25 Nearest and Dearest 22/25
Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy (30 Rock)
The unlikely friendships often tend to be the most riveting, and most solid partnerships. There are a few pairs that could have made it onto this list; however, the first thing that gripped me with 30 Rock was the brilliant banter between Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon and Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy. It isn’t often we get strong male/female dynamics without it turning to a romantic involvement later on, and that’s what I appreciated most about this friendship. They were as ridiculously close and as invested in the other’s life as they could have been, but in the end, it never turned into something more. It was a strong friendship which effortlessly debunks the conception that men and women can’t be friends. At their best, Jack and Liz were fantastic partners, but most importantly, they always had each other’s backs. Sometimes, it’s not about having copious amounts of similarities but it’s knowing that someone will always be there if worse comes to worst.
Jack and Liz both had other friends, but because they could always be themselves around each other, it was easier to rely on one another. That’s why it was never shocking when they were each other’s emergency contacts. And while it was often hysterical how they handled situations, knowing the other would always come through for them was a comforting fact. And that doesn’t just go for them, but rather the viewers as well. Whether they were dealing with a personal situation or a work related crisis, the two could rely on one another. All the groans, complaints, and “Good God, Lemon” aside, they cherished each other’s company no matter how often they actually voiced that fact.
For those who are fans of Parks and Recreation, their friendship in a nutshell is just as glorious and Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson’s. And since they are on this list as well, it’s clear I have a type. There is a genuine, mutual appreciation for the other and their expertise. At the end of the day, TGS wouldn’t have been as successful without their teamwork. Sometimes when two people are too alike, they clash. Both Liz and Jack are go-getters, they believe in themselves and they believe in hard work. And as two people with such strong similarities, their friendship was stemmed from dark humor. Jack and Liz call it how it is, but in a sense, they each needed the other’s opinion in their lives. It was a constant in their lives that often made them better, braver people. They didn’t need to change, but they needed to evolve, and most importantly, they needed each other’s tactics to believe in themselves even more. Their kind of dark, twisted humor isn’t for everyone, and they both knew that — Jack wouldn’t have been as blunt and open if he knew Liz couldn’t take it. They both saw each other as equals and fundamentally, the male/female versions of themselves. “He is like a unicorn in the real corporate world.” It’s all about what lies beneath with the two of them, and the best of friends see just that — the truth. Behind Jack’s tough exterior lies an emotional and considerate man. And this not only makes Baldwin’s character incredibly likable, but it makes this friendship phenomenal because it’s something Liz has always known.
Men who believe in the women they work with are the best. Men who see women as equals are the best. Plain and simple. And that is why this friendship is so special. It focuses on the reality of male/female dynamics in their true nature. Males will generally have moments where they’re frazzled with emotions and the women they work with will have to roll their eyes once or twice. But where there is steadfast loyalty, there is always a life changing, inspiring relationship.
P.S. I can totally hear “Good God, Gissane this article is an emotional cluster” in Jack Donaghy’s voice. (Forgive my weird jokes, they can’t be tamed.)