Wednesday, 23 March 2016
This topic is huge, and it's something I think I will keep coming back to on here, but for now I want to talk about female friendship in relation to the three big, female focussed NY shows - Sex and the City, Girls and Broad City.
First up - Sex and the City... SatC created the original girl gang dynamic - four women, contrasting personalities and a killer friendship. I do love this show and at the time, talking so openly about sex, relationships and being an independent woman was innovative and mostly unheard of. The show in it's purest forms is based around friendship, real friendship. The gang love each other, stand up for each other, listen to each other being insane and somehow manage to help each other out no matter what. The show is pretty 'man hunt' focussed (life) but the show also strays from the norm by allowing a women in her fifties be single and says that it's ok, because despite popular opinion - being on your own isn't all that bad. Despite the film depictions of SatC being pretty shit, this quote is perfect, "I love you... but I love me more. I've been in a relationship with myself for 49 years and that's the one I need to work on." - Samantha Jones. Preach.
It's unrealistic for the majority of the time - take Carrie - from what we see, she writes one column yet seems to keep a one bed flat in Manhattan, with a steady stream of designer clothes / shoes, whilst out every night and going for drinks at every opportunity... I don't think so... reality is that she would be shopping at Primark (they are moving to the UK in this scenario, obvs), house sharing with another five people and eating a lot more beans.... but despite my best efforts, I still love this show. I think it's stood the test of time. Oh, and the clothes, THE CLOTHES.
Girl's came on the scene like a younger, grimier version of SatC - although I don't think this was deliberate, it's hard not to compare when the set up is so similar. Girl's is more realistic - the gang live in shittier flats (although Hannah still manages to work part time and live in a two-bed.... nope, not happening - get in a six bed Hannah), they don't wear a wardrobe made up of designer clothes and posh restaurants are out, clubs are in. There is a core group of four pals, so far, so Sex and the City, B U T the friendship dynamic in Girl's is meannnnn.
The protagonists are unlikeable - they are all selfish and self-absorbed, they stab each other in the back, bitch about each other and are generally the worst. Each character seems to be the extreme / rubbish parts of a shitty personality without the good parts to balance it out. That being said, I can see parts of myself in each of the characters and maybe that's a good thing. We can all be nasty, selfish and hurtful, and it's important that we see that being played out, nobody is perfect after all. The friendships are toxic and sometimes hard to swallow, the sex is honest, the bodies are realistic and it's great.
For me, Broad City is the best show in the world (no exaggeration, well... maybe a tad). When I compare the three shows, BC is the most realistic is terms of the living situation and portrayal of friendship. The two female leads share small flats with housemates they don't necessarily like, they work crappy jobs, smoke a lot of weed, re-wear outfits and drink a lot of booze. Abbi and Ilana are ridiculously great, pot smoking, hilarious, feminist heroes! The storylines aren't focussed around finding a man, they are focussed on being badass as you are.
The two girls love each other unconditionally, as my with girl gang - they are supportive, funny, non-judgemental, understanding, loving, compliment giving, hype machines. That's what feels realistic to me - pals who tell you that you can do anything and will be there along the way, making life generally more liveable. They are my people.
Basically, YASSSSS QUEEN.