25 Nearest and Dearest 1/25
Pawnee Parks Department (Parks and Recreation)
Parks and Recreation portrays friendships in a way that’s impeccably rare on television. Leslie Knope and Ann Perkins alone are the epitome of how women should be with their best friends. And while they’d be enough if they were the only ones, the entire department is magic together. In what may be the most difficult choices I’ve made in my writing career, I’ve attempted to culminate seven of my favorite moments, which showcase friendship at its absolute finest. The moments that were unbelievably difficult to choose but manage to bring characters together in ways that are beautifully refreshing.
It’s not easy to write about Parks and Recreation. In fact, it’s the hardest show I’ve ever written for because it’s the show of dreams that’s reached an unparalleled level of perfection. It’s the show where a person is celebrated because of who they are and teamwork is valued above all. And if that’s not perfect then I don’t know what is.
25 Nearest and Dearest 2/25
Ellie and Chuck Bartowski (Chuck)
There are quite a number of phenomenal sibling relationships on television but none compare to the Bartowski kids. Chuck is home to some of the most uniquely wonderful friendships and relationships, but it wouldn’t be as special without the closeness between brother and sister. When you’re born into a family of spies, it isn’t easy to understand why your parents leave. And before they even learned the truth about their parents’ identities, Chuck and Ellie chose to never abandon each other. We often forget that blood isn’t what makes people a family, but rather the effortless and endearing adoration we choose to give each and everyday. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have family members that love them in spite of all their flaws, but those who are know that at the end of the day, through loyalty, care, and immense adoration, there will always be growth.
25 Nearest and Dearest 3/25
Team Bartowski (Chuck)
I would happily join Team Bartowski if I could. Seriously why don’t I have the opportunity to be a spy? Why did no one recruit me when I was working at Barnes and Noble? That’s somewhat similar to the Buy More, right!? The point is, Chuck Bartowski is a lucky man. John Casey, Sarah Walker, and Chuck may have started out as the sole members of Team Bartowski, but when Morgan finally joined in along with Devon and Ellie, everything was magic. Chuck became the utmost perfect show. (Okay sort of, it was always perfect.) We are who we are because of those who love us, and Team Bartowski needed one another without even realizing it, but most importantly, they’ve effortlessly had a remarkable impact on one another.
25 Nearest and Dearest 4/25
Tanner/Katsopolis/Fuller Family (Full House)
The family that hugs each other, stays together. There’s no family quite like the Tanner/Katsopolis/Fuller family and there never will be. As a little kid, nothing glued me to the television the way Full House did and to this very day, this family is incredibly important to me. From the very first episode, Full House was about selflessly stepping up to help out, and if there’s one thing families are good at, it’s being there through the darkest moments and the happiest. And perhaps that’s why I loved this show so dearly — it is still to this day one of the most heartiest, happiest TV series in existence. Sometimes we need happy and in the Tanner/Katsopolis/Fuller household, it was everyone’s mission to create a loving, ridiculously wonderful environment.
25 Nearest and Dearest 5/25
Monica, Rachel, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe and Ross (F.R.I.E.N.D.S.)
It is literally in the title — F.R.I.E.N.D.S. You’d know what the series is about even if you haven’t seen all 236 episodes. (And look, while I’m sure these people exist, I’ve personally never met someone who hasn’t watched F.R.I.E.N.D.S.) Point being, of course Phoebe, Monica, Rachel, Chandler, Joey, and Ross would make this list. Of course, I’d do wish to do everything in my power to condense 10 seasons worth of TV into one post. But here is the reality, it’s impossible. Although I’m sure there’s a person out there who could manage to choose their favorite moments, I’m not one of those people. I tried. Seriously I did. That said, while I can’t sit here and write about all my favorite moments (tears), I can tell you why I’ll always love this group.
25 Nearest and Dearest 6/25
The Charming Family (Once Upon A Time)
There’s no tragedy or heartache on Once Upon A Time as horrific as the fact that Charming and Snow weren’t given the opportunity to watch their little girl grow. And every so often we’re clouded with the thoughts of what if. What could’ve happened if they had raised Emma as they planned? Would they be different today? Would she still have her walls up? Would she be happier as a princess? Would she still have had Henry? However, despite the unfortunate reality that she was never given the chance to experience a childhood in a loving environment, Emma’s relationship with her parents is one of the most fascinating relationships on television. The Charming Family consisting of Henry and baby Neal as well share incredibly uplifting and beautiful moments together showcasing that it’s never too late to give someone your all. And it’s most definitely never too late to be a family.
25 Nearest and Dearest 7/25
Cory Matthews and Shawn Hunter (Boy Meets World)
There are best friends and then there are these two. Years later, and they’re still the most incredible depiction of best friends to exist. Boy Meets World is an incomparable series, and it has been from the moment we all watched it when we were kids. But upon looking back, I’ve often remembered this friendship most fondly — perhaps even more than Cory and Topanga’s. Which don’t get me wrong, I love them with every fiber of my being and they’re featured in the 25 Love Stories portion of this little project, too. However, the way Shawn and Cory accepted and loved one another has left me in awe. Loyalty is the key to maintaining any relationship, and theirs was always steadfast — taking care of one another in the darkest times and having the best of times together. But also, today, it’d feel a bit like I was cheating if I also didn’t pay homage to Riley Matthews and Maya Hart’s — who’ve created their own little sisterhood mirroring Shawn and Cory’s beautifully.
25 Nearest and Dearest 8/25
The Gilmore Girls (Gilmore Girls)
For as long as I can remember I’ve been watching Gilmore Girls reruns on TV and thus, making it that I’ve seen the show about 20 times by now (it’s already time for another beginning to end re-watch). And when I was younger, I didn’t always understand the relationships between Emily, Lorelai, and Rory Gilmore. (But I do remember sobbing my eyes out at Rory’s high school graduation speech because in every way, my mother is my best friend, too.) There aren’t many relationships in the world as profound as that between a mother and daughter. And while I personally don’t know what that’s like to be a mother, I can understand that it must be the scariest, most overwhelmingly beautiful experience. Families have been complicated since the beginning of time, but perhaps that’s what makes it the most beautiful bond in the world. These are the people who have seen the ugliest sides of us and continue to love us boundlessly. Gilmore Girls is without a doubt the one show that’s written mother/daughter relationships most accurately in its complex, gorgeous form. And above all things, the series has authenticated the fact that at the end of the day, no matter how messy things get, these women will always have someone to lean on.
25 Nearest and Dearest 9/25
The Bartlett/Fleming Family (Heartland)
For nine seasons now, Heartland has been the happy show I’m sure many of us have been turning to when we’ve needed to take a step back from the intense dramas on TV. And for nine seasons it’s proven to be one of the most family driven series in existence continuously giving us raw, beautiful moments that have shown what families are meant to be like. And not to mention, Heartland has even done a beautiful job revealing the gorgeous intimacy between a horse and his/her rider. Since Heartland is primarily a family show, it tackles a great deal of different relationships with the Bartlett/Fleming/Borden clan, but a few have personally tugged on my heartstrings the most.
25 Nearest and Dearest 10/25
The McCord Family (Madam Secretary)
Infinitely grateful to have Madam Secretary recommended to me by my dear friend Caitlin last winter because it’s the gift that keeps on giving. For those who’ve been keeping up with #100DaysofFanFavorites, it’s clear at this point that I’m the biggest fan of families. And the best, most unexpected part of Madam Secretary is how beautifully the series balances politics with Elizabeth McCord’s life at home. Additionally, so often on television, with the exception of FX’s The Americans teens aren’t written with authenticity today. As opposed to showcasing the reality of what families are like through organic character development, television series often focus more on ridiculous drama . But Madam Secretary is an impeccably well-written series, which reveals the life of the McCord family in intriguing and raw moments making them one of the strongest, most fascinating teams on television.