6 things TV foes-to-friends have in common

14 mins read

Many people, myself included, love an enemies-to-lovers romantic relationship when it comes to characters in our favorite TV shows. But, what about the enemies-to-besties relationships??

Lately, I have found myself surrounded by these types of developing friendships in current television: The types of friendships that start with the characters framed as enemies but which turn into them growing respect for each other and having clever/witty/complex dynamics on the screen.

I cannot help but be transfixed by them. People can have their OTPs (fandom definition: “one true pairing”) and I can have my BRO-TPs (you know, OTPs but for best bros). I’m not going to lie and say I don’t love shipping culture, because I ship characters left and right in every story I become fascinated with. However, I’ve also recently found myself standing on top of my couch shouting for a scene between two people I so badly want to become BFFs.

While going down a spiral in my mind about my love for current television I couldn’t help but realize that two of my BRO-TPs, Octavia and Diyoza from “The 100” and June and Serena from “The Handmaid’s Tale”, have a lot in common.

Characters known for starting a cannibalism fighting cult and the woman next to Hitler in history books may not seem like they have a lot in common with a woman forced into sexual servitude and the woman forced to sit by and quietly watch, but you’d be surprised.

Here are just some of the ways the budding friendships between Octavia/Diyoza and June/Serena are practically the same.


Enemies to besties

Both of these up and coming friendships have one big thing in common: they were originally framed as enemies. Season five of The 100 started with Octavia and Diyoza fighting for the last survivable land on Earth and ended with war between their two armies. However, after a 125-year time jump into season six, a lot must have changed during their long nap as they have now grown to support and protect one another.

The same could be said for June and Serena in The Handmaid’s Tale. The first two seasons dealt with the two hurting one another with Serena and her husband consistently abusing June. However, the duo have found common ground through the abuse both have received from their society of Gilead. Now, it’s time for them to work together to take this dystopian country down!

Chemistry as far as the “eye” can see

Sorry for my lame attempt at a Handmaid’s Tale joke.

In the lovely society of Gilead in The Handmaid’s Tale, there are people called “eyes” who are spies for the government. They report on what they see people doing behind Gilead’s back and I’m sure they would report that the dynamics between both Octavia/Diyoza and June/Serena have been complex and growing stronger than ever.

In season five of The 100, Octavia and Diyoza were framed as the two big enemies of each other but hardly shared screen time. At the time I was confused by this narrative decision, but now after watching them share a storyline in season six I totally understand why. If they were shown in more scenes last season, the fans would’ve started rooting for them to become friends—or at least frenemies! I am very intrigued by how Diyoza went from treating her as the enemy to looking out for her like her own daughter. Their banter bounces back and forth seamlessly and makes me laugh during one of the darkest seasons The 100 has had.

The chemistry between June and Serena is a bit subtler with (unfortunately) less jokes and bantering but still with a lot of back and forth. Together, they make references to the world before Gilead and what their lives would have been like if they were never forced into this regime. There is always tension along with understanding shared between them whenever they share the screen, and I’m intrigued to see how that chemistry continues to build throughout the rest of season three.

We “stan” friends who act like married couples

Going off the chemistry between Octavia/Diyoza and June/Serena, we have them acting like an old married couple! Hey, if Diyoza says it herself, then it must be true. The script writers for both shows must have had a blast writing these seasons considering the amount of jokes and witty comments thrown between all the characters.

Between Octavia and Diyoza, Diyoza is definitely the one making the dad jokes while Octavia just glares at her wondering why she has to be stuck with Diyoza (of all people) on her journey of rediscovering herself. However, the jokes and glares come with them genuinely starting to care for each other with Diyoza going back to save Octavia in season six episode four.

Again, June and Serena have a more subtle version of being an old married couple. They can make eye contact from across the room and understand the horrors that the other is facing, even when they aren’t even part of the same household anymore. They have the same priority of wanting their daughter to be safe even if they do have different opinions on how that should happen.

Breaking hearts and gender stereotypes

I think it’s very fair to say that all these women have had some problems in the romantic department as of lately. Diyoza fought off her psychotic baby daddy in season five (thank goodness McCreary is out of the picture is all I have to say), Octavia watched the love of her life get shot back in season three, Serena is fighting to get back control in a marriage with a misogynistic husband, and June has been separated from her husband Luke and just discovered—as of the middle of season three—that her lover, Nick, may just be the reason her horrible society exists in the first place.

So, with breaking hearts left and right, they are also breaking gender stereotypes. All four women share the trait of standing up for themselves and being violent in their own rights. Women are typically thought of as being nurturing, but these women define themselves.

Both Octavia and Diyoza have switched back and forth being the villain, even though stereotypically men take that role.

June originally had an affair with a married man, which then became the reason for Gilead making her become a handmaid (a woman forced into sexual servitude to act as a breeder for their dying society). She then went against the wishes of the family she was working for to defy them on multiple accounts and is now working for the resistance. Serena’s approach is a quieter one with her slowly distancing herself from her husband and losing a finger for reading publicly (it’s against the law for women to read in The Handmaid’s Tale).

Fighting to get what rightfully belongs to them! … And never getting it?

Side note: I would just like to say that I’m definitely Nick in this gif.

The amount of time spent on these characters fighting to get something that they’ll never get is both ridiculous and hilarious to me at this point.

For the entirety of The 100 season five, Octavia and Diyoza are both fighting to get the last survivable land on Earth, Eden, only for it to become destroyed anyway forcing them to another planet. Now, they’re both fighting for redemption and I really hope they get what they want this time.

For the past two seasons, June and Serena have also been fighting for what they believe is theirs: a baby girl. June became pregnant with Serena’s husband’s baby (it’s actually her lover’s Nick’s, but society isn’t supposed to know that so keep it on the down low), and so started the fight for who gets to keep her. According to the laws of Gilead, the baby went to Serena, but June made sure to get her little girl as far from the harsh society as possible. June stole her and sent her away to safety—with Serena’s initial permission—and now Serena has changed her mind and will do anything to get baby Nichole back. In my opinion, however, I think Nichole will end up staying far away from both June and Serena with June’s ex-husband, Luke, in Canada.

Fighting the good fight together! #DreamTeam

Everyone loves a good dream team and Octavia/Diyoza and June/Serena are it.

Octavia and Diyoza are fighting together to overcome the villains they have become and to be a better person for their closest loved ones and family members. For Octavia, she’s fighting to become the sister her older brother Bellamy deserves and to find the redemption to get to that point. For Diyoza, she’s fighting to become a better version of herself for her unborn child Hope.

June and Serena are fighting the oppressive regime of Gilead that they’ve both been forced into with June being forced into being a handmaid (lose all her human rights completely) and Serena being forced to watch and lose her voice (metaphorically) and her finger (physically).

Interestingly, Diyoza and Octavia are fighting themselves to become kinder to others, whereas June and Serena are fighting others to become kinder to themselves. 

Overall, it is important to have these characters represented. While it’s fun to compare friendships from one show to friendships in another, it’s feels good as a woman to be able to look up to female characters who are breaking the status quo and who support each other along the way. 

Comment below about any of your favorite female friendships in television!

“The 100” airs weekly on The CW at 9/8c, and new episodes of “The Handmaid’s Tale” go up on Hulu every Wednesday.

Feature Image: June and Serena in season three of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Photo from Hulu

Brianna Taggart

Brianna Taggart gets way too emotionally invested in TV shows and loves to bring her love of stories and writing to her work in journalism. She has two degrees in journalism and communication from the University of Minnesota Duluth and works full time at a weekly newspaper in Minnesota. When she’s not covering community news, she’s covering entertainment for Bri’s Binge right here on the Daily Planet.

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