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.