I have been a fan of the bromance for a while now. I ‘m not really sure how far back it goes because I really can’t pinpoint a favorite until the ultimate bromance (and I believe the duo who coined the phrase) House and Wilson. But it seems to be a new trend, at least in the shows that I frequent.
The bromance is a deep friendship relationship between two men. There can be sexual undertones if you squint real hard, but I think that usually comes from the fact that these relationships tend to resemble the close connection between an actual romantic couple. Like that of good marriage. Caring, banter, angst and humor. A true bromance will be tested––not in a Bros before Hoes kind of way––but in a way that tests the bonds that brought the two men to the friendship in the first place. The ties will stretch but the ultimate trust in one another will overcome no matter how thinly it is pulled.
Lets take a brief look at some of my favorites:
One of the main reasons I watch Hawaii 5-O is because of the McGarrett/Danno friendship. Ok, not gonna lie, if I could just be alone in a room with McGarret, I’d climb him like a tree and set up a wood floor treehouse. Who wouldn’t? But I love the dynamic between the two. When they argue in the car (the ‘cargument’ too cute, I swear), it’s like watching an old married couple bicker in that adorable, annoyingly endearing way that makes you either want to hit them or squeeze their cheeks.
While Steve and Dano bicker, House and Wilson had blistering arguments. There were many times you just had to wonder why, oh why, did Wilson remain friends with him? House was so awful to him. But, there was no denying that they had a strangely symbiotic and dysfunctional relationship that took so many turns and evolutions as the show progressed that I’m sure a psychology student could do an entire dissertation on their codependency. It was entertaining yet painful to watch sometimes. Pure brilliance, as with a lot of things in that show once upon a time.
White Collar‘s entire premise revolves around the bromance between Neil Caffrey and Peter Burke. They started out as nemesis and foe, cat and mouse, law man and the con man. Opposites to the core in their nature and their character role. Yet, what happened was interesting––they morphed into a true and genuine friendship. They respect each other’s abilities and feelings. And they do legitimately talk about their feelings. It’s actually quite refreshing and downright sentimental.
My favorite by far, is the mentor/protege, big brother/ little brother dynamic between Harvey Specter and Mike Ross on Suits. I cannot wait each week to watch these two. They deliver their lines in such quick-witted jabs and quips that you almost miss the subtle affection in the the blatant undertones of sarcasm. They are so very reminiscent of the fantastic verbal sparring of Tracey and Hepburn or Rosalind Russel and Cary Grant in His Girl Friday. Mike makes Harvey remember his humanity and Harvey challenges Mike in a way that utilizes his genius-like abilities. Harvey’s the pitbull and Mike is the puppy that runs along side of him. It will be interesting to see the puppy grow up and what the Alpha dog does.
I think that this type of relationship, one between two male characters who share a mutual respect and caring, can help us as writers to understand the character dynamic more. Study how they talk with each other, what they discuss and the patterns of their speech. Some of it pertains to the main plot and how they interact with the given situation. Most of it is isolated personal stuff that flows outside of the story plot but lends itself to the main character arc. It gives you insight into the character’s personalities and a deeper understanding of who they are as layered people.
So what about you? Do you have a favorite bromance? What makes them special?
Get out your bat and balls. Delve into the fantastic dynamic of the bromance.