Here's some thoughts about media, tv shows, movies, etc. that were directly inspired by a conversation with a friend online.
How many instances can you think of where a movie or tv show portrays same sex friendships as positive, emotional, complicated, important and close, and without having any gay undertones?
The thing that sparked this conversation was a scene in the movie "Hot Fuzz". The movie by the way is hilarious and awesome. There is a scene in the movie where the two male main characters are watching movies, drinking beer, sitting very close to each other (this is another important point...same sex characters comfortable with physical closeness) and they are talking about important things in their lives and just relaxing and bonding. Never does either one of them back off for fear of being "gay" or make any sort of comments regarding that. They're just both comfortable and normal. One of the characters wakes up with his head on the other guy's shoulder. Nothing is made of it.
This scene was pointed out to me by a male friend. I hadn't taken much significant notice of it, but he had. He pointed out how really rare it is to see two guys in such a situation. And the more we talked about the more I realized he's right. I feel that women are even more underrepresented in this sort of relationship. Mostly women in media are portrayed as disliking each other from the first second.
We did come up with a few same sex relationship that were positive and worthy friendships. (Most of our viewing is scifi/fantasy, so that's about all we got). The main one for women is Buffy and Willow (if you don't know what show they are from, well you need to watch some good tv!). And I agreed, this is a very positive example of two girls/young women who grow up together and are very good, close friends. They have their ups and downs, they fight, they get mad at each other, they hurt each others feelings, they laugh together, they hang out and bond, etc. That is probably one of the many reasons that show was so good. There are other positive female-female relationships on that show, but that is really the only example of the type I'm thinking about.
Another example that I came up with was from Battlestar Galactica. The relationship between Bill Adama and Saul Tigh. I thought this was a fairly good example, because they are often shown being fairly comfortable doing things around each other (changing, eating each others food) and they are very close and they depend on each other in a lot of ways. Although it is somewhat of an unbalanced relationship in my opinion too because Tigh is sort of a drunk, screw up and depends alot more on Adama in some situations than Adama ever really depends on him.
There are some small examples of this on Firefly, like Kaylee and Inara's relationship, but it's sort of a background thing. Joss Whedon seems to be better at writing female-female friendships than male-male friendships.
Another example I thought of was Crichton and D'argo on Farscape. They do become really good, close friends, but its more of an actiony sort of way. It's actually somewhat stereotypical in some ways, but its not bad really. They just do more running around shooting and flying than sitting around talking or doing casual things together.
The female-female relationships on Farscape are pretty good, but they occasionally fall into the stereotypical stuff. Especially when a new female character comes onto the show (which happens twice in a row), they are initally at odds with one or two fo the other female characters. But they do eventually come to an understanding and a decent friendship. I think Chiana and Jool eventually have a fairly good friendship, but its not a close one on the level of Crichton and D'argo's. And scifi fangirl gods forgive me for this, but I really don't remember a lot of details of Farscape right now to go into more details about the character relationships! (I feel like such a failure ;-) )
I'm not really huge into movies as much, so I can't think of any movies offhand that have this sort of thing, but I am sure they are out there.
Oh, I thought of one. Ghost World. It's two high school aged girls who are very close and have a good relationship. Although its sort of not the best example, because they are teenageers so it doesnt go very deep and the relationship sort of falls apart in some ways at the end of the movie. But in a respectful, realistic way I thought.
I just looked at all the movies at tv shows I own and I can't think of any more examples from them.
As for Doctor Who (the new ones), and especially Torchwood (it's spinoff)...any same sex relationship they have is pretty much always homosexual in nature. Not that that is a bad thing or anything, it's just not what I'm trying to find. Torchwood is very gay friendly and Doctor Who doesn't have much to contribute to this topic.
If you think this topic is boring, stupid or irrelevant then just ignore me completely. But if you have any examples of this sort of relationship please tell me. And if you have any comments about what I've written, please tell me! I didn't write some stuff in too much detail for one reason because I can't type for long because as always my hands are worn out from typing at work. And also because I am always afraid people will be bored or think what I write is stupid. That's a personal problem and I'm working on it.
But anyway, give me a shout out regarding same sex, platonic, but very important and close friendships in tv and movies.
(Hey, look at me, I wrote again! Woot! I'm all crazy productive!)