Posts Tagged: freaks and geeks

My Favorite Brother-Sister Friendships in TV & Books

freaks and geeks lindsay sam
I love reading about sisters. Little Women? Pride & Prejudice? I love it all. But the thing is, brother and sisters don’t show up a lot in fiction. Which is a shame, because as a big sister to two brothers, I always want to read more and see more about brothers and sisters. I’m very close with my brothers, and I feel comfortable talking to them about pretty much anything I’d discuss with a sister. Also, I watch things from Gilmore Girls to the Kardashians to that Michael Douglas Liberace biopic with them. Whenever people say something to the effect of, “Well, having brothers is just different than having sisters,” I think, Is it? I don’t think so. You can have a super close and important relationship with your brothers, provided your brothers are cool dudes who you actually want to be friends with. And in that vein, Lincoln in Love and Other Alien Experiences is pretty heavily based on both of my brothers. Just like Mallory always wants to protect Lincoln, I worry about my brothers, like, 95% of every day. It’s just my way.

So, in that spirit, here are a few of my fave brother/sister friendships in books and television. Do you have any other favorites? Let me know!

Maggie & Zach in Playing House
Playing House - Season 1
Would I dress up in a costume so I could observe my brothers on a date? Maybe. Okay, yes. I would absolutely do that. I love that Maggie is so concerned about protecting Zach that she sometimes does crazy things. Personally, I like to remind my brothers “Buzzed driving is drunk driving!” whenever they leave the house, even if they aren’t going somewhere with alcohol because YOU NEVER KNOW. I have also said the sentence, “Next time you’re at a party, just imagine my disapproving face in your head.” They’re lucky to have me. And while I would not necessarily want my brothers to become trained as doulas so they could assist during the birth of my child, I would certainly find their presences comforting.

Amber and Drew on Parenthood

Poor Drew. So, so many tears.

Poor Drew. So, so many tears.

Oh, Amber. Oh, Drew. I tear up just thinking about them and their relationship. When Drew gets so worried about helping Amber out with her Big Life Change (no spoilers, even though this show already ended) that he starts taking a bunch of boring Econ classes? Yeah, I get it. They have one of the only seriously close brother-sister friendships I’ve seen on TV. Remember that time they went to their family dinner while stoned? They have real inside jokes, real emotional conversations, and they can bond over how weird the rest of their family is. Same.

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern
into the wild nerd yonder
There are SO many YA books about sisters, but very few with a strong brother/sister relationship. This one is one of my faves because it’s funny, believable, and it’s nice to see a brother and sister being for-real friends. I also sympathize with Jessie’s fear about her brother going off to college because both of my brothers are going to spread their metaphorical wings and fly somewhere other than Ohio, thus ruining my perfect Parenthood plan for us to all live in the same city and fight constantly.

Lindsay and Sam on Freaks and Geeks

I saved the best for last, because Lindsay and Sam perfectly capture the sort of contentious relationship that occurs when both brother and sister are still in school. Like, you know Lindsay and Sam are going to grow up to be BFFs, but for now their bonding moments are limited to eye rolls when their dad says something ridiculous at dinner (“You know where he is now? He’s DEAD!”) or when Lindsay gives Sam girl advice. This is the brother-sister friendship that gives me the biggest range of feelings–nostalgia, happiness, regret, you name it.

What brother-sister friendships am I forgetting? Let me know! And if you want to read about another brother-sister friendship that involves lots of the things I mentioned above (bonding over crazy parents, emotional conversations, etc.), you can preorder my book, LOVE AND OTHER ALIEN EXPERIENCES. It costs just SLIGHTLY more than a Little Caesar’s Hot-n-Ready pizza.

Three’s Company is the Best Show on TV

Freaks and Geeks is one of my favorite shows of all time, mostly because Lindsay Weir is the most realistic depiction I’ve ever seen of a teenage girl. I felt like Lindsay Weir every single day from the time I was 13 to the time I was 20, and I still feel like her a lot of days. This scene from F&G doesn’t feature Lindsay (or Kim, the baddest bitch you’ll ever meet), but it does feature I line that someone in my family says just about everyday: “Three’s Company is the best show on TV!” If you don’t know why we say it so much, then you don’t know how often Three’s Company comes up in conversation.

Fictional Characters I Identify With

1. Liz Lemon

Recently I found out that a certain brother of mine said I remind him of Liz Lemon.
“That’s nice!” said H, who’s long had a crush on Tina Fey.
“I don’t remind him of Tina Fey, the gorgeous, successful, hilarious writer and actress,” I said. “I remind him of Liz Lemon, the frumpy, awkward sandwich enthusiast.”
Liz Lemon is a certain kind of person exaggerated for comic effect. And that kind of person is me. I often sing songs about what I’m eating, a la Liz’s rendition of “Workin’ on My Night Cheese.” I own a Snuggie (no Slanket, but close). Most strikingly, we share a wardrobe; on two separate occasions, Liz has worn a shirt that I own. Not a similar style of shirt; the exact same shirt. Like this one:

Liz’s wardrobe is often mocked, so this isn’t a point of pride.
The one thing Liz Lemon has that I don’t? A successful career!

2. Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids

I know the point of this character is to make us say, “She’s just like me!” But really, she’s just like me. Unfortunately, this isn’t a character anyone really wants to be like.
Her creative dreams are frustrated and she’s having a hard time pursuing them. Her best friend is getting married while she’s so far removed from that world that she doesn’t even know you have to make reservations at a fancy bridal shop. Everyone around her seems to have their lives together while hers is, basically, in shambles. I really coveted her hairstyle, then I read a review in Entertainment Weekly that referred to it as “disheveled.” Then I got that haircut anyway, because suck it, Owen Gleiberman!

3. Linsday Weir, Freaks and Geeks

It’s probably not good that I identify with the uncertainty of a high school girl, but I do. Lindsay Weir is constantly trying to figure out who she is and she makes the wrong decisions about half the time. Also, she wears a pretty sweet army jacket that reminds me of the green army jacket I’ve worn since my freshman year of high school.