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August 28, 2015

Straight male couples are all the TV rage

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 27th 2006 6:04PM
Willaim Shatner and James SpaderYesterday, an article in USA Today talked about what appears to be a new TV trend: the portrayal of sensitive male buddies who talk about their hopes and fears and (gasp) their feelings. Riffing off a silly New York Times article from 2005 about "man dates," USAT talks to relationship experts and psychologists about why these new "couples" exist.

In the process, they examine pairs like William Shatner and James Spader from Boston Legal, Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford from Studio 60, Julian McMahon and Dylan Walsh from Nip/Tuck, among others. They even include Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and his search for a male friend on The Office in this article as evidence of this "trend."

There are two little flaws with this article, though, which I'll mention after the jump.

1. It contradicts itself by also examining male buddies on TV throught the medium's history, like those on Starsky & Hutch and The Odd Couple, and

2. They don't include TV's ultimate quasi-homoerotic male buddy couple: J.D. and Turk on Scrubs! Of all the straight male couples on TV, their relationship is the most "intimate," bordering on almost girly. The fact that this article doesn't even mention them shows me how low Scrubs is flying on most people's radar these days.

So, is this a trend? Who are your favorite TV buddies (male or female)? Let me know in the comments.

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While technically not buddies, I would say Dean and Sam Winchester from The CW's Supernatural are may favorite straight male couple of all time. They are by turns, snarky with each other, competitive, loving and deeply dysfunctional. And they ride around in a really hot muscle car blasting mullet-rock and hunting demons. Awesome.

October 29 2006 at 9:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What about Marshall and his "man-date" on HIMYM? There was a whole episode dedicated to an awkward friendship between these two guys who were suddenly single but missed having someone to do things with. It is a perfect example of this topic.

By the way, great catch on the JD and Turk relationship! PERFECT!

October 28 2006 at 3:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jason Elias

Sonny Crockett and Richardo Tubbs were great friends in the beginning of the series. They certainly stayed close throughout but those first shows were really powered by their friendship.

Great description of JD and Turk's relationship. It's one of the few I believe.

October 27 2006 at 10:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm glad that in the flash gallery that they included The West Wing and Sports Night. Aaron Sorkin really knows how to write a close friendship between 2 guys.

I agree that the article is without merit due to no mention of J.D. and Turk! Also, the gallery could have included Joey and Chandler by itself, not just a mention in the Danny/Matt on Studio 60 one.

The friendship between Neil, Bill and Sam on Freaks and Geeks was practically a mirror image of the friendship in high school between my two best friends and I.

Logan and Dick on Veronica Mars is entirely superficial, but it works since neither of them wants to go any deeper. That's what she said! :)

Rory and Lane on Gilmore Girls works because Lane is the one who can provide Rory with relief from her mom and grandparents and Rory can provide Lane with escape from her mom.

Bart and Milhouse on The Simpsons should've been on there. You would think that Milhouse would be a hanger-on since Bart's cool and he's not (except in the eyes of his mother!), but he has proved that Bart can depend on him being a friend for life.

Peter, Quagmire, Joe and Cleveland from Family Guy have their specific boundaries as evidenced from the episode when Peter goes to the female camp, comes back and freaks out Quagmire when he calls him from the bathtub and just wants to talk. :)

Fry and Bender from Futurama shows that friendship between two males can exist even if one is a robot!

October 27 2006 at 6:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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