This has been the year of “women” sitcoms. Whitney, Two Broke Girls, New Girl, Are You There Chelsea, and probably more. The only one I can bear to watch is New Girl — and even the cute quirkiness that is Zooey Deschanel gets a bit too quirky for me sometimes.
So, I didn’t expect much from NBC’s Best Friends Forever.
But BFF is not like any of those other shows. In fact, it’s not like anything on TV right now. Which turns out to be a very good thing.
BFF stars Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair as best friends and former roomies Lennon and Jessica.
Jessica, now married and living in another state, is Skyping with Lennon when she unexpectedly gets FedEx divorce papers (she’s a bit dingy, so the “unexpected” part is not entirely unbelievable).
Lennon naturally tells her to come home. The complication is that boyfriend Joe (Luka Jones) now lives with Lennon.
At first, I thought BFF was going to be another show where the women spent all their time talking about heartbreak and men and trying to find Jess a new one. It certainly started that way.
But by the end of the episode, the show actually passed the Bechdel Test:
1. At least two named women characters – check.
2. Who talk to each other – check.
3. About something other than men – check.
Here’s a promotional clip.
Sure, the subject of men comes up. But it’s just a normal part of life, not the focus. In fact, what makes BFF so watchable is that its characters are fairly normal — at least as much as being in a sit-com allows. They hang out at home and watch movies and have friends over on the weekend. Best of all, they’re the kind of people that actually have friends outside of each other. I think I’d like them.
Parham and St. Clair are real life friends and have worked together since finding their comedic footing at UCB. Parham and Jones also have good chemistry; you can see why they’re together and that they are crazy about each other. And, to the writers’ credit, Joe doesn’t fantasize about both women falling for him. (At least not out loud.)
NBC kindly made the whole first episode available to share, so we’re happy to pass it along. (Keep watching past the initial vagina dialogue. Apparently, aspiring TV writers are now being taught that “vagina” is a required word in sitcom scripts.)
Best Friends Forever isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough that I want to give it time to develop. Unfortunately, at the moment the show just has six episodes that NBC is burning off with no promise of anything beyond that. I hope enough people watch — and talk about — the series that NBC will extend it. It’s the kind of show we used to expect from the “must-see TV” folks and one of the most entertaining things I’ve seen from the network in a long time.
Did you watch BFF last night? If you did, or if you watch her, let us know what you think. Do you think it deserves a chance to grow?