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Archive for the ‘Leave It to Beaver’ Category

by Beal

No cast of would be complete with out a requisite “best friend” character. This person can come in all shapes and sizes, but they usually possess similar traits. By and large, the BFF is slightly less attractive than the main character (or in the event that they’re prettier, they’re much dumber), spunky, eccentric and are generally blessed with loose morals, a colorful background and a somewhat checkered past. We rarely, if ever, get to meet their families, or see the inside of their homes. (Oh, and bonus points if they enter/exit the main character’s house/room via a secret entrance.)

In episodes in which they appear, they’re likely to get our TV protagonist into some kind of entertaining pickle, but at the end of the day, they’re always a nice shoulder to cry on. Their mug may not make its way onto the opening credits, but the following best friends have made their way into the hearts and minds of millions, or at least mine:

5. Millie (Sarah Hagan) as Lindsay Weir’s (former) best friend in Freaks & Geeks.

MILLIEAlright, alright, so Lindsay could no longer endure BFFdom with Millie by the time the show began, but we all know their history, and what they used to be, were best friends. Before an army jacket clad Lindsay, abandoned the mathletes and started partying with the freaks, she and Millie used to stay up late playing Uno, eating Lic-a-Maid and practicing advanced mathematics. That is, until Lindsay and Kim accidentally kill her dog and Millie makes a brief foray into the world of freakdom (long enough to drink a single beer and almost attend a The Who concert). And when Lindsay spent an episode as her former super nerdy self, it was Millie she went to first, well, and also Millie’s lame slumber party that she snuck out of in the end. Still, props to Millie for always being there, especially when Lindsay accidentally got to0 stoned to babysit:

 

4. Eddie Haskell (Ken Osmond) as Wally Cleaver’s best friend in Leave it to Beaver

eddie haskellNo list of best friend types would be complete without a shoutout to the original “best friend,” Eddie Haskell. This little son of a bitch is the archetype, from which all other TV friends are molded. He’s polite to the point of obnoxious, and wait for it, a total asshole as soon as he’s without the presence of adults. Mostly I love that he refers to Wally and the Beaver as Wallace and Theodore (how was “Ted” never an option for this kid?), oh and how he’s always getting those two knuckleheads into trouble. Seriously though, Eddie Haskall is a national treasure, whose name appears more frequently in American culture than you could ever imagine, mostly from my mother’s mouth when she knew my “polite” friend was actually “a smoker.” 

 

3.  Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber), D.J. Tanner’s best friend in Full House.

GIBBLERThe answer is “no.” I am not ashamed that EVERY “Top Five” list I write includes not only Full House but usually a Kimmy Gibbler reference. I can’t help myself though, this bitch is TV gold. She is abhorred by most of the Tanner family, despite her constant efforts to land herself on “Mr. T’s” good side. She lives next door, her feet stink, her family competes in roller derby events in their house, and at one point, Kimmy mentioned shooting rats at the landfill with her father as an evening activity. How the hell did these white-trash carnie folks afford a classic Victorian in the Western Addition anyway? Whatever, anyone who can rock spandex that loud deserves my utmost respect. Also, I’m convinced that if this show would have lasted past the 90’s, Kimmy and Joey might have ended up getting drunk, and waking up in bed together. A match made if heaven? Or a match made in hell? You decide.

 

2.  Rhoda Morgenstern (Valerie Harper), Mary Richards’ best friend in The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

ndharpermary-tyler-moore-013Rhoda is probably the quintessential best friend character in all of television history. Although her and Mary did not get along at first (they were vying for the same apartment in Phyllis Lindstrom’s building), Rhoda turned out to be alright–and to continue to live in her ever so 70’s studio apartment in the building’s attic. A native New Yorker, this bitch took no shit, and took naive and innocent Mary, and showed her how to “make it after all.” Rhoda was also “groundbreaking” (give me a break) for her portrayal of a single woman of the era, who was not widowed, divorced or looking to hook herself a man. Oh, and let’s not forget she ended up with a somewhat successful spin-off (that I’ve never watched). Their friendship also spawned one of my favorite scenes in (bad) cinematic history, and since I can not find the clip, I can only offer the following bit of dialogue: 

Romy White: You are not cuter, Michelle.
Michelle Steinberger: I am so cuter. It’s like…common knowledge, Romy. Everybody thinks so. I’m the Mary and you’re the Rhoda.
Romy: That’s ridiculous. You’re the Rhoda. You’re the Jewish one.
Michelle: Oh my God. I’m talking cutenesswise, Romy. Okay? And cutenesswise, I’m the Mary.

 

1. Rayanne Graff (A.J. Langer) as Angela Chase’s best friend in My So Called Life

aj_langerRayanne Graff is the epitome of “the girl your mother warned you about.” Who would not want Rayanne to be their best friend? Due to her trashy mother’s ignorance, Rayanne’s life lacked adult supervision entirely. She seems to know some seriously shady individuals, is sexually active, embraces 90’s trends and has no problem consuming drugs and alcohol en masse. Like us, Angela wishes she could be more like her new best friend (fuck Sharon) Rayanne, especially because her scumbag Mom is of the “I’d rather it happen under my roof” school of thought, which obviously leads to some serious issues in Rayanne’s life, mostly an overdose. 

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