7 of Our Favorite Sassy On-Screen Sidekicks

July 12, 2011  |  
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Whenever you talk about a sidekick in movies and television, the individuals that get named as some of people’s favorites are always fellas. From Jazz on the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” to Semmi in Coming to America, the lists concocted are usually pretty male-centered. But I don’t know why, cause there have been so many awesome female sidekicks that have appeared on screen. This list, as always, will probably be highly debated, but here are seven sistahs who not only were great friends but were so entertaining they nearly outshined their protagonists.

Tichina Arnold as Pamela James from “Martin”

No brainer. A co-worker turned into the ultimate sidekick, Tichina Arnold’s Pam had Gina’s back almost as much as “Martin.” Maybe that could be a reason the two best characters on the show bumped heads in such a hilarious manner? Pam and Gina lived together during the early years of Martin and Gina’s relationship, and while Pam always got cracked on for her lack of a man and a good hot comb for her “beety bees,” she was always a supportive home slice. She even played a big role in getting Martin to propose to Gina (which he blew the first time around), and helped to pick out the engagement ring. One of our favorite sidekick sistahs for sure.

Rutina Wesley as Tara on “True Blood”

Is this show not your guilty pleasure? From the innovative storylines to the magical characters straight out of a comic book, there’s a lot to see and love when you watch the HBO favorite. One of my favorite characters, the loudmouth sidekick Tara, may be one of the few folks in Bon Temps who didn’t get some sort of special skill, but she proves that if you don’t have secret powers, fangs or happen to be able to change shape, you’ve got to have attitude. A pro-black chick with no filter who just happens to be stuck in a little Louisiana town, Tara gives many of the folks she comes in contact with a harsh lashing. However, Sookie, the telepathic homie of hers since childhood, is someone she stands by and protects. She’s loyal and caring to the very naive Sookie, as well as to Sookie’s less than bright brother. Now, if she could just play nice with others…

Erika Alexander as Maxine Shaw on “Living Single”

Maxine Shaw was by far my favorite character on “Living Single.” The perfect example of that good friend you have and love who walks into your home, straight to the fridge, and eats all your food with no shame. But you expect it. With her trend-setting asymmetrical braids and her large appetite, Shaw was the friend who would make fun of Khadijah or Regine’s situations while chewing on their popcorn, but would still go out of her way to provide some surprisingly good advice. She’s primarily the sidekick homie in this ensemble cast because she was the only “Living Single” girlfriend not living in Khadijah’s brownstone, but her presence was always felt. Probably because she was always there…

Queen Latifah as Francine in Brown Sugar

Without trying very hard, Queen Latifah’s character Francine was a big comedic gem in the movie Brown Sugar. Her quick wit and “tell-it-like-it-is” (no matter where you’re at, like a wedding) way of doing things caught the Queen many a laugh during her short time on the screen. But when she would pop up, girlfriend was working miracles with the main character Sydney (played by Sanaa Lathan), helping her get hooked up with the likes of the fine NBA-playing character Kelby (played by Boris Kodjoe’s Hot self) and helping Sydney to realize whom her true love actually was. All of this while comically confusing a Brookstone massager with a vibrator.

Regina King as Iesha in Poetic Justice

As hood fabulous as she was with her slick mouth and long red nails, Iesha was definitely one of the most interesting sidekicks to watch of them all. She had bad taste in men and could be pretty tasteless herself from time to time when she got some liquor in her system (see the family reunion scene in the film). Lets be real, she pretty much needed Janet’s character Justice to run in and save her most of the time, whether it was from an abusive boyfriend or Iesha’s own self. But aside from that, she was an equally good friend to Justice. By inviting her on a random but life-changing trip in a mail truck, she helped Justice get out of her seemingly permanent state of mourning from the death of a long-time boyfriend, and set her up with Tupac’s character Lucky. Now that’s a good look.

Lisa Nicole Carson as Josie in Love Jones

For those who have seen Love Jones, a big part of the movie outside of the up and down (yet still Hot) love affair of Darius and Nina was the friendships that both parties had. Darius and his large group of poetic acquaintances, and Nina and her friendship with the very lovable and charismatic Josie. A supportive ace boon, the big haired Josie tried to help mend the relationship between our two main characters by informing Darius of the big trip Nina was taking to New York. Plus, we thoroughly enjoyed her enthusiasm at the love life of her girlfriend as she and the audience both learned about the penis’ ability to talk. Where would Nina have been without her!?

Countess Vaughn as Kim from “Moesha”

You know you’re an awesome sidekick when you get your own spinoff! But before Kim Parker was running around calling Mo’nique “mama” on “The Parkers,” she was the boy-crazy homie of Moesha. With her short frame, big eyes, exuberant sense of style and loud personality, she was the perfect contrast for the very serious, and conventional  character of Mo. Kim was never the smartest chick of the bunch, but she was always down to hit up a party, and a cutie as that ride or die bestie that brought some color to the show. Does anyone else think the show got boring after she left?

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