Friday, October 05, 2012

Friendship

I've started watching one of the new TV shows, Last Resort. I'm mixed on it so far. The dialogue can be really over the top, and there is a lot of sermonizing, but the acting is great and what's at the core of the show so far, is this really interesting friendship between two men.

At first the friendship seems more like a mentor relationship between an older man and his second in command, but as the episode progressed, it became more of equals. Two men in a tense, precarious situation, and how they react to each other and their individual decisions. And the writers made a smart choice, because there is a ton of external conflict, there isn't much between the two men, there is trust and respect and they show us this through more than just dialogue. Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman are selling the hell out of their roles. It's subtle, but it's in the way they each look to each other for confirmation once they've made a decision, it's in Speedman's subtle nods each time Andre clashes with another crew member, it's in how they interact when they're not saying anything.

Another show that does friendship really well is Grey's Anatomy, which at it's core is about a friendship between two women and I believe Shonda Rhimes never loses sight of that.

The problem with friendships in genre storytelling is that they can reduce the tension. I read somewhere that so many romance heroines are motherless, because if they got some decent advice on how to handle the hero that the story would be over in three chapters. And a romance by it's nature is a focus on the hero and heroine, not her friends, but even in YA, the focus is often not on friendship.

I can't think of a genre story that has a great friendship outside of thrillers, where two people connected by solving a crime form a friendship. I did love the friendship between Butch and V in the brotherhood series. but it's the only one that can creep into my head right now. I'm probably not caffeinated enough..

Can anyone think of any I missed. I'd love to read a story with a solid friendship.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can't answer your question, but I wanted to chime in on last night's episode of The Last Resort - the end scene with Scott Speedman's character and Andre Braugher - intense. Loved the dialogue. Still trying to figure out who is who (the guy in the hospital in a coma? who is he? who is the woman yelling at the reporter?) and what is what but enjoying the show so far.

MarcieR

Eileen said...

OH, man! I meant to DVR Last Resort and forgot! Darn.

As to friendships . . . there's the great band of brothers type friendships that happen in Alyssa Day's series and Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters. There are some great female friendships in chick lit. Sometimes I think the developing of female friendships is one of the things that happens in romance novels as the heroine grows. Think about Can't Buy Me Love and Tara Jean. Accepting help and friendship from the other women at the ranch was a huge step for her.

Sinead M said...

Marcie, it is an interesting show.. but my favourite parts are the interactions between Braugher and Speedman, they are both incredible togther, and they definitely get the best dialogue.

Not sure about the reporter, or the guy in the hospital, but they are hinting at some huge secrets.

Eileen, great point about the developing of friendships in romance, so right about showing growth

Maureen McGowan said...

I'm watching Last Resort too. Like you, I'm on the fence but it still has potential. There must be a ton going on they aren't telling us yet, or it will get boring very fast.

And I agree about the friendship. Strong. Also interesting that the Braugher character clearly also had a strong friendship with the guy who's now in the cage...

And Grey's... Love how it depicts a strong female relationship. Last line of last night's episode. Christina to Meredith: "You are my person. You will always be my person."

Maureen McGowan said...

I love how Molly did female friend relationships in those books too...

Stephanie Doyle said...

Haven't seen the show. Trying to keep my television obcession down to a minimum.

As far as books - I think the female friendships in Kresely Cole's books are really great. You have this sorority sister feel (not that I was ever a sorority girl) but it does take me back to those college days when your girlfriends truly were your family.

smittenkittenorig said...

I'm enjoying Last Resort also & my favorite is the dynamic between Braugher & Speedman. I was misty during that intense scene they had in Chaplin's quarters.

I can't think of any books (romance, YA) off the top of my head where I was riveted by the friendships. I often feel sad that the heroine's seem so isolated. I have read romance & YAs where the male has more & stronger family & friend relationships than the heroine. I do think there's a way to have friendships for heroines depicted & still have the tension needed to sustain the romance storyline.

Eileen said...

We watched the pilot and liked it. Andy is a little skeptical about how they're going to pull it off as a tv show (he felt it was a better movie plot), but we put it on our dvr list and will watch at least a few episodes.

You're right. I love the relationship between Braugher and Speedman. You really summed it up well. Respect. Trust. An unspoken communication that both actors sell so well.

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