The 25 Best TV Friendships
We pick our favorite aspirational duosPhoto Courtesy of NBC TV Lists list
When we put out the call to the Paste staff and TV writers to name their favorite small-screen friendships, the response was immediate. This was the wholesome content we all needed, focusing on the pairs and duos that have so enriched our TV-watching experience. (For the purpose of this list we stuck with twosomes, although look out for a favorite friend groups list in the future).
Reading through these 25 selections one thing is clear: we all love opposites who attract, call each other into account, and are always there for one another. What better example of true friendship is there? We also have skewed more contemporary, although there are some legacy picks. Look, we’re young and free, what do you want from us?
Our aspirational favorites—including a few controversial picks—are below:
Community: Troy & Abed
The unlikely friendship between a Black former high-school quarterback raised by Jehova’s Witnesses and the Pakistani-Polish-American autistic kid obsessed with Doctor Spacetime was one of the most endearing facets of Dan Harmon’s meta-aware sitcom. Away from the confines of everyone’s expectations, Troy (Donald Glover) was able to let his geek flag fly. And Abed (Danny Pudi) found someone to join in his antics, escapades, and capers without judgment. When tensions rose between them—when, say, one wanted to create the world’s largest blanket fort and the other had moved on to pillows—we felt it deeply, even as we believed nothing could ever really come between Troy and Abed, in the mooooorning or nights! —Josh Jackson
The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Mary & Rhoda
Things could have immediately easily gone south for Mary (Mary Tyler Moore) and Rhoda (Valerie Harper) on the legendary CBS sitcom. After all, Mary was renting the studio apartment that Rhoda felt rightly belonged to her. Instead, they fed off of each other, relying on the other for advice and as a sounding board when things were looking like one of them might not make it after all. The opposites attract personas of the manicured and conservatively dressed Mary and the more opinionated, wise-cracking Rhoda and her legendary single life and shiny headscarves created a dynamic pairing. There really was something there, kid. —Whitney Friedlander
Stranger Things: Steve & Dustin
The unexpected mentorship that cool guy Steve (Joe Keery) gave uber-nerd Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) in Season 2 of Stranger Things was a wholesome narrative detour that helped boost Steve into the stratosphere of viewer popularity. That season saw a lot of different combinations of the core cast, mostly playing out in fun duos, but none were as surprisingly affecting as this specific alliance. Steve matured hugely between Seasons 1 and 2, enough that his time with Dustin (who also made big character leaps) ended up being a key component of that season’s success—even when just discussing hair care and girl problems. Season 3 leaned into this even more, allowing the two’s natural friendship to grow. And though Maya Hawke’s Robin ended up also having an excellent friendship dynamic with Steve, our heart still belongs to that initial combination of the ex-jerk jock and the D&D dork who ended up forging a genuine connection. —Allison Keene
Gilmore Girls: Lorelai & Sookie
Without a doubt, Lorelai’s (Lauren Graham) best friend was Sookie (Melissa McCarthy). While the pair are basically friends with the entire town of Stars Hollow (yes, even with friends with Taylor) it’s clear that they would be ok just having each other to call. Their friendship is aspirational in that they were so different and yet had each other’s back no matter what. It helps to have a common goal, even if it is a business one, and their strengths complimented each other, giving them success at the Dragonfly Inn. Yes, there are strains to the relationship when taking on a huge challenge, but they did not give up on each other. They communicated their problems and then resolved them. While Sookie seems flighty at times, she gives Lorelai the best kinds of relationship advice, because sees what is really going on with her friend. She knows Luke is The One. In turn, Lorelai’s parenting advice to new mom Sookie helps bring down the stress level. After all, Lorelai was a teen mom when she started raising Rory and she is doing just fine! And while it’s true that Lorelai and Rory are friends, I can’t help but think during the theme song as Carole King sings in the intro, “You’ve got a friend,” that they are also talking about Lorelai and Sookie. —Keri Lumm
Teen Wolf: Scott & Stiles
I love a good bromance, and it doesn’t get bromance-ier than Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) and Stiles Stilinski (Dylan O’Brien) of MTV’s supernatural drama Teen Wolf. No matter what is thrown at them—whether it is turning into a werewolf, being possessed by a powerful nogitsune, or simply trying to make the lacrosse team—Scott and Stiles always stick together. And more importantly, they have a lot of fun along the way. When I think about what Teen Wolf would have been like without them, it’s impossible to imagine; their lifelong friendship is the show. It provided such a strong foundation for a series that sometimes went off the rails.
And while their bond lends itself to lots of comedic moments, what stands out is how it also breaks your heart, like when Stiles calmly and heroically stops Scott from harming himself by putting his own life on the line. Or when Scott hugs and reassures Stiles when the latter is in the hospital and thinks he might be suffering from the same disease that killed his mother. For a series that features a lot of crazy life-and-death situations, it’s these simple but emotionally effective moments that stand out. And they were made possible by the work the writers and actors put into showcasing the loyalty and strength of Stiles and Scott’s friendship from the show’s very first scene. When I think of my favorite TV friendships, they’re at the top of the list. —Kaitlin Thomas
That ‘70s Show: Jackie & Donna
Move over, enemies-to-lovers trope: enemies-to-best-friends is where it’s really at. Jackie (Mila Kunis) and Donna (Laura Prepon) are a severely underrated duo in the web of relationships that make up That ‘70s Show. While they’re presented as natural enemies with their polar-opposite presentations, embodying in clothes and spirit the perfect girly-girl and tomboy, the bond they form through the show’s run is undeniable. Sure, they fight all the time, but who among our six favorite Wisconsin teens doesn’t? Even while they constantly bicker, they’re each other’s closest confidantes when it comes to issues with the rest of the gang, and they each perform some seriously selfless acts for the other. When Jackie’s dad goes to jail, Donna (however begrudgingly) gives her a place to stay. In turn, Jackie helps pay for Donna’s engagement ring when Eric can’t afford it. Through their constant back and forth, each helps the other grow, with Donna offering Jackie a little bit of grounding and maturity while Jackie endlessly offers Donna support in her relationships. Their funny and surprisingly heartwarming friendship is an understated backbone that kept the show afloat. —Carli Scolforo
Hap and Leonard: Leonard & Hap
There are many versions of the opposites-attract trope on TV, but Hap (James Purefoy) and Leonard (Michael K. Williams) really go to extremes. The former is a white, hopelessly romantic hippie, while the latter is a Black, gay, conservative veteran. But they’re both poor, live in East Texas, and love each other like brothers. There are falling outs, of course, but the two men always come back together and ultimately would die for one another (a conceit tested more than once in their excellent three-season crime show). Purefoy and Williams bring an earnest charm to the duo, whose humor and constant exasperation with their circumstances is a pure delight. No matter what comes for the two—hell or literal high water—they just want the best for their friend. —Allison Keene
I May Destroy You: Arabella & Terry
Arabella (Michaela Coel) and Terry’s (Weruche Opia) relationship may be challenging, but that’s exactly what makes them so compelling as a duo. They may be blind to each other’s struggles on occasion, but they’re always there for each other when it really matters—whether that be holding hands while reporting a sexual assault, or comforting each other after a film audition bomb. I May Destroy You’s brilliance lies in the empathy it ascribes to Arabella’s immediate community; it isn’t the police or therapy that really helps Arabella move towards acceptance of her trauma, but her relationship with Terry and her other friends as they help her piece together her memories of that night.
Their occasionally strained relationship is a perfect conduit for exploring the “fed-up Millennial” mindset that Arabella embodies. Occasionally social media, career struggles, and societal pressures wedge between them (these things being further complicated by issues of institutional racism in Great Britain), but they always find themselves back in each other’s arms. Look no further than the shockingly sweet episode “Don’t Forget The Sea,” a flashback to Arabella and Terry’s trip to Rome; our most precious moments as friends sometimes come sandwiched between the bad moments. —Austin Jones
Ted Lasso: Ted & Coach Beard
The subtitle of 2020’s much-needed feel-good hit, Ted Lasso, might as well be
Football Friendship is Life. But even in the midst of so many surprisingly beautiful examples of robust adult amity (Keeley, Rebecca, Roy, Nate—we see you!), the easy camaraderie between Ted (Jason Sudeikis) and Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt) is the clear star of the show. I mean, I can’t say I’m an expert on the habits of professional football coaches, American or otherwise, but I don’t think it would be a stretch to posit that for the most part, they don’t tend to make major (one could even say bewildering) career moves as bonded fraternal pairs. But there they are, on the plane in Ted Lasso’s pilot, making plans to goof off together in their respective dreamscapes as they wing their way across the Atlantic to take on a coaching challenge of comedic proportions: Coach Ted and Coach Beard.
Together in audacity; together in wit; together in heart—together, even, when their coaching visions diverge, and Beard finds himself having to slam his foot down trying to convince Ted that yes, sometimes winning does matter. It’s a shocking moment, when Beard takes such a loud line against his bosom buddy after a long season of turning in nothing but constant, low-key support, but it’s an important one. And not just because it jolts Ted out of his infuriating sunniness in the face of relegation (although, there is that), but because it demonstrates for the audience that the kind of loving, emotionally open male friendship Ted and Beard have isn’t just the stuff of sitcom fantasy. The pair can handle genuine conflict, and come out the other side stronger (and warmer) than ever. And if that’s the Lasso Way, may it spread far and wide. —Alexis Gunderson
Insecure: Issa & Molly
Issa (Issa Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Orji) are your classic yin and yang: when we meet the duo in the Insecure pilot, Issa is a dreamer with a dead-end job. Molly, on the other hand, is a high-powered lawyer who isn’t afraid to lean into her cutthroat sensibilities. But when they come together, their puzzle pieces fit together perfectly. They are fiercely loyal, unafraid to call each other out on their bullshit, and are sincerely in one another’s corners when it comes to their career aspirations, male entanglements, and everything in between. Like many shows of its kind, the main relationship we are rooting for isn’t romantic in nature; it’s about the strength of female friendship.
This foundation was so strong that the crumbling of their friendship in Season 4 was shocking, though not unearned. There was no specific instance or fight that made their house fall, but rather a series of small missteps: Missed phone calls in times of need and canceled Self Care Sundays turned into snide comments and huge public blowouts as their lives began to go down diverging paths. Insecure is one of my favorite shows because it’s not afraid to rock the boat and stay true to its characters, and for awhile it looked like their friendship might be done forever (when you start throwing around the deep-cut insults that only best friends can, you know it’s bad). Suddenly the nitpicky quirks that they had always just accepted and looked past were glaring and unmissable.
Thankfully, Issa and Molly ended that season with hints at reconciliation—after it’s all said and done, they still care deeply for each other. And while their season-long slow burn of a fight was stressful, it mirrored the ups and downs of friendship in general. As we grow up and figure out the people we want to be, we learn that not everyone (even our closest friends) will support us every step of the way and that’s okay. Insecure will end with the forthcoming Season 5, and despite our girls’ many “will-they-won’t-they” romantic relationships on the table, the only happy ending I’m sure of is that of Issa and Molly. —Radhika Menon
Scrubs: J.D. & Turk
The bromance between the two doctors at Sacred Heart Hospital was often played for laughs, even as it occasionally overplayed its fear of being misunderstood, as in the musical episode’s most memorable number, “Guy Love”: “We’re closer than the average man and wife. / That’s why our matching bracelets say Turk and J.D. / You know I’ll stick by you for the rest of my life… / You’re the only man who’s ever been inside of me! / Whoa whoa! I just took out his appendix.” Their chemistry was helped by the real-life friendship between Zach Braff and Donald Faison, which has most recently taken the form of a nostalgic podcast. But it’s also worth noting that none of it would have worked if not for the enduring patience of the relationship’s strong, stabilizing third wheel: Turk’s long-suffering wife Carla (Judy Reyes). —Josh Jackson
Broad City: Abbi & Ilana
Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer’s alter egos on their Comedy Central comedy represent the types of friends you need in your 20s and early 30s when you’re figuring out life. Sure, they got into a lot of shenanigans (and met a lot of famous guest stars; along the way). But theirs was also the type of relationship that could handle any type of conversation, be it new (to you) sexual acts, childbirth, gray hairs, or surprising yourself by questioning your own sexuality. —Whitney Friedlander
The OC: Seth & Ryan
One of the most endearing things about the Seth (Adam Brody) and Ryan (Ben McKenzie) friendship was how much it initially meant to Seth. Ryan loved the whole Cohen family and the generosity they showed him, but Seth loved Ryan and needed him. It was never about hanging out with Ryan to become popular or stop being bullied, which did, more or less, happen, but Seth just desperately wanted a friend. He wanted someone to hang out with, to hang out with his family, to talk about girl stuff with, to not judge him. In time, he also started to understand what it meant to be a friend—to act selflessly, to reach out, to love someone despite their flaws but to also hold them accountable. Ryan helped Seth become a better person, and even helped guide him away from his more neurotic tendencies. But in the end, what made their friendship so beautiful and enduring was that they simply accepted one another as they were, which is exactly what each of them needed. —Allison Keene
Grey’s Anatomy: Meredith Grey & Cristina Yang
Here is a friendship so special, it gave us a whole new phrase to add to our lexicon. In the show’s second season premiere, Cristina (Sandra Oh) tells Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) that she is “her person.” Those words, which have worked their way into our daily vernacular, sum up Cristina and Meredith’s fierce bond. Nothing could come between them. No man. No career aspiration. No medical crisis. No personal upheaval. Meredith came from two broken parents and, in Cristina, found her sister, her family. Their friendship transcends any romantic relationship. Men came and went and came back around again—in and out of their lives—but Cristina and Meredith were always there for each other to dance out their problems, cry on each other’s shoulders, and push each other to excel.
Although fiercely competitive, they supported each other’s career aspirations and embraced their differences. Meredith wanted a family. Cristina did not. Cristina is cutthroat. Meredith is damaged. As Cristina hilariously explains it , “If I murdered someone, she’s the person I’d call to help drag the corpse across the living room floor.” Although the show has survived many cast changes, Oh’s departure at the end of the tenth season still, in many ways, stings the most. The fact that she was not killed off leaves viewers ever hopeful that Meredith and Cristina will reunite and dance again. In our opinion, they are both the sun. —Amy Amatangelo
Seinfeld: Jerry Seinfeld & George Costanza
The foursome making up the primary quartet of Seinfeld friends are presented to the audience as a unit, with Jerry as the lynchpin holding them together. But the truth of the matter is that his friendships with both Kramer (Michael Richards) and Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) are of a more transient nature. Kramer is a friend of convenience, or inconvenience perhaps, who tends to obliviously thrust himself into the scene thanks to the proximity of Jerry living across the hall. Elaine is a former flame; a more genuine friend in the sense that it was clear to both that they functioned better as conspirators rather than lovers, but someone Jerry has only known for a year or two when the show begins. Jerry’s real love affair is with George Costanza (Jason Alexander), the only person in his life with whom he can be truly, unflinchingly honest. Unlike Kramer or Elaine, Jerry has been friends with George for ages, since high school at the very least and possibly since they were children. Their ties run deeper, having been cemented during awkward teen years in the 1970s, as Jerry dreamed of fame and fortune as a stand-up comedian, and George… presumably dreamed of getting out of his parents’ house. The two became close, arguably too close, to the detriment of their other friendships, especially given this fact: The friendship between Jerry and George is nowhere near a healthy or equal one.
Simply put, both Jerry and George tend to use the other for their own gratification, and display little actual concern for each other’s well being. For Jerry, George is a prop he uses to make himself feel superior—a perpetually luckless, hapless friend who makes Jerry’s meager successes seem far more impressive in comparison. He barely tries to hide his delight in George’s career or romantic failures; if anything, the stories of George’s woe just fuel Jerry’s stand-up material. Hell, his catchphrase directed at George is an insincere “that’s a shame.” George, on the other hand, acts like a sponge in this relationship, in a less literal sense than the food-swiping Kramer. Like a suckerfish, he has long-since attached himself and his fortunes to Jerry, living vicariously through Jerry’s much more public career success, bevy of girlfriends and independence. He tolerates Jerry’s heckling because on some subconscious level he understands the transactional nature of their relationship, and that his role is to prop up Jerry’s ego. He rarely misses out on an opportunity to sidle up against Jerry’s success, such as his efforts to cast himself as the co-writer of their failed sitcom pilot, despite no background in comedy writing of any kind. Together, Jerry and George is a tale of two needy souls who ended up together because they each lack the confidence and consideration necessary to forge healthier friendships. —Jim Vorel
New Girl: Jess & Cece
Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Cece (Hannah Simone) might not have all that much in common apart from an appreciation for bangs, but they’re the perfect example of how two very different people can come together to form a harmonious and mutually beneficial union. Cece helps ground Jess, while also encouraging her to not let her countless daydreams remain merely dreams. Her push for Jess to take risks beyond her wardrobe and advocate for herself is born out of an intense love for her friend, who too often places the comfort of others above her own happiness. In return, Jess offers Cece unwavering support and kindness—something Cece has a hard time finding in her other friend groups. She also encourages Cece to be her authentic self, and creates a safe space for her normally posed friend to let loose and laugh a little. While they might show it in different ways, these childhood besties make one another’s happiness a priority, and in friendship, that’s the similarity that counts. —Jessica Howard
Jane the Virgin: Jane & Petra
When Jane the Virgin first premiered, you’d have had to be high to think that, by series’ end, it would be Petra (Yael Grobglas), of all people, with whom our beloved heroine, Jane Gloriana Villanueva (Gina Rodriguez), would build the most interesting and robust relationship. Petra, whose sperm-stealing scheming led Jane to be accidentally artificially inseminated in the first place. Petra, whose conniving mother pushed Jane’s abuela down The Marbella’s stairs to avoid being fingered as responsible for one of Season 1’s many wild crimes. Petra, whose power-hungry claws never left Rafael’s chest for the first two and a half seasons. Yes, Petra—that Petra.
Because that Petra, it turns out, is also the Petra who stood by Jane when Raf went to prison, and who put in the work to make sure her kids and Jane’s would never forget they were family, and who, by the end, would find herself caught in the middle of a pre-wedding stand-off between Jane and Raf, the two nearly-newlyweds fighting over whose love for the best reformed Czech villain television has ever had should count for more, standing-at-the-altar-wise. I won’t tell you who wins, because that’s not the point here—the point is, of all the many, wild tricks Jane the Virgin ever pulled, clearing the path for Jane and Petra to turn from cartoon nemeses to genuine soul sisters is easily my favorite. Truly: #Jetra forever. —Alexis Gunderson
Parks and Recreation: April & Ron
April (Aubrey Plaza) and Ron (Nick Offerman) and two sides of the same weird, aloof coin. While their brands of gruff faux-apathy are pretty different, they forge a delightfully sweet relationship as the holdouts in a cast dominated by some bona fide goofballs. From smaller moments of trips to Food ‘n Stuff (“Just the crows and the beef”) and Ron’s visiting April in the hospital when she came down with the flu, to their occasional heart-to-hearts on life and relationships, their father-daughter dynamic is one of the most delightful friendships of the show. They understand each other perfectly, and April knows more about Ron than almost any other character—the location of his spare house key for instance, and his secret identity as Duke Silver. —Carli Scolforo
Sherlock: Sherlock & Watson
The chemistry between Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Watson (Martin Freeman) in this modern BBC adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective stories launched a thousand fan ships. It also launched Cumberbatch’s career into the stratosphere (Freeman was already the lead of a hit show and, soon after, of a movie franchise). Though the show itself ultimately did a disservice to its leads by, for some reason, testing their adoration for each other with increasingly Saw-like machinations, the core dynamic is an oft-repeated and time-tested favorite throughout literature and visual media. Sherlock is brilliant, madcap, and never plays by the rules, while Watson is sure, staid, and forever loyal. The two respect each other, need each other, and feed off each other, creating a perfectly balanced duo; most of the friendships on this list are based on that same premise. A good Sherlock-type is often dogged, a good Watson usually tired and exasperated, but the love between them—even in trying times—is always palpable. That’s what Sherlock, despite its other, later flaws, got so right from the start, and why these two characters remain emblazoned in our hearts. —Allison Keene
Psych: Shawn & Gus
The version of Psych that was so successful that it ran for eight seasons and spawned two follow-up movies could not exist without the central friendship between fake psychic detective Shawn Spencer (James Roday Rodriguez) and his longtime BFF and sometimes reluctant partner Burton “Gus” Guster (Dule Hill). Their friendship works, in part, because of the obvious real-life friendship and chemistry that exists between the two actors, but also because Gus and Shawn’s energy is like an injection of pure sunshine and joy. Their bond is so strong after all these years that it can withstand anything—and I do mean anything, because the duo have gotten themselves into some pretty ridiculous and/or dangerous situations over the years and have always survived. Even when Gus gets mad at Shawn for lying to him or tricking him into doing something he doesn’t want to do, you always know the duo will make up quickly. Because despite their differences, they’re two peas in a pod. Their antics never fail to cheer me up or make me laugh, and I’ll be perfectly happy if series creator Steve Franks never stops writing sequels for them. —Kaitlin Thomas
Good Omens: Crowley & Aziraphale
Amazon’s Good Omens is a story that wrestles big issues like faith, destiny, free will, and the literal end of the world, all told through the lens of a millennia-old relationship between a caustic demon called Crowley (David Tennant) and a bookish angel named Aziraphale (Michael Sheen). Your mileage may vary on how you choose to define this “relationship”—a co-dependent bromance, a love story for the ages, eternal life partners, or something in between—but it’s obvious that the connection between these two beings not only drives the bulk of this story, it actually saves the world.
Their charming friendship endures from the Garden of Eden to a posh 21st century London restaurant, with everything from Noah’s Flood, the French Reign of Terror, and the Blitz in between. They co-parent the Antichrist and indulge each other’s foibles and trade-off performing bits of each others’ jobs. Crowley accompanies Aziraphale to dinner, though he never actually eats, while the angel suffers through the demon’s love of fast cars and loud music (which he does not share). In short, they’re basically the best old married couple (who aren’t actually married) on television, but they’re also proof positive that love—in whatever form you find it—is always a powerful, even a radical choice. Two celestial beings, destined to be at odds, choose one another repeatedly, though all the powers of Heaven and Hell would order them not to do so. Beat that, Friends. —Lacy Baugher Milas
Resident Alien: Asta & D’Arcy
Who knew an alien-on-Earth dramedy could serve up another implausible scenario: an ensemble full of women with their own agency? In particular, Asta (Sara Tomko) & D’Arcy (Alice Wetterlund) are long-term besties from the small town of Patience, Colorado who helped define the tone and uniqueness of Resident Alien. From the get-go, their interactions with one another come across so refreshingly real because all parts of themselves are on display to one another. Friends since they were kids, they are now complicated adults who are infinitely aware of one another’s flaws and insecurities. But they love one another with wit and empathy. And their conversations aren’t just about boys or their love lives. Even when they disappoint one another (like discovering one of them has been keeping secrets), you just know Asta & D’Arcy are in it for the duration, bumps and all. —Tara Bennett
Friends: Chandler & Joey
When it comes to which duo in Friends is the closest, the boys from across the hall have the rest of the gang beat. To this day, Chandler (Matthew Perry) and Joey (Matt LeBlanc) remain one of the kindest and most genuine examples of male friendship ever to grace our television screens, which is all the more impressive when you consider the first episode of Friends aired 27 years ago this fall. Throughout the series, both men expressed their affection for one another countless times, Joey through thoughtful gifts and gestures, and Chandler through his financial support and nurturing. Despite their various spats over women, chickens, and tacky gold bracelets, the duo never ceases to resolve their issues and remain best buds. In the show’s final season, their relationship culminates in Chandler buying a home complete with a room for Joey—a reminder that he will always have room in his life for his best friend. —Jessica Howard
The Wire: Bunk & McNulty
The Wire is not exactly a feel-good show, and therefore, it’s hard to come away from it remembering any feel-good friendships (I mean, one of the closest friendships on the show ended with a murder-for-hire). But then there’s Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West) and Bunk Moreland (Wendell Pierce). The two homicide detectives razzed each other constantly, but also had each other’s backs… more or less. They called each other out when it was needed, and never more so than in the show’s final season when Bunk, rightfully, was completely disgusted with Jimmy’s plans to tamper with crime scenes in order to get more money flowing to the department. It wrenched the two apart, but it also felt right—Jimmy had gone too far, and he knew it, and to some degree he respected Bunk’s position. Sometimes, you really need that one friend who is going to hold you accountable on your bullshit. Ultimately, at Jimmy’s living wake, Bunk returned and they appeared to patch things up. Things would never be the same between them, but they had both done what they thought was right. Their friendship was messy and complicated, but also genuine and unafraid of truths… like, “why you giving a fuck when it ain’t your turn to give a fuck?” —Allison Keene
Succession: Tom & Greg
It took months of begging and pleading, including late night phone calls and singing telegrams, for the Paste higher-ups to approve this dynamic duo. Is it because this is a plainly abusive relationship between two men who veer wildly between pathetic sad-sackery and sociopathy? Is it because when they first met, Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) “razzed” him on a softball field by calling himself a “terrible, terrible prick” and asking, “would you kiss me? If I asked you to? If I told you to?” Is it because when Greg (Nicholas Braun) tried to get away from Tom in the workplace, Tom responded by pelting him with water bottles? Is it because their tenderest moment came when Greg blackmailed Tom in order to get a promotion? Who knows, folks! Who knows what they were thinking.
All I’m saying is that in the world of Logan Roy—in the cutthroat nightmare of this deeply cynical environment of awful rich people—any flower of friendship that blooms is a small miracle. There’s no escaping the nastiness, but even though it’s tempered by betrayal and utter selfishness, I think there’s something very real in the friendship between Greg and Tom. It’s a sad scene, no doubt, but they don’t have much beyond each other, and I personally have never been more moved than when Tom protected Greg even though it meant having to sacrifice the last of his dignity by “playing” a game called Boar on the Floor in front of all his co-workers. Anyone can be a friend in easy times; it’s when you can escape the fate of crawling around on all fours and “oinking for your sausage” in front of everyone you respect, but choose not to escape because of friendship… well, that’s when it’s really really real, you know? —Shane Ryan
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