Some of the most incredible things in any woman’s life are the friendships she has with other women. Research confirms what you already know: women have the ability to build friendships that not only last, but also survive distance, fights, and major life changes. National Women’s Friendship Day is September 21, and it’s a perfect time to celebrate your girlfriends who are as close as sisters. Invite them over, open some wine and watch some of television’s greatest girlfriend sets. Here are 5 of TV’s best women friends.
1. Lucy and Ethel The original TV female duo, Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) and Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance), set the standard that on-screen girlfriends are measured against during six seasons of I Love Lucy. Where Lucy was excitable and ambitious, Ethel was practical and unsentimental. The two balance each other out, and their unflappable loyalty sees them through many of Lucy’s wacky schemes.
2. Laverne and Shirley The title characters of Laverne & Shirley, Laverne De Fazio (Penny Marshall) and Shirley Feeney (Cindy Williams) are roommates and brewery co-workers trying to make their dreams come true in Milwaukee. Upbeat Shirley smooths cynical Laverne’s rough edges, while Laverne keeps her friend firmly rooted in reality. They stay best friends through horrible dates, the death of Laverne’s fireman boyfriend and a move to California.
3. Patsy and Eddy There is a fine line between “friend” and “enabling co-dependent”. Patsy (Joanna Lumley) and Eddy (Jennifer Saunders) cross that line with hilarious results in Absolutely Fabulous. The leading duo of the 1990s British comedy known to fans as Ab Fab are inebriated, lazy, and slaves to fashion. Patsy and Eddy are an over-the-top and frequently funny satire of excess and reluctant aging. Through the haze, Patsy and Eddy are devoted to each other is a way that inspired British fans and gained them a cult following in the United States. While an American version never got off the ground, Patsy and Eddy are poised to return in a big-screen adaptation of Absolutely Fabulous in 2015.
4. Blanche, Rose, Dorothy, and Sophia Best friends do not only come in pairs, they can come in threes and fours, like The Golden Girls. With their husbands gone, and their children living their own lives, Blanche (Rue McClanahan), Rose (Betty White), Dorothy (Bea Arthur), and Sophia (Estelle Getty) emotionally support each other, forming a kind of family all their own. The girls swap dating horror stories, help each other through financial woes, and remind viewers that it is never too late in life to make new friends—or too late at night to enjoy cheesecake.
5. Daria and Jane from MTV’s Daria While her animated adventures are set in the world of 1990s teen culture, cynical Daria Morgendorffer (voiced by Tracy Grandstaff) wrestles with issues that feel familiar no matter what era you grew up in—hope vs. reality, staying true to oneself, and dealing with an annoying younger sibling. Daria would have accepted being a loner, but luckily, she meets up with a fellow teen outcast, the artsy Jane Lane (Wendy Hoopes). Each one accepts the other just as she is while trading barbs with the popular kids. Daria and Jane keep each other from becoming too jaded or lonely as they grow up in the suburbs.