Miranda and Stevie in Miranda (2009-2015)
Miranda was a sitcom which ran between 2009 and 2015. Written by and starring comedian Miranda Hart, the show followed Miranda’s clumsy high jinks as she lived everyday life in her own way…and gushed over Tom Ellis’ Gary Preston on a near-weekly basis. The show’s true heart, however, lay with its female characters and their relationships with each other. The titular Miranda, her mother Penny, school friend Tilly and best friend Stevie. The four women have excellent chemistry on screen (and off as all are still firm friends) and thus are able to bounce off of each other well in comedic settings. They mock and tease each other but it is never malicious or without care and support. Where some British sitcoms can have you question why characters are still hanging out with each other when there is clear dislike and contempt between them, the characters in Miranda (albeit are never that deep) share humour and good feeling which makes it clear as to why they still spend so much of their lives together. They want the best for one another.
This is best exemplified in the (best) friendship of Miranda and Stevie. Utilizing (deliberately or otherwise) one of the staples of visual comedy, the height difference. Miranda and Stevie compliment each other. Miranda is more socially awkward and self-conscious with a humour that lies more on the childish side. Stevie is more confident and focused. Importantly, both have aligning tastes and encourage each other in the antics. Their friendship does not really change over the course of the series but that’s because it is great from the off. If anything, it strengthens but not massively so. We just see more and more examples of the pair competing with, supporting and playing off each other. This is done through recurring gags and lines (it is a sitcom after all) most notably the ‘Are we?’ lines and Miranda’s various reactions to Stevie’s Heather Small impression.
Miranda has always been a comfort show of mine and I have recently finished rewatching it on iPlayer (unfortunately there are only 20 episodes). After all these years it is still great fun to rewatch, with their great sense of fun and eccentricities despite all of life’s hiccups and struggles who wouldn’t want to be friends with Miranda and Stevie.
by Susanna Robertson-Sheath
Lorelai and Sookie in Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)
Tis the season for Gilmore Girls! As the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder, I have made it a tradition to rewatch this classic autumnal show each year. From the gorgeous settings to the academic focus and most importantly the female friendships, I would consider it the perfect show for the back-to-school season. The show follows the mother-and-daughter pair of Lorelai and Rory as they navigate life in their small hometown of Stars Hollow along with their friends and family. Whilst many friendships could have been highlighted in this section, Rory and Lane the childhood best friends, Paris and Rory and their enemies to roomies arc, to me, there is no better example of female friendship on-screen than that of Lorelai and her chef bestie, Sookie. There can be a stigma around female friendships where one girl always seems more invested than the other or there is secret malice behind each other’s back, but with this pair none of this is present. Lorelai and Sookie met working at the Independence Inn where Sookie, of course, was the chef and Lorelai made her way through the ranks, first as a housekeeper, all the way up to manager. The pair have an almost symbiotic relationship where one can preempt the other’s moves and moods, whether this is Lorelai, quite literally, putting out fires across Sookie’s kitchen, or Sookie almost immediately sensing Lorelai’s almost self-sabotaging moods surrounding her relationships. As the series progresses, the pair’s relationship continues to grow and blossom as they reach different milestones in their personal lives, have children and eventually fulfil their mutual dream of owning an Inn together.
As with many on-screen relationships, it is built on the concept of binary difference. Sookie is scatterbrained whereas Lorelai is more level-headed, Sookie is more emotionally mature whilst Lorelai runs from her emotions and many many more. This is a pattern present across television and Gilmore Girls is no exception. What makes this friendship so special is that it realistically presents the ups and downs of friendships and life. There are frequent conflicts between the pair when it comes to these binary aspects clashing but ultimately they always balance each other out creating an almost perfect working and personal relationship.
by Holly Allwright
Tara Jones, Darcy Olson and Elle Argent in Heartstopper (2022-present)
I know what youre thinking… “yet ANOTHER article friend zoning Tara and Darcy..” But, hear me out, when I add Elle to the end of that title. To me, female friendship is exemplified in their trio at Harvey Greene Grammar School (Higgs).
The magic of female friendship is the underlying promise to each other of unconditional love and support. As we navigate season one of Heartstopper, you can really tell that that is truly the only thing Tara and Darcy offer to recently transferred from Truham Elle. Elle expresses the transphobia she faced at Higgs to both girls early on, and it is evident even before they are revealed to be dating that they are huge allies for her, and that that unconditional allyship is what underpins their friendship. At the end of Season One, Elle expresses her anxieties about walking into Truham to face the boys who used to bully her at sports day. Both girls quickly jump to her rescue in suggesting ANYTHING else they would rather be doing so as to let Elle know that she doesn’t have to go in. In turn, this motivates Elle to face these former bullies and head into Sports day confidently.
Of course, friendships – especially incredible female ones like these – aren’t one sided, and Elle is there for both girls just the same way they are there for her, keeping their secret until they’re ready to come out, running down corridors on the concert day to find them when they were locked in their practise room for a private chat. Truly this magic is best scene, though, in season two. It is clear that Darcy is struggling to vocalise her emotions and feelings, and alo ng with the rest of the group help her to get through it. The most exemplary moment of the season for their friendship (as well as my Queen Sahar Zahid) was their room in the Paris hotel. Even just through glimpses of their conversations after the Tao/Elle kiss, you just KNOW theyre having midnight DMC’s with popcorn and just sharing the most special moemrns together.
I love this friendship so much, because it really exemplifies that realistic nature of Heartstopper. Showing what it means to be friends in a school environment but knowing that there are these beautiful bonds outside of school that last so truly. I am really excited to seee how the moments in the comics that haven’t been adapted yet will fare on screen, but I know for sure that Tara, Darcy and Elle will continue to steal my heart with their friendship; along with the fantastic other females like Sahar and everyones fave ally Imogen!
by Rhianna Saglani