Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Reason for RizzIsles' Reign

There is a reason why Rizzoli and Isles quickly became a ratings runner and why their fan-base is ever growing in number and loyalty: it's a real depiction of two very strong women and an adult female friendship.  Unfortunately, you don't see a lot of that in media.  That doesn't mean it's non-existent (insert "Wicked the Musical" on Broadway, any book by the amazing Kristin Hannah, and the now-in-syndication shows like Charmed and Sex and the City).  What it does mean though, is that women gravitate to it and to the various characteristics that make these characters lovable, and that make their relationship enviable.

There is a natural, captivating chemistry between JaneandMaura.  It starts as early as the first time they are shown together in the Pilot episode; Jane arrives at a crime scene that Maura is already assessing and asks her to "pop" her bruised nose back into place.  The genius story developer, Janet Tamaro, didn't waste our time with the tends-to-be-cheesy "becoming best friends" plot; we jump in on their lives when they already have a natural comfort and safe zone with one another.  From that point, we are given a further glimpse into their intimacy (i.e.: Jane flees to Maura's house in the middle of the night for that safe zone - both physically and emotionally) and are even privileged enough to watch that friendship grow and strengthen in every episode.  It is abundantly clear that these two women love and respect each other.  ...even when they banter and challenge each other.

They have an intimacy that can only exist in female friendships and they don't shy away from it.  They share their deepest, scariest and craziest thoughts with one another.  Their trust in one another allows them to expose a vulnerability that no one else gets to see.  They are both guarded by strong walls and strict boundaries that simply don't exist within their friendship.  At any given opportunity, their exterior walls of professionalism and strength come crumbling down only to get built back up by the support of their best friend.  It also means that they have sleepovers, talk at all hours of the day and night, and spend as much time together as their lives allow.

Think of some of the scariest and saddest times of your life... wouldn't it have been great to wake up and see your best friend right next to you?  There are few things in the world more reassuring than the physical presence of one of the people who love you and want to protect you most in the world when you are trying not to succumb to the circumstance.  THAT is the power of a female friendship.  Rizzoli and Isles give us that when sometimes we don't give it to ourselves...

As women, we open ourselves up to a lot of people... we are caretakers, fighters, protectors and breaths of fresh air, as each situation arises.  We have many people in our lives who are important to us and who make us who we are.  Sometimes, we let that multi-tasking side of us forget how important other women are to us.  We find strength in each other and there are actual studies that have been done to prove how biologically necessary we are to each other.  These two women demonstrate that bond and pull the rest of us in by our heart strings with feelings of longing, joy and sadness.  After every episode (and oftentimes during!), my best friend gets a text because it makes me want to reach out to the female pillars of strength on which my sanity depends.

They say things to each other that only best friends can say... whether that be the hard-to-hear truth when you need to be pulled back down to earth, the hard advice that only has your best intentions at heart, heartfelt apologies when you've hurt each other, or the endless (HILARIOUS) bickering and banter that is only funny and lighthearted when it comes out of your best friend's mouth.

It's not all butterflies and roses though.  Women can be CAT-TY.  Women can be mean.  Women hold grudges - even when we say we don't.  And women are hurt pretty easily.  ...we put so much of ourselves out into the world, that it can be devastating when it's not returned or respected.  So JaneandMaura fight.  They have very realistic female fights (not cat fights, Korsak!).  They snap at each other, make snide remarks at times and get frustrated... and then they fix it.  That's the adult part of their relationship... they don't let the little (or even the big) things jeopardize who they are and what they mean to each other.  They own their mistakes and take responsibility, and they move on even closer than they were before with a more in-depth understanding of themselves and each other. 

Amongst all that, one thing they never do is disrespect each other... they don't take the childish, petty route of trying to compete with one another, undermine each other, or act blatantly rude or hurtful to the other.  Sure, in a moment of anger someone may say something a little more hurtful than intended, but as a general rule, these two women R-E-S-P-E-C-T each other to the Nth degree.  

They challenge each other to always be the best version of themselves and to be their true selves.  The scenes that feature just JaneandMaura are often the most poignant and powerful because they give us such elite insight into who they are as individuals and who they are as RizzIsles.  These are the moments when you see their most genuine, open, raw selves as they let us into their exclusive little world.  ...especially in the moments when they are supporting each other through one of life's crazy adventures and expose their vulnerability.  Their natural ability and comfort in taking strength from the other in a very real, not-cheesy, over-the-top-gushy way, is captivating!

They keep us interested and engaged... In any given episode expect to be pulled in to a unique crime story, intrigued by the science and methods used to solve the case, laugh at the banter between Rizzoli and Isles (like only true best friends can), and try to reach into your tv and hug them as they support each other in all of life's adventures.  Their friendship is very true to adult women: they are tender and tough, they mock each other while still maintaining a very obvious respect for one another, they protect each other to any extent necessary, and they have a very tangible intimacy in a way that only platonic females can and that men will eternally be baffled by.

They are HILARIOUS!  Between Jane's ever-present dry sarcasm, Maura's insane level of intelligence, their takes on dating and sex, their dysfunctional families, and ruthless banter, there is always something to laugh at!  ...even in the middle of heartbreak.  It's. Real. Life.

Now that you're all warm and fuzzy thinking reveling in how INCREDIBLE and awe-inspiring their friendship is, dive in a little deeper and check out JaneandMaura's "list" of inside jokes, shared moments and just plain awesomeness!

Rizzoli and Isles are two Ah-MAZING women who we are all blessed to have in our lives.  ...and they wouldn't be who they are without the flawless performances and genuine *heart* of Angie Harmon & Sasha Alexander. <3  THANK YOU for giving JaneandMaura such real, emotional and powerful lives.

Check out this video featuring the talent powerhouses behind JaneandMaura, Angie and Sasha, and their take on how and why they own the impact of these characters.

…and here are some other posts to keep you thinking about R&I!

And a personal thank you from here to the ends of the earth to my best friend, and now wife... I count my blessings every day that at the core of our relationship is a *very* RizzoliandIsles-style friendship and that you will always be my person. #fandomscollide

...and another HUGE thank you to my girls who have been by my side for half of our lives and counting.  I LOVE our banter, real-talk, hilarious moments, and endless support.  I would be no where in life without you -- and you definitely know THAT to be true. ;) #foreverfriends

*GIFs not mine > I save awesome stuff after I reblog it :)

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