In the world of films, we get caught up in the plot of romance, rivalry, suspicion and hate. Obviously there’s all this other stuff going on to fluff it out a little and give it depth but the general gist is pretty standard. Unfortunately, films only have a limited time to put across the character relationships before it’s done.
In TV series, however, there’s a lot more they can do with the character development and they love to toy with us viewers. I have found that a lot of the time, they use suspenseful romance to hook us sappy folk. The flirtations and banter between the main characters which drags out over the series, leaves the viewer shouting “come on my hibernating tortoise moves faster than you people! Just strip off already and get it on!” Or something along those lines. As infuriating as that is, it keeps people hooked. Will they? Won’t they? Oooo, the goosebumps of anticipation!
I, however, get hooked on the friendships in whatever series I’m watching. It’s one thing to build romantic vibes between people but the true test of good character development is the way they connect without needing to lick one another tonsils. There is an art to making the friendships believable on screen and you can tell when the actors just can’t pull it off sometimes.
So in light of this, I figured I’d let you know my list of excellent on-screen chemistry:
1 – Lie to me: Dr Cal Lightman & Dr Gillian Foster
It’s a shame that this show got canceled at season 3, although I did feel it was possibly a good place to end things. I found it different from the other series released at the time and it’s actually informative as well. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a little out there, but it does make you look a little more closely at how people speak to you. Possibly a little too closely…
A lot of crime solving shows are based on the testing of evidence and hunting clues left behind by the criminal. All of that, of course, is how crime solving is actually done. Meanwhile the Lightman Group are consultants who are hired by authorities like the FBI to help get to the truth. They spend all their time watching people’s body language, analysing voice pitches and studying micro-expressions to see if someone is lying or not.
My favourite twosome in the show, has to be Cal Lightman and his business partner Gillian Foster. You literally couldn’t get two opposing personalities working together so well. One is calm, polite, well composed and mature. Gillian is the one who is reasonable and a true level headed professional who is always putting out the fires Cal creates. He, on the other hand, gets in people’s faces, is practically con artist in most other aspects of his life and he’s a bit of a lunatic. For these two, it shouldn’t work, especially when he pushes the strength of their partnership a little too far at times. Yet, for some magical reason which still baffles me, it does. There’s a bond there and a mutual respect for the others specialised skill. There’s also a code they both live by: Never poke around in each others personal lives. Despite Cal being nosy and overbearing with everyone else, he does ignore what he sees with Gillian and allows her to keep her secrets. There’s also a hint of romance between them but that’s never really clear as to whether anything actually comes of it. Personally, I think it’s good they didn’t try and work that into the story-line and mess things up like the writers did with Bones. Some little flirtations should just stay that way. I think they were building up to that but the show was canceled at the end of season 3, so we’ll never know. Thank Goodness for that!
Where can I watch this? Click Here to watch the series
2 – Castle: Javier Esposito & Kevin Ryan
So Castle is based on a crime writer who has hit a slump after killing off his main character in his last detective series. He only gets renewed inspiration when someone starts taking the murders from his books and making them reality. This is when he meets Kate Beckett, the lead detective on the case who is a secret fan of his writing but not so much the author himself. True to his nature of rule breaker, Castle starts pushing himself into the case and shadows the team while they solve a murder. He then stays on as a consultant and causes chaos and mayhem in his wake. If only life really did work out that way. I doubt the police would be so forgiving if I pulled the same stunt. It would be prison cell for me!
Now anyone who has watched Castle will know Javier Esposito & Kevin Ryan. They’re the detectives who work alongside Kate and Castle in cases. They add a little more flair to the investigation. They’re a good team and are meant to be the amusing sidekicks to the story-line which is exactly what the show needed. Although Castle, himself, is meant to be the comical one; the other two add something a little extra to the mix. (I guess it wouldn’t be so funny if Castle was cracking all the jokes to a bunch of detectives with no sense of humour.) While his style is to fantasize and make up stories which always seem to involve the supernatural element, Esposito and Ryan are more nonchalant in the face of shocking revelations. They even roll along with the theories on occasion, merely for their own amusement. Kevin is a little bit more buttoned up than Javier and he’s more cautious too. He sometimes toes the line of rule breaking but never steps over it. He actually reminds me of a puppy sometimes, which is adorable. Meanwhile his partner is a wild card and tends to be impulsive. Between the pair of them, however, they pull it off as a well functioning team. They have the same sense of humour and they have one another’s backs when it’s really crucial. A friendship worth mentioning.
3 – The Mentalist: Kimball Cho & Wayne Rigsby
The Mentalist is yet another show which takes a slightly different look on crime solving. For a start, the CBI (California Bureau of Investigation), hire a ex-conman, Patrick Jane, as a consultant whilst working on a serial killer case. Risky but effectively gets results. The whole drama is based on a former “psychic” who duped a lot of innocent people out of money without any empathy. Bit of a cold bastard basically. He then went on TV to gloat about how sad and pathetic “Red John” is. Now seeing as Red John is a serial killer, I’d say that wasn’t exactly the smartest move to make. Taking offense to being slated and belittled on TV, Red John kills the Patrick’s family and proceeds to play cat and mouse with him throughout a lot of the earlier series. (Obviously there’s more to it then that but you get the gist…)
Cho and Rigsby are the ones who often make me chuckle. The pair of them are always eating or drinking something for a start. Cho is basically an emotionless robot, or that’s what he appears to be at first. He rarely speaks unless he has to and he keeps a lot close to the chest. He doesn’t really say anything about his personal life and you don’t really know what happens with him when he’s not working. Meanwhile Rigsby is constantly talking, is a little naive about some things and shows everything he thinks and feels on his face. He’s a big gentle giant but with a deep seated temper. (How bizarre is that?!) The pair are funny when it comes to their chats about whatever personal issue is going on with Rigsby and they come out with some great lines. They’re also able to roll with whatever Patrick Jane has concocted, even when it’s not so ethical. It’s the deadpan face next to the big cheesy grin which makes these two well worth a watch. It also brings down the tension whenever things get “a little too real” in the show.
Where can I watch this? Click Here to watch the series
4 – Bones: Zack Addy & Jack Hodgins
So Bones is all about the…well…bones. There’s not really a lot that the title doesn’t explain. It’s another crime solving TV show and it’s got a good mix of people in it which goes from the emotionless female cyborg (not literally) to a flamboyant artist all working under one roof. The group of them are led by a forensic anthropologist Dr Temperance Brennan and FBI handler, Special Agent Seeley Booth. The general gist is that Booth brings the team to the dead body, they study it and he tracks down the murderer with their findings. Standard issue puzzle solving team. Of course, the show does raise the differences between the personalities in this show. It has Booth and Angela, both of whom are relatively normal in the scheme of things, who work from their gut instinct a lot of the time. Meanwhile they have to content with the others who only believe in what they can see and prove. There’s also debates around religious views as well, so if you like a good deep think about things, this might get your brain ticking over..
The best, however, is Zack and Jack. Two science nerds with the license to experiment, blow things up and do pretty much whatever they want. (Which is not always a great thing seeing as they are basically giant children.) They create chaos and seem to not really understand the protocols for how they’re meant to be acting in a workplace. Let’s put it this way, if I tried half the stuff they do on a weekday, I’d be fired on the spot!
Hodgins is a bit extreme and has conspiracy theories for everything the team works on, which is always out there. He’s also loaded and has a fortune in the bank but spends all day playing around with insects and slime. He’s also a bit of a “life” mentor to Zack who is a genius with an I.Q. well above 163 but is clueless about every day social convention. He doesn’t understand sarcasm, he takes everything literally and he even looks awkward when someone tries to give him a high five. The pair are always swapping comments, most of the time with Hodgins making fun of the kid who knows nothing about women and the outside world. They challenge one another, push the limits to see who will be the “King of the Lab” and get results. Let’s face it, that’s a match made in heaven! Unlike most, the two of them are a little too weird for normal people so they stick together. (Well for the most part…)
5 – Spaced: Tim Bisley & Mike Watt
Spaced is an excellent comedy for the lighthearted. This is all about Tim, who works in a comic book store with Bill Bailey, and Daisy, who is unemployed. Due to unfortunate circumstances, where Tim breaks up with his girlfriend and gets kicked out of their shared home and Daisy living in a slum, they end up meeting in a coffee shop and get talking about how they’re both homeless and looking for a place to live. After a few encounters of them both struggling to find somewhere decent, they agree to get a flat together because the perfect place is “couples only”. They’re strangers who essentially have to pretend they’re in a relationship to get the flat. The whole show is jokey and extreme but it’s a lot of fun to watch when you don’t want anything too serious or dramatic. The characters are all big and loud and there’s hardly ever anything truly serious going on. Made better by Simon Pegg…obviously.
The Friendship between Tim and Mike, however, is possibly the best part. They grew up together and are more like mother and son than friends. Mike is obviously off his rocker throughout the show and has been arrested for driving a tank through Disneyland just to prove this theory. Because of an accident from their childhood where Mike got injured, Tim is very over protective of him and mothers him. That’s a hugely comical duo there, which has been proven throughout their films released afterward too. They know how to work together and have a great chemistry on the screen.
6 – House: James Wilson & Gregory House
So, House MD is all based on a doctor who is a expert diagnostician. He solves the medical cases other doctors can’t figure out alone. Basically, he swoops in and takes the weird and baffling patients that no one else wants to deal with. He’s also a narcissists genius with a drug addiction. (Well there’s always a downside to being smarter than everyone else I guess.) He’s brash, he’s rude, he has little care for other people’s feelings and gets off on being the smartest person in the room. (Sounds like a delightful man…not.) And yet…he’s also weirdly charismatic, deep and thinks outside the box. I mean no one in reality can function on that level and not end up being decked in the face at least once a day. But this is fiction so I guess House can get away with it…most of the time. I also love the balance between humour and the serious, gritty side of things. There’s a lot of darkness going on, especially with House himself.
Well…James Wilson and Gregory House are my absolute favourite duo. The whole relationship throughout all eight seasons of House has been a roller-coaster of laughs, cringing embarrassment and grimness. It’s been a bumpy ride for the pair but I have to say that, overall, Wilson and House have the best TV “bromance” to date. With House being cynical and argumentative he needs someone like Wilson who “appears” to be his opposite. Yet, after a while, you notice they’re not as dissimilar as they come across. Wilson is kind, caring and laid back while House is more like an untrained puppy who will purposely pee on your carpet just to watch you have a breakdown. Yet, as the seasons unfold, you do start to see that Wilson is not as innocent as he likes to think he is. He enables House in his vices, he also cheats on all his wives. The pair always pull pranks on one another, place bets at really inappropriate times, break into one another’s homes, spike each others drinks, brutally give unwanted advice and they have no understanding on personal privacy. Yet, they work and it’s actually a lot of fun watching them muddle through their lives with such a destructive relationship. It’s clear that the pair don’t really have much going for them except the friendship they share and it’s honestly a great match.
7 – Misfits: Simon Bellamy & Nathan Young
So for those of you who haven’t watched Misfits, you’re probably looking at this and thinking “OH MY GOD THAT’S THE DUDE FROM GAME OF THRONES”. Every time I mention Misfits to someone who hasn’t seen it they always recognise Iwan Rheon who plays a not so friendly character in GOT (Ramsay Bolton). Yet in this show you really can’t get a more opposing side of him if you tried. And paired with Robert Sheehan…well that’s just comedy gold but in a really twisted way.
Misfits is about a bunch of youth offenders on community service. Whilst litter picking and painting park benches, they get stuck in some freak storm which causes them to get powers. (Immature criminals with super powers…well that’s a story-line!) The whole group are a mess, to say the least, and they have no clue what they’re doing throughout the whole series. They misuse their powers, break who knows how many laws, cover up murder and lead very dysfunctional relationships throughout. There’s a lot of soul-searching going on too. Not that it ever gets them anywhere. So it’s a mess…but in a comical way.
Yet the best of them is Simon and Nathan. The pair have a really odd love/hate relationship which is constantly riddled with insults and mockery. Nathan is meant to be the comical one and it’s obvious why. He’s arrogant, mouthy and just doesn’t know how to be nice, even when he should. He’s always pissing someone off with his insults and, not so surprisingly, often the target of someone trying to kill him somehow. (Most of the time just to shut him up!) Simon, on the other hand, is quiet, reserved and nervous around anyone who attempts to be nice to him. He’s also seen as a little creepy because he films everything and stares a lot. The best thing is the grins Simon gets whenever Nathan either screws up or says something offensive he secretly finds funny. I actually love the pair together because, despite the obvious reasons they should hate each other, they really don’t.
8 – New Girl: Jessica Day & Cece Parekh
New Girl is a great comedy and another one you can watch without really paying attention to it. It’s not complicated and it doesn’t require a lot of thinking either, which is perfect for the days you’re hungover. The show is about a teacher, Jessica Day, who has recently walked in on her boyfriend cheating and has to go out and find a new place to live. She finds a place with three male roommates, who are obviously not so keen to have a woman living with them. When she tells them her best friend is a model, however, they quickly change their tune. (Funny that!) The series is all about Jessica and the guys trying to find a harmonious living situation, which tends to fail.
Personally, I don’t actually like Jessica Day when she’s on her own. She’s a little too…sickly sweet for my liking but, when she’s paired with Cece, she’s not too bad. We all have that friend who we’ve have known since we were kids and grew up with. The friend who knows way too much about you to risk losing. Cece and Jess remind me of that and how you can fight, argue, scream at this person and they’ll still be there to sucker punch whoever hurts your feelings.
The great thing about the two women is how they go along with the others plans without really thinking it through. They don’t question the other and if they’re in trouble, they do pretty much anything asked of them to help. Cece, being fiery and gobby, is a little more brutal about how she approaches things but she’s good for the fluffy and submissive Jess.
Right well, unfortunately that’s all I have for now but stay tuned for the next batch…Happy watching everyone!