenes. For instance, Asami is the only member of Team Avatar that Bolin completely confides in. He tries to hard to impress both Korra and his older brother, Mako. But he and Asami have many talks in which Asami gives him great advice. She shows great patience with him, especially as they play Pai Sho.

Also, completely platonic. Bolin or Asami don't show any romantic interest in the other.

3. Jake Peralta and Gina Linetti -- Brooklyn 99

 It was only a matter of time before I had to bring Brooklyn-99 into this. I just had to because Gina and Jake are amazing.

I read in an article at The Mary Sue about how Jake treats his female co-workers as equals. In fact, I would say his best friend is probably Gina. Well, they do talk about their history together. They grew up in the same neighborhood and spent afternoons at Jake's grandma's apartment. This history has caused them to just GET each other. And not only that, they know where to draw the line with their own individual bullshit. Both are self-absorbed in their own way but do have a personal loyalty to each other.

I also find it interesting that Jake and Gina do have an argument because Jake did look down at Gina for being an admin while Jake was a detective. Come to realize Gina has her life together more so than Jake does. But even after that, Gina is willing to help Jake out for very little in return -- which she wouldn't do for anyone else. And Jake always has her back.

4. Luna Lovegood and Harry Potter -- Harry Potter Series

Shippers aside, I love Luna and Harry's friendship. I wish it got more play in the books. The thing about Harry and Luna is that Harry doesn't have to put up a front around her. Yeah, he has his biffles Ron and Hermione but Harry still had to put up the front that everything is okay when things Were Not Okay. He could be honest with Luna and Luna has been consistently there for him, even when it seemed like Harry had no one.

He took her to the Yule Ball and actually had fun despite it all. And with Luna? She had friends who accepted her for her quirks and all.

5. Homer and Ellie -- Tomorrow When the War Began (Movie Only)

The two in question are front and center

 Tomorrow When the War Began is one of my guilty pleasure movies. I know it is kind of silly and campy at times but it is such a fun romp. The movie is based on a book series -- which I have read the first one -- and the differences between the mediums illustrates the point I'm trying to make. First off, the plot of both the series and the movie involves a group of Australian teens who go camping "in the bush" for the week and when they return, it turns out Australia had just been invaded by an unnamed country. Suddenly, like Red Dawn, the teens are forced to become insurgents despite their teen bullshit (and there is a lot of it -- and I love it).

The narrator of the story is named Ellie, your quintessential teenage girl who is responsible but likes to have fun. Homer is her second best friend after her female friend who I can't remember as she's not all that interesting. Homer is the fun, comic relief character (who does grow up a bit in the movie) who likes to troll people. He and Ellie work together extremely well and it is clear they'd do anything for each other. I love how Homer is always goofing off and Ellie is just Not Having Any Of That (but I am hiding a smile cuz that was a funny joke) sort of thing. The two work as the joint leaders of the insurgents. Homer has the guts and the creativity while Ellie is able to cool his impulsivity and bring responsibility. I LIKE their friendship.

I was disappointed in the book. In the movie, Ellie has a crush on a different guy who is a sensitive piano player (cuz of course) and Homer likes the girly, naive Fiona. In the book, while Ellie does like the same guy and Homer has a thing for Fiona -- Ellie and Homer kind of this thing for each other. I mean -- why can't they just be friends?

I didn't finish the book series so I don't know how much of that sticks but as of now, I like movie Homer and Ellie's platonic friendship. Partly because I did have quite a few Homers in my life.


 I guess what I'm saying is not that we should stop the whole they were friends now they're romantic trope but just platonic guy-girl relationships can be just as awesome and special.

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