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Best TV-Series Based on Women’s Friendship :: The portal of the largest rankings on the Internet!

This is a comprehensive list of the top 10 American sitcoms about women’s friendship, based on aggregated opinions of critics, as well as personal preferences.


Top 10 American Sitcoms Based on Women’s Friendship


Title of the Sitcom
Year / Country / Creator / Cast
Sitcom Description
1 Girls Release Date:
2012-

Country:
USA

Creator:
Lena Dunham

Cast:
Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Adam Driver, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Andrew Rannells, Alex Karpovsky, Ebon Moss-Bachrach
Created by – and starring – Lena Dunham, Girls is the story of four twentysomethings navigating early adulthood in New York City.

Dunham plays Hannah Horvath, an aspiring writer who, at the beginning of the series, is suddenly cut off financially by her parents. She struggles with the unexpected change in circumstances, which flares the OCD she has suffered since childhood.

Her best friend Marnie Michaels, played by Allison Williams, moves in with her. Marnie and Hannah attended Oberlin College together, both moving to New York City after graduation. At the start of the series, Marnie is an art gallery assistant, but after losing her job, she finally pursues a career in music.

Jessa Johansson also attended college with Hannah and Marnie. She’s British, but claims to be a global citizen. Jessa is a classic bohemian who befalls some of the most hard-hitting issues explored within the series. Her cocaine and heroin addiction storyline is one of the most challenging.

Jessa’s cousin Shoshana Shapiro completes the foursome. A naïve and awkward college student, Shoshana nonetheless becomes a cherished part of the friendship group (and a fan favourite!)

Audiences love Girls for its raw, honest, accurate portrayal of what it means to be a modern woman. Although set in New York City, the experiences are universal. Girls doesn’t need to glamorise female friendship; instead, it explores the complex rollercoaster of this pivotal stage of life.
2 Broad City Release Date:
2014-

Country:
USA

Creators:
Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson

Cast:
Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson, Arturo Castro, Hannibal Buress, John Gemberling
Ilana and Abbi are two twentysomething Jewish-American women living in New York City. Abbi is the older of the two, aged 26 in the first episode. She’s an aspiring illustrator, but works as a cleaner in a spinning gym (called Soulstice; a pastiche of Soulcycle). Over the course of the series, she becomes a trainer, and sets up fitness classes for seniors. Still, she never lets go of her dream; illustrating during her time off, and pledging to eventually quit her job to pursue it full-time.

Her friend Ilana has a chronic lack of ambition. A born slacker, she has a sales job at a company called Deals Deals Deals, but even when she does turn up, she’s not there in any meaningful way, taking long breaks and doing the bare minimum. As a result, her colleagues largely dislike her, but her docile boss Todd doesn’t have the strength to let her go.

Ilana is the wild one of the pair. She’s four years younger than Abbi, smokes marijuana regularly, and is a bold and confident free spirit. Abbi goes along with Ilana’s antics most of the time, but is looking to become more responsible and self-sufficient as she moves through the latter part of her twenties.

There’s plenty of romance to go around, but it is the friendship of the central characters forms the solid foundation of this series.
3 Orange Is The New Black Release Date:
2013-

Country:
USA

Creator:
Jenji Kohan

Cast:
Taylor Schilling, Uzo Aduba, Danielle Brooks, Nick Sandow, Selenis Leyva, Kate Mulgrew, Michael Harney, Natasha Lyonne, Taryn Manning, Yael Stone, Lea DeLaria, Adrienne C. Moore, Dascha Polanco, Laura Prepon, Jackie Cruz, Vicky Jeudy, Jessica Pimentel, Laura Gómez, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Emma Myles, Samira Wiley, Diane Guerrero
Although there are certainly plenty of dramatic storylines, Orange Is The New Black is a comedy in the darkest sense. Set in a minimum-security women’s prison in upstate New York, the first series focused on Piper Chapman, a first-time prisoner convicted for a historic drug offence.

Ten years prior to the start of the series, Piper had been in a relationship with international drug smuggler Alex Vause, but after the breakdown of the romance, Piper returned to New York to lead a comfortable middle-class life, alongside her fiancée Larry Bloom. The news of her imminent incarceration is a source of embarrassment for Piper and her family, but she goes into prison determined to keep her head down, stay out of trouble, and serve her 15 month sentence without further incident.

Of course, that would make for a very uninteresting series, and Piper soon finds herself embroiled in a dispute with the prison’s chef and fellow inmate, Red. Although they eventually resolve their conflict (after a particularly disgusting lunch offering), trouble is never far away from Piper. Especially at the end of the first series, when Alex is unexpectedly placed in the same prison.

Beyond Piper’s story, we are introduced to an ensemble of vibrant and diverse characters, whose narrative is explored over the course of the series as a whole. Alliance form and break apart, but it is the resolve of these disparate female inmates, and their enduring friendships, that makes this series so spectacular. And if we had to choose our favourite friendship from the series, it would have to be Poussey and Taystee, with the newer allegiance of Pennsatucky and Big Boo a close second!
4 2 Broke Girls Release Date:
2011-

Country:
USA

Creators:
Whitney Cummings, Michael Patrick King

Cast:
Kat Dennings, Beth Behrs, Garrett Morris, Matthew Moy, Jennifer Coolidge, Jonathan Kite
Max Black and Caroline Channing are a pair of twentysomething girls living and working in a diner in Brooklyn. Max had a difficult upbringing, raised in poverty by a single mother who was often absent. Caroline, conversely, had a privileged childhood, but her status fell apart when her father was jailed for his involvement in a Ponzi scheme. She ends up working in the same diner as Max, and a friendship soon forms. The girls move in together, and share an ambition to open a cupcake shop.

They channel all of their energy into raising the $250,00 they need to start their dream business, and at the end of each episode, a running total is shown. Max works as a nanny on the side, and at the start of the second season, their part-time boss Sophie lends them $20,000 to get the operation up and running. Although it doesn’t work out on the first attempt, the girls don’t give up so easily, and they are soon selling cupcakes again; this time from the back of the diner.

Over the course of the series, the girls diversify their business, often resulting in failure, and a film is made about Caroline’s extraordinary life. Despite their trials and tribulations, Max and Caroline maintain a firm friendship, drawing strength and loyalty from one another, whatever life throws at them.
5 Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 Release Date:
2012-2013

Country:
USA

Creator:
Nahnatchka Khan

Cast:
Krysten Ritter, Dreama Walker, Eric André, Michael Blaiklock, James Van Der Beek, Liza Lapira, Ray Ford
Chloe is the eponymous resident of Apartment 23. She’s a New York party girl with questionable morals; a con artist whose lifestyle is funded by a series of scams and a once-a-year job providing ‘entertainment’ to diplomats visiting the United Nations.

How did she pick up her unique moniker? By swindling her roommates. Chloe places a condition every time she takes on a new lodger, that they pay several months of rent up-front. She then treats them to her full repertoire of appalling behaviour, forcing each one to move out at a loss. This is just one of Chloe’s many indiscretions. She readily admits to having “the morals of a pirate”.

June, her newest roommate and potential victim, is the polar opposite. Straight-laced, hard-working, and ambitious in the traditional sense, June has simply had a bad run of luck. After landing a great job at a mortgage company, with a spacious apartment thrown in, the company suddenly collapses, and June is left without a job and a place to live. She doesn’t want to return to her judgmental parents in Indiana, so looks for another apartment in New York.

Sensing an opportunity, Chloe agrees to allowing June to move in with her, and plans to scam her, as she has done to every other roommate. However, despite their differences in lifestyle and ethics, Chloe and June soon become close friends. Chloe actually feels protective of her naïve and trusting friend, helping to boost her confidence and work towards another dream career. As it turns out, you can trust the b---- in apartment 23!
6 New Girl Release Date:
2011-

Country:
USA

Creator:
Elizabeth Meriwether

Cast:
Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris, Hannah Simone
New Girl tells the story of Jess, a teacher in her early 30s, who returns home one afternoon to find her long-term boyfriend, Spencer, in bed with another woman. Devastated, Jess moves into a loft apartment in Los Angeles with Nick, Schmidt, and Winston. The three men support Jess as she begins to rebuild her life, and navigate her thirties as a newly-single woman.

Jess draws a great deal of strength from Cece, her best friend since childhood. Cece is a fashion model, with great one-liners and an unflappable devotion to Jess. It is through Jess that Cece meets her boyfriend and eventual husband, Schmidt. Jess supports Cece through all the relationship difficulties she experiences with Schmidt, and Cece returns the favour when Jess begins to develop feelings for Nick.

At the start of the series, Jess is in a dark place, having been humiliated by her former partner. Throughout the run of New Girl, we witness her transform back into her bubbly, confident best. Her friendships, particularly the close bond she shares with Cece, form the foundation of her new and happy life.
7 Reba Release Date:
2001-2007

Country:
USA

Creator:
Allison M. Gibson

Cast:
Reba McEntire, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Christopher Rich, Steve Howey, Mitch Holleman, Melissa Peterman, Scarlett Pomers
Reba Hart is a middle-aged single mother from Houston, Texas. She was formerly married to Brock, but he cheated on her with his dental hygienist, Barbra Jean, as their marriage was on the brink of collapse. Barbra Jean becomes pregnant by Brock before his divorced is finalised, further adding to Reba’s distress.

Reba has three teenage children by Brock; Cheyanne, Kyra, and Jake. During the first season, it transpires that Cheyenne has become pregnant by her boyfriend, high school cornerback Van. Although the budding teenage romance is shaken by the revelation, all turns out well; Cheyenne gives birth to a healthy baby girl – Elizabeth – and marries Van, who moves into the Hart family home after his parents throw him out.

As improbable as it sounds, the friendship between wronged ex-wife Reba and her would-be nemesis, Barbara Jean, is the most interesting relationship of the series. Although Reba thinks of Barbara Jean as her arch-rival, the naïve Barbara Jean considers Reba to be her only friend. Over the course of the series, particularly after the shock wears off and Barbara Jean gives birth to her son, Henry, the two form the most unlikely bond. Despite her efforts to the contrary, Reba eventually begins to see Barbara Jean in the same light; a best friend made in the most unusual of circumstances.
8 Single Ladies Release Date:
2011-

Country:
USA

Creator:
Stacy A. Littlejohn

Cast:
Travis Winfrey, LisaRaye McCoy, Charity Shea, Denise Vasi, D.B. Woodside, Harold House Moore, Terrell Tilford, Letoya Luckett, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Stacey Dash, Damien Dante Wayans, Kassandra Clementi, Mark Tallman
Produced by Queen Latifah and developed by VH1, Single Ladies tells the story of three friends living in Atlanta, Georgia, trying to follow their dreams and find success, happiness, love, and most importantly, friendship.

In the first series, the main characters are Val, April, and Keisha. Val loves fashion, and owns her own boutique in central Atlanta. Although she has been in a relationship with her basketball-playing boyfriend, Quinn, for five years, her interests begin to fall elsewhere, and she takes an interest in tattoo artist Casey. At the end of the first season, she receives an unmissable offer to pursue her dreams in the Milan.

April works within the record industry; she starts out as an assistant at a label, but hopes to pursue her dreams of becoming an A&R executive. She has been married to Darryl for seven years, but over the course of the series, her ambitions seem to be at odds with her relationship, which eventually breaks down. She begins a relationship with Reggie, before marrying another man, Sergio, but it doesn’t work out. Instead, April focuses on her career, and makes a move to London when an unmissable opportunity presents itself.

Her friend Keisha was also involved in the music industry, as a hip hop video model. She quits to become a full-time poker player, but this eventually lands her in legal difficulties. Originally with a boyfriend named Malcolm, Keisha embarks on a relationship with a lawyer named Sean, before falling for an FBI fraud agent.

In the second season, Val is replaced by Raquel, who takes over the former’s fashion boutique. She becomes friends with the other girls, who help her to navigate simultaneous relationships with Charles and Nate.

Single Ladies is an accurate portrayal of modern life for young women, with a diverse cast and interesting, relevant storylines.
9 Gilmore Girls Release Date:
2000 - 2007

Country:
USA

Creator:
Amy Sherman-Palladino

Cast:
Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Keiko Agena, Scott Patterson, Kelly Bishop, Yanic Truesdale, Sean Gunn, Liza Weil, Edward Herrmann, Melissa McCarthy, Liz Torres, Jared Padalecki
Lorelai Gilmore is an unconventional mom. Having given birth to her daughter Rory at the age of sixteen, much to the chagrin of her old money parents, Lorelai begins a new life in the small, close-knit town of Stars Hollow.

Lorelai’s relationship with her parents is distant, but when Rory secures a place at a respected local private school, she is forced to go to them for help with tuition fees. They agree to help fund their granddaughter’s education, with one condition; that the family has dinner together every Friday evening. Keen to do the best for her daughter, Lorelai relents.

Unexpectedly, Rory develops a close bond with her grandparents; a traditional relationship that contrasts with the friendship she shares with Lorelai. Mother and daughter remain best friends, helping each other to navigate the respective stages of each other’s lives.

Lorelai also has a best friend named Sookie St James, with whom she plans to open a traditional inn. Sookie has supported Lorelai throughout Rory’s life, and helps Lorelai to recognise and act upon her feelings for her main love interest, Luke Danes. Eventually, the friends do open the Dragonfly Inn; the manifestation of their strong friendship, and the realisation of their dreams.
10 The New Adventures of Old Christine Release Date:
2006-2010

Country:
USA

Creator:
Kari Lizer

Cast:
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Clark Gregg, Hamish Linklater, Emily Rutherfurd, Trevor Gagnon, Tricia O'Kelley, Wanda Sykes, Alex Kapp, Lily Goff, Blair Underwood, Mary Beth McDonough, Marissa Blanchard, Michaela Watkins
Christine Campbell has had a tricky few years. After the collapse of her marriage, her ex-husband Richard begins a relationship with another woman called Christine. As New Christine is a lot younger, it prompts Old Christine’s unflattering moniker.

Christine has a son named Richie with her ex-husband, who attends a prestigious school. Christine feels intimidated by the glamorous moms, and inadequate when compared to them. She embarks upon a series of relationships with various men, including New Christine’s father, her son’s teacher Mr Harris, her ex-husband, and her therapist, Max. With the latter, she eventually forms a more serious relationship, and after they abandon their professional connection, get engaged.

However, her most prominent relationship in the series is that which she shares with her best friend, Barb. They work together at Christine’s gym, and Barb is Christine’s main support mechanism throughout all her romantic tribulations. Christine also provides assistance to Barb when she needs it most; after the end of Barb’s marriage, it is revealed that she holds Bahamian citizenship, and is soon to be deported from the United States. To save her from being sent away, Christine marries Barb. Although it doesn’t quite work out as they expect, Barb is eventually able to stay, and the ladies both find happiness with new relationships.






The evolution of female friendship in sitcoms and comedy-dramas

Female friendships have been portrayed in television sitcoms since their inception. The universal rollercoaster of experiences makes these friendships relatable to women all around the world. Let’s take a look back at some of the most prolific best friends in sitcom history.

Let’s take it back to the start…
The pioneering sitcom I Love Lucy had one of the first female friendships that viewers could really believe. The titular character Lucy, and her best friend Ethel, were not afraid to be honest with each other, and always made time for good chat and plenty of hairbrained schemes! Fortunately, Ethel talked Lucy out of the most outlandish plans, but still, these two diamond ladies set the stage for future sitcom besties.

1970s
The 1970s gave us disco and punk rock, outrageous flares, and questionable hairstyles; it also provided two of the most relatable friendships ever to grace the small screen. In Laverne and Shirley, a spin-off from Happy Days, the title characters were best friends and roommates, working dead-end jobs in a brewery. Over the course of a seven-year run, we followed Laverne Shirley as they navigated careers, love, and friendship in the 1950s and 1960s. Although the ending of the series left some fans cold, the enduring legacy of this dynamic duo still influences sitcom friendships today.

Similarly, Mary and Rhoda from The Mary Tyler Moore Show were ladies living life on their terms. Both were career-oriented, with Mary working in television and Rhoda turning her creativity into success as a visual merchandiser. Mary and Rhoda were upstairs-downstairs neighbours, sharing their experiences of dating in their 30s. The series also touched on contemporary issues, such as equal pay and civil rights, that remains pertinent to this day.

1980s
The Golden Girls was the quintessential female-driven sitcom of the 1980s. The four leading characters, Blanche, Rose, Dorothy, and her uncompromising mother Sophia, rightly became icons; not only for the generations they represented, but for friendship groups of all ages and backgrounds. Even the title song, Thank You for Being a Friend, solidified the central theme of the show.

1990s
Friends dominated the 1990s as the most influential sitcom of the decade. The friendship between the three girls, drawing on all their individual strengths, resonated across the globe. Rachel’s enthusiasm, Monica’s caring nature, and Phoebe’s quirky compassion made for a believable on-screen bond that remains relatable.

Sex and the City also took place in New York, but the four bold characters weren’t twentysomethings starting out; they were in their thirties, with established careers, looking for – to quote Carrie – “ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can't-live-without-each-other love.” Along the way, the ladies supported one another through life-threatening illness, infertility, infidelity, and the trials and tribulations of the 90s dating scene.

2000s and beyond
As we’ve seen, there are plenty of female friendships still forming the basis of sitcoms to this day. In addition to the selections above, we’d single out Ann and Leslie from Parks and Recreation, for their elaborate gift exchanges, unwavering support, and unabashed declarations of love for one another. There’s also something exceptionally heartwarming about the unlikely pairing of former mole woman Kimmy and reformed snob Jacqueline from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The spirit of female friendship in the sitcom genre remains alive and well!