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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Girlfriends: The 'Black Best Friend' in Film

Black Best Friends in FilmThe BBF PhenomenonThe cherished Black best friend — a legendary figure in Hollywood that was once a mammy ("Gone with the Wind"), then became a maid ("Imitation of Life") and eventually emerged as the diversity token to attract Black audiences ("Sex and the City"). Sometimes the Black best friend is an unknown actress on their grind. The Black bestie could also be A-list in the Black film scene. She offers gems of wisdom with a little urban or southern flair and sometimes she has magical powers to save the day.Check out some of American cinema's black Best friends — White Hollywood's greatest accessory.Meagan Good as Romy in 'The Unborn' (2009)Being a Black BFF in a horror film is no easy task.You are guaranteed to be axed off, especially if it is in one of the worst films of the yea,like 2009's "The Unborn." Even though Meagan Good was the most experienced actor out of the younger cast members, she was limited to a minimal supporting role. To make matters worse, Idris Elba was thrown in the cast and predictably died.Kasi Lemmons as Ardelia in 'Silence of the Lambs' (1991)"Eve's Bayou" director, Kasi Lemmons, starred in one of the most iconic films of all time.She was supposedly Jodie Foster's closest friend and roommate in the Oscar-winning "Silence of the Lambs." After a jogging scene and a chat with Clarice, Ardelia vanished. What happened? Hannibal doesn't like dark meat? Did Buffalo Bill kill her off in the deleted scenes?A.J. Johnson as Shauna in 'Dying Young' (1993)A.J. Johnson was Julia Roberts' urban gal pal in the cancer tear-jerker "Dying Young." By 1991, Johnson was famous among black folks for her role in "House Party."But in "Dying Young" she was regulated to a tiny role that included random dancing scenes at a club. By the second half of the film, Miss Julia ran away to a beach house with her cancer-stricken boyfriend. Johnson's character, Shauna (she didn't get a last name) disappeared.Didn't Shauna wonder where Miss Julia scampered off to?Why couldn't she bring the club to the beachfront?We'll never know...Elise Neal as Hallie McDaniel in 'Scream 2' (1997)Hallie McDaniel? Clearly a Hattie McDaniel reference.Does a mammy need to subliminally exist in horror films?Maybe horror icon, Wes Craven, considered the name a "tribute." Whatever the case, Hallie, played by Elise Neal, was Sidney Prescott's best friend in the "Scream" sequel. As soon as Black audiences saw her, we all knew she would be hacked off and she certainly was. In fairness, everyone around Sidney was killed.Even Omar Epps and Jada Pinkett Smith were murdered in the first ten minutes.Brandy as Karla Wilson in 'I Still Know What I Did Last Summer' (1998)Brandy was Jennifer Love Hewitt's dearest friend and managed to avoid some of the Hollywood stereotypes in the 1998 sequel. Karla Wilson was thankfully void of neck-rolling and oddball racial references. Furthermore, she survived the movie. Ms. Norwood must've put it in her contract that she would not be killed off!Rosie Perez as Cindy in 'Untamed Heart' (1993)By 1993, Rosie Perez was the most popular Latina actress in the world; she had big roles in Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" and Ron Shelton's "White Men Can't Jump" and won Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in "Fearless." Still, next to Marisa Tomei and Christian Slater, Perez was just the fiery Latina with an extra thick accent.Alfre Woodard as Pat in Extremities (1986)By 1986, Alfre Woodard was an Emmy winner and an Oscar nominee and the late, great Farrah Fawcett was trying to establish herself as a credible actress and not just a sexpot from "Charlie's Angels."In "Extremities," Fawcett played a woman who turns the table on a rapist.As a BBF Woodard was nuanced, calm and helped build Fawcett's role, which earned the legendary blonde a Golden Globe nod.Viola Davis as Delia Shiraz in "Eat, Pray, Love" (2010)Viola is a veteran in Hollywood and a two-time Tony Award-winner. However, it has taken her over 15 years to land a lead role (Davis will star as the lead in the upcoming film "The Help.").Davis' breakthrough roles were playing the coveted Black bestie.She was Diane Lane's best friend in 2008's "Nights in Rodanthe" and, more famously, shared a friendship bracelet with Julia Roberts in the lackluster "Eat, Pray, Love." She was the voice of reason and the only African-American in the movie who had a speaking role.Nia Long as Donna in "Stigmata" (1999)Nia Long was practically a legend in the Black community by 1999, staring in classics like :Boyz 'N The Hood," "Friday" and "Love Jones." However, playing alongside Patricia Arquette in the horror film "Stigmata," Long was the concerned "sistah gurl" working at a hair salon.I remember thinking, "Isn't Nia Long bigger than Patricia Arquette?"Not by Hollywood's standards.Kerry Washington as Chenille Reynolds in Save the Last Dance (2001)There were many uncomfortable stereotypes perpetuated in 2001's "Save the Last Dance," which starred Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick Thomas.Washington made this role tolerable as the only Black girl who saw a little soul in Stiles' character. She even gave her a thirty second, urban makeover. Nonetheless, Washington proved to be the breakout star from the film and has since starred in "The Last King of Scotland," "Night Catches Us" and the critically acclaimed "Mother and Child."Wanda Sykes as Ruby in Monster-In-Law (2005)Jane Fonda plays J-Lo's menacing soon to be mother-in-law in this romantic comedy about families coming together. Wanda Sykes played Fonda's assistant—aka maid.That said, the comedic brilliance of Sykes shined in all of her scenes and her one-liners made the film.Stacy Dash as Dionne in "Clueless" (1995)Stacy Dash as Dionne — Cher's sidekick — in "Clueless" is one of the better Black BFF roles. Dionne was a fully developed character and had scenes throughout the film. Cher didn't cry on Dionne's shoulder and Dionne never had to save the day. Sometimes Hollywood gets it right.Alicia Keys as Lynette in The Nanny Diaries (2007)Unlike some singers-turned-actors, Keys got her feet wet in small roles like The Nanny Diaries.If you blinked, you missed Keys but she was Scarlett Johansson bestfriend.Lynette was a disposable role and Keys would show her real acting chops in 2008's "The Secret Life of Bees."Jennifer Hudson as Louise in 'Sex & the City' (2008)J-Hud is considered A-list in the Black community and is even an Oscar-winner. But, when she became the Black best friend (beating out Kelly Rowland for the role) in "Sex & the City" those credentials were useless. As Louise, she was living beyond her means and looking for love in the Big Apple. In the end, she became Saint Louise saving Carrie Bradshaw's predictable love life—reminiscent of the magical negro who always saves the day.Regina King as Rhonda A Cinderella Story (2004)Regina King is a leading lady, but don't tell Hollywood that. The critically bashed "A Cinderella Story" starred Hillary Duff as another girl searching for love. King played Duff's co-worker and helped her pick out a gown for a dance. Clearly, no romantic comedy is worth making without the resident Black girlfriend.Regina King as Grace Rossiter Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003)Regina King's character in "Legally Blonde 2" — which starred Reese Witherspoon — was a departure from the BBF dropping "sistah gurl" wisdom.She wasn't necessarily a Black BFF, but would eventually bond with Witherspoon's character.Still, the film failed to meet expectations of the original.Regina King as Sam Fuller in 'Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous' (2005)Yes, King goes down as a legendary Black best friend. In 2005, she played opposite Sandra Bullock in the action-comedy "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous."In one scene, Regina was dressed undercover as Tina Turner and Bullock's character said, "I just don't see why I couldn't be Tina."King answered with, "You don't see that?"Say what you want, Regina stays working!

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Girlfriends: 10 Songs for Sisterhood

Songs For Your GirlfriendsOur SongsIf anything can touch our soul and shake our spirits it's good music and having a special friend to share it with.Luckily, these songs have a little bit of both, by combining hit tunes with lyrics that make us totally adore our BFFs.Take a look and listen to our favorite songs for our girlfriends.Dionne Warwick and Friends 'That's What Friends Are For'Dionne Warwick's hit song encouraged us to stick by our gal pals not only during the good times, but in the hard times too. Sister Sledge 'We Are Family'Family reunions in the summertime just aren't the same without this upbeat, sista-friendly tune. Brandy 'Best Friend'Brandy summed up our feelings for a true BFF best when she sang, "I know one thing that never changes and that's you as my best friend." Bill Withers 'Lean on me'Bill Withers' hit is commonly used at charity functions, but we love to listen to it when we think about our best girlfriends. Whitney Houston and CeCe Winans 'Count on Me'When this song made its debut it not only featured two of the best female vocalists of our time, but it also featured heartfelt lyrics about counting on our friends. Corinne Bailey Rae 'Girl Put Your Records On'Corinne's free-spirited song was the ultimate encouragement to be your true self, especially around your best buds. Mariah Carey 'Anytime You Need a Friend'Mariah's gospel-inspired ballad was all we needed to make us feel close to our best friends. Whitney Houston 'Exhale'As Whitney so eloquently sang it, whenever we're feeling stressed, talking to our girlfriends to help us keep calm and breathe is always helpful. Tata Vega 'Miss Celie's Blues'Who can forget this iconic tune from "The Color Purple?" We all wish for a friend who is as close as a sister. Destiny's Child 'Girl'When your BFF is going through relationship drama, the sisterhood instinct is kicked into high gear. Dreamgirls 'Family'

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Girlfriends: Our Favorite Movie Girlfriends

Our Favorite Movie GirlfriendsThe Best Movie GirlfriendsThrough thick and thin, your girls are always there to share some laughs, to wipe your tears and to have your back when the going gets rough. No one can replace your best friends, but it's nice when Hollywood gets the dynamic of your relationships right. We're saluting our favorite girlfriends in some of our favorite movies today. Call up your crew and rent one of these flicks this weekend and have a fabulous girls' night in.How Stella Got Her Groove BackStella and her bff Delilah head to paradise in this sunny and exotic film about opening your heart and finding love.BAPSNisi and Mickey went from ghetto queens to "Black American Princesses" and realized their dreams together in this 1997 rags-to-riches comedy.Why Did I Get Married? and Why Did I Get Married Too?Diane, Patricia, Sheila, and Angela are a feisty quartet determined to save their marriages despite the hardships of life, such as death of a son, betrayal of trust, and infidelity. Set It OffStony, Cleo, Frankie, and T.T. are a dynamic group of gal pals in this climactic film that explores a true test of friendship under the impact of intense action, suspicion, and crime.Deliver Us From EvaEva is a total man-hater who is encouraged by her sisters to hook up with a guy.  What Eva doesn't know is that her circle of sisters has a secret about this luring set-up.SparkleFor these three sisters from Harlem, pursuing their musical dreams is everything.  Unfortunately, turmoil and drugs stands in the way of them rising to the top together.Two Can Play That GameShante Smith (Vivica A. Fox) was the relationships guru in her foursome of fierce, professional girlfriends in "Two Can Play That Game."Bring It OnEvery high school cheerleader remembers chanting "I'm sexy, I'm cute. I'm popular to boot!" a favorite line from this preppy film about gal pals turned teammates who are relentless in the pursuit of taking home the championship.Something NewIn this romantic comedy, Kenya gets set up on a blind date, only to discover the guy she is meeting for dinner is white.  Despite opposition from her trusted circle of girlfriends, she follows her heart to the romance no one ever expected.The Best ManMia's best friend Jordan is the maid of honor in Mia's upcoming wedding, and has to endure dramatic experience of having to tell her bestie the wedding is off — almost.Just WrightDespite the betrayal felt by Leslie when her mother bequeaths a family heirloom to her childhood pal, Morgan, these friends renew their bond and prove that true friendship overcomes all odds.Love JonesThese besties stayed by each other's side when Nina endured the joys and pains of catching a love jones.ATLNew New  and her boy-crazy clique are at the center of the drama that unfolds at the local rollerskating rink every Sunday night.Soul FoodThrough this close knit circle of sisters and the weekly Sunday dinners cooked with love by their mother, this family endures love and laughs and learns the real meaning of soul food.Waiting to ExhaleIn the ultimate girlfriend flick of the century, Savannah, Bernadine, Gloria and Robin proved that despite the drama relationships may bring, true friends will always be there until the end.Daddy's Little GirlsAlthough she fears being judged by her gal pals, Julia, a successful attorney, takes a step out on faith and accepts a date  with a blue collar worker that may just be the love of her life.  

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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Girlfriends: 5 Low-Budget Big-City Girlfriend Getaways

Time For a Girl's TripLet's Go, GirlfriendOver Sunday brunch, you and girlfriends crack up over the antics you got up to during your last girls' trip and then you realize, "Damn! That was two years ago!" It's time to pack your bags again. Leave the husbands, boyfriends and everyday blues behind for a fabulous girlfriend getaway to a big city near you. We've scored some flight and hotel steals for you in New York, San Francisco, Miami, Las Vegas and New Orleans so you can make it possible...Las Vegas, NevadaIf there was ever a place in this country that embraces excess, Las Vegas is it. Al the celebs ring in their birthdays there, from Vivica A. Fox to Nicki Minaj. The millions of lights always shine bright. The casinos are humongous. The hotels are larger than life and right now the hotel packages are a steal. A search on found a five-night-stay at the Gold Spike Hotel for $28-per-night. Yeah, girl. You're reading that right. Even fancier places are fairly inexpensive with the five-star Wynn Las Vegas offering up five nights for $159 each. It looks like you need to round up the crew for a few fabulous nights of parties on the strip and days filled with luxurious spa appointments and lucky rolls of the dice in sin city...South Beach, Miami, FloridaSpring's almost here and your best friend is still suffering from a case of the winter blues. You need to schedule an intervention. Take your bestie to Miami for a few days of sun soaking, man cruising and all-night partying in Miami to warm her spirits. According to $166 is all you need to head down south from New York City. If your coming from Baltimore or Atlanta it's only $168. You may want to splurge on the hotel — especially if its known for throwing popular soirees like the Gansevoort. If not, the only slightly less glamorous Shellborne is going for $148-a-night from March 28 to April 1. Miami, here you come!New Orleans, LouisianaIt's March 3rd. Before you know it Summer will be here and the year's hottest concert event will be upon us. Plan a girls' trip down to the Big Easy for the ESSENCE Music Festival and experience New Orleans at its best. Aside from watching Mary J Blige, Trey Songz and Kanye West give it all they've got at the Superdome, you and your fabulous crew will have the whole mystical city to explore. Wander down the French Quarter's cobblestone streets. Relax with warm, smooth coffee and fluffy, sweet beignets at the legendary Cafe Du Monde. Pop into one of the city's jazz clubs and get lost in the arms of some southern stranger. Better book your lodgings now. Some hotels are already sold out for the weekend. You can still find suites in the French Quarter at the St. James Hotel for $126-a-night and in the commercial center at Royal St. Charles for $173 according to York, New YorkWhatever you and your girlfriends want to find, you will find it in New York City. Take a tour of historical Harlem and stop for a bite at Top Chef winner Matthew Samuelsson's new restaurant The Red Rooster. Feel the energy of the city's streets. Stroll across the Brooklyn bridge and watch the sunset on the promenade and dance all night at one of the city's many nightclubs on its notorious West Side. With roundtrip flights to NY from Chicago starting at $176, you don't have much of an excuse. Tickets from ATL are slightly pricier at $204 and to get their from Baltimore ($124) is cheaper than the gas and toll money you'd spend driving. To the big apple!San Francisco, CaliforniaLife's worries can make you feel so uptight. Maybe it's time to head to the free-spirited city of San Francisco. Relax is Delores Park during the day and take a long, peaceful drive across the Golden Gate Bridge at night and just let it all go. Fly across the country from New York to SF for as low as $258 right now. Tickets from ATL are going for $298 and Dallas residents can get there for as low as $218. What you don't save on flights you'll make up for in your hotel stay, with the Hotel Majestic and The Opal running for $70 and $77 per night. Even the four-star Stanford Hotel is a steal at $129-a-night. Besides, you can't put a price of fun with the girls and peace of mind, can you?

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Girlfriends: 10 Activities That Are Better with Your BFF

Better With Your BFFIt Takes TwoYour best friend could also be called your other life partner. While your guy, your kids and your job fulfill you in many ways, they can never replace the feeling of completeness that a good girlfriend can give you. That said, there are some activities that just go better with your bestie by your side. Have you had a bff moment lately?Movie MomentThink back... who were you with the first time you watched "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," "Love and Basketball" or "The Best Man?" That's right, your best friend. There's a reason why she's always around to indulge in a sappy love story with you. It's just better that way.Work Out PlanYour best friend offers a touch of friendly competition to your workouts that helps you keep going when you'd rather give up. Plus it's just nice to have someone else around who can literally feel your pain after a strenuous session.Cook It UpWhen you and your best friends get into kitchen together, cooking isn't the only thing going on. You make jokes, catch up, trade recipes and bond. Plus every one needs a bestie to try out her new souffle on.Hand in HandEvery frugal fashionista is on a budget these days. Save your dough by bringing your bag of nail gear over to your girlfriend's place. Giving each other mani-pedis is still way more fun than doing your nails yourself.Women on MenThe only thing that makes that wild night of passion between you and your man better is being able to re-hash all of the sexy details with your girlfriend.Girl, Please!We all talk to our bffs about our other friends.Don't act like you don't do it.Talk ShopNothing says best friend like accompanying you to find a new pair of skinny jeans. Your bff is there to talk you off a ledge when you have to go up two sizes to fit into those European designer duds. She'll also convince you not to spend $200 on denim and try on the most eccentric of outfits just to make you laugh.Spruce UpWhy is it that getting ready for the party is almost always more fun than the actual party? You and your bffs trade new makeup secrets and side-eye moments, catch up on each other's lives and help style each other's hair and outfits. By the time you head out the door you've already had a nice dose of girl-time to boost your mood.Get the SpiritWhile everyone's spiritual journey is personal and unique, it is always assuring to have a friend to help you along that journey, to motivate you when you feel yourself slipping or to simply feel the spirit with you.Go DigitalKeeping up with our girlfriend's via text, twitter, bbm and facebook is way more fun than just checking in once in a while.We can find out what they're up to and even chime in in the digital space, as if we were right there with them.

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Girlfriends: Double Date Ideas for Valentine's Day

Double Date Ideas for Valentine's DayMake it a DoubleOnce in a while serendipity smiles on you and you and your best friend begin dating new guys around the same time. While you don't plan to have joint weddings and get pregnant with your first children at the same time like you did back in high school (Girl, you know you did that.), you're pretty stoked that you get to gab to your bff about your man's tender eyes and listen to her gush about her guy's manly hands. If this is you right now, Valentine's Day seems like the perfect time to introduce your bestie to the guy who's been taking up all of your time lately. We've come up with some fun, cheap date ideas for you and your girlfriend to share with your new boos.Across the BoardIf you're still in the getting to know him phase with your new guy a games night is a great way to spend your Valentine's Day. Invite your girlfriend and her guy in on the fun. He can see how you interact with your friends and you can see if he'll fit in well with your crew. If things are going well, end the night with a body tangling game of Twister.Press PlaySpice up movie night by picking a theme. If 90s urban romances are your thing, you bring "Poetic Justice" andyour BFF can bring "Jason's Lyric." You, your girl and your new guys can reminisce over where you were when you first saw Allen Payne and Jada Pinkett-Smith make love in a patch of flowers.Lucky StrikeThis idea is even better if you have multiple couples. Head to your favorite bowling spot and let the games begin. To add a touch of Valentine's Day love — each time you get a strike your guy has to give you a PDA-style smooch. The girlfriend with the most kisses at the end of the night wins. Talk about friendly foreplay!Skate OnTake advantage of winter and do a couple laps around your local outdoor ice skating rink. It will give you a chance to laugh it up with your best friend and hold hands with your new guy as you glide across the ice. Afterwards, head inside for some warm hot chocolate and snuggles at a local diner.Cook OffInstead of a classic dinner date, organize an intimate dinner party for you and your guy and your bestie and her new man. Create a women vs. men competition. You and your girlfriend will hand the appetizer and the main course and the guys have to prepare the cocktails and dessert.

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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Girlfriends: 5 Types of Friends Every Woman Needs

5 Girlfriends Every Woman NeedsMe and My GirlfriendsYour girlfriends are like your personal army and each soldier has a vital roll to play in your life. We've pinpointed five girlfriends that every woman needs next to her on the front lines...1. The CheerleaderBless the cheerleader's heart. She doesn't have the nerve to tell you when your hairstyle looks silly or your pimple needs popping. But sometimes, you don't want to hear that mess anyway. Your cheerleader friend always sees your best qualities and she's quick to compliment you on all of them. She's the one you call when you need a quick pep talk before you quit your job or tell your boyfriend "I love you" for the first time or tell your husband "I want another baby."2. The Big MommaShe's usually a little older and wiser. She's been around the block and she will warn you about tell you about all of the potholes and cracks in the sidewalk before you get there. She also knows that you're going to get yourself into trouble before you do. Expect her to say "I told you so." But also expect her to dish out a big bowl of something tasty with an extra helping of loving and comfy couch to watch "Waiting to Exhale" on when she does.3. The Paper ChaserNo, this girlfriend is not a gold digger, but she's definitely about her paper. She works hard for her money and can teach how to get the most out of your job and career. She'll tell you never to settle for the first offer a potential employee puts on the table, how to save for a rainy day and where to invest your coins once you make some.4. The Wing WomanWhy is it that when you suck at relationships, all your girlfriends suck at relationships too? It's the blind leading the blind. You need at least one woman in your life who understands men and is quick to nudge you in the right direction. The wing woman will bring her man to your house when you just need a buffer between you and your husband before you make any rash decisions about your relationship. The wing woman is always down to drag her boyfriend along on a double date just for the off chance that the new guy in your life might be "the one." She's also down to dissect his pros and cons with you the next morning over coffee and if that brother doesn't work out, she's got a long list of other men on her that will on her radar.4. The Party GirlWhen all your other girlfriends are laying low because the weather man says you're going to get six inches of snow, trust, your partying girlfriend is rocking her snow boots at the club. Although she has a little bit of a reckless side, she's always down to let loose and have a good time. She's there to remind you that life is not as serious as you make it out to be. She's also the perfect girlfriend to discuss your make-out session. If you're already boo'ed up, she's the one you'll turn to when you need a break from your man and the kids and the mundanities of life.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Girlfriends: Our Favorite TV Sitcom BFFs

TV Sitcom Girlfriends We LoveSitcom Girlfriends We Love to WatchGood girlfriends are hard to find, in real live and on television. Every once in a while the sitcom gods bring together a magical set of ladies and we delight in all of the perfectly timed, side-eyes, mmm hmmms and girrrl let me tell you somethings. From "227's" Sandra and Mary to "House of Payne's" Ella and Claretha we're celebrating the TV girlfriends that always reminded us of ourselves.Denise, Jaleesa and Maggie on "A Different World"In the beginning, things didn't go so smoothly between Denise Huxtable — the Hillman-bound daughter of Claire and Heathcliff — and Jaleesa Vinson Taylor — the divorced 25-year-old college freshman. But soon Maggie Lauten's — the only White female student in the dorm — quirky personality balanced the two out and these three were inseparable. At least until season two of "A Different World."Mary, Rose, Sandra and Pearl on "227"Mary Jenkins, Rose Lee Holloway, Pearl Shay and Sandra Clark ruled the stoop of building 227 on a middle class neighborhood street in Washington D.C. We laughed at Sandra and Mary's love-hate relationship and Pearl's daily gossip.Laura Winslow and Maxine Johnson on "Family Matters"Maxine Johnson was the best friend Laura Winslow could always count on to sneak out and meet guys with and to come clean to Laura's parents with. They got into their normal teenage but they remained true friends. Laura even hooked maxine up with her brother Eddie's BFF Waldo.Florida Evans and Willona Woods on "Good Times"Don't you wish your best friend could live right next door to you sometimes. Florida Evans and Willona Woods had it good, always able to run over to each other when they were in need or just wanted to share some neighborhood gossip.Ella Payne and Claretha Jenkins on "House of Payne"When we retire we hope to be like Ella Payne and Claretha Jenkins, always meeting up in Ella's kitchen to drink coffee, talk about men and neighborhood happenings. We love that they don't let Ella's husband Curtis' dislike for Claretha come between their special relationship.Khadija, Synclaire, Regine and Maxine on "Living Single"Every young woman born before 1985 was wrapped up in the exploits of our magazine editor Khadija James, her cooky cousin Synclaire James-Jones, their self-absorbed roomie Regine and their loudmouthed lawyer downstairs neighbor Maxine Shaw. These ladies embodied what being single in a big city was like in the 1990s, seeing each other through ups and downs in their careers and relationships, all the time strengthening their unbreakable bond.Louise Jefferson and Helen Willis on "The Jeffersons"George always made comments about Helen and her husband Tom Willis' interracial marriage, but Weezie didn't let lat stop her from hanging out with Helen. We love that Helen didn't take George's talk, often retaliating with jokes about his height. These ladies love each other and even ended up volunteering together at a service center in later seasons.Gina Waters-Payne and Pamela James on "Martin"You know your BF's a winner when she and your man can't stand each other and she still decides to stick by your side. Pam endured all of Martin's mean jokes to hang with her girl, Gina.Moesha Mitchell, Kim Parker and Niecy Jackson on "Moesha"What 90's sitcom embodied female teenage angst better than "Moesha?" Mo and her girls Kim and Niecy were either cracking jokes in their high school's student center, chasing boys or trying to get themselves out of a jam without involving their parents.Joan, Maya, Lynn and Toni on "Girlfriends""Girlfriends" was "Living Single" 2.0. sprinkled with a little "Sex and the City."Besties Joan Clayton, Toni Childs, Lynn Searcy and Maya Wilkes all had strong personalities that every modern woman could identify with. They enjoyed their fabulousity together and were there to hold each other up when things were looking down or to tell their girls to snap out of it.