Can a man and a woman just be friends? It’s a controversial question that Kenyan web series Best Friends Forever attempts to answer as it follows the lives of two best friends as they try to navigate their personal romantic relationships while also keeping their close friendship intact.
Written and directed by Jennifer Gatero (This Is Life) who also makes an appearance on the show, Best Friends Forever stars Rita (played by Victoria Gichora) and Chris (played by Thiru Mungai) who have been best friends since childhood, a friendship that has seen them become business partners and one that now threatens their own personal relationships.
Chris is in a relationship with Edna (Brenda Wairimu, Selina) while Rita is dating Alex (Martin Githinji, Sue na Jonnie). While Chris’ relationship with Edna seems more grounded, serious and still passionate despite being together for …years (although not totally immune to insecurities), Rita and Alex are not doing too well. We see the first sign of this when Rita catches Alex browsing on Tinder, a non-issue according to Alex who argues that it’s nothing more than just flirting because “that’s just how guys are.”
Everything goes downhill from here; Rita and Alex’ relationship ends when Rita catches him cheating with a random girl. Granted, Alex is a toxic boyfriend who doesn’t think his cheating is a big deal when it’s with a random girl he has not feeling for, but it’s also easy to see how Rita’s closeness with Chris has made him so jealous and insecure.
While going through a mental breakdown, Alex reveals how he’s always come second to Chris even though he’s the one in a relationship, finally confronting Rita about her feelings for her best friend.
Like Alex, Edna too expresses her distrust of this bond Chris and Rita share. And which girlfriend wouldn’t especially when her boyfriend goes on an out-of-town business trip with his best friend (who’s a girl) and doesn’t come back until the next day without any communication? Or when he misses her birthday to bail the said friend out?
Best Friends Forever challenges the idea that a man and woman can’t just be friends without any feeling attached. And by the time we are done with all the seven episodes, one thing is clear – if we ever get a season 2, then Rita and Chris must really confront their feelings for each other. We are certain those feelings exist for Rita but maybe not for Chris. Then again there’s that intimate moment they almost share while drunk during their business trip.
You can stream all the seven episodes of Best Friends Forever S1 on YouTube.