A fine bro­mance

Love is in the air but in ever such a guy-friendly way, write Erin White and Erica Thomp­son

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BRO­MANCE is in the air. The new name for this phe­nom­e­non de­scribes men who have close, non-sex­ual re­la­tion­ships of the kind that usu­ally oc­cur be­tween women, and it’s been push­ing its way on to TV for years.

Think back to Chan­dler and Joey’s awk­ward ex­pres­sions of love that Friends mined for laughs, or even Ge­orge Costanza’s man­crushes on Se­in­feld.

A bro­mance, af­ter all, is just a man-crush that’s re­cip­ro­cated.

Or go even fur­ther back, to The Odd Cou­ple’s Os­car and Felix. They be­haved just like an old mar­ried cou­ple, without the ro­mance el­e­ment. But even if the re­la­tion­ships, with their catchy new moniker, aren’t new, rarely if ever has TV seen such a pro­lif­er­a­tion of them. There are the Flight of the Con­chords boys who joke that the women they date get two boyfriends for the price of one, and En­tourage’s Eric and Vince, who con­tinue to be more im­por­tant to each other than any of the le­gion of girls who trail be­hind them. Man love— or at least very strong like — is tak­ing the place of the ro­man­tic con­quest as a cen­tral theme in to­day’s TV land­scape. Here are some of our favourite brou­ples:

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