Like many other people, I have mixed feelings about Valentine’s Day. Part of that comes from having a birthday in February. Part of it is because Valentine’s Day always has so much expectation around it, right from the beginning. In grade school, I still have vivid memories of agonizing over which cards in my Valentine’s box to give to the kids I had fledgling crushes on. Then, later, when I started dating and eventually married, it became a different sort of pressure. We’re married so we should do something for this random day of the year, right? RIGHT?
But while I might flip flop on whether I love or loathe Valentine’s Day, I think we can all agree that Galentine’s Day is the best. It originated with Parks and Recreation, where Leslie Knope holds a celebration every year of ladies celebrating ladies. Since that episode aired, it’s become a THING all on its own. And I, for one, am here for it! Female friendships are vital and should be celebrated every day of the year, but Galentine’s Day is a good place to start!
If going out in the freezing February weather is your thing, go for it! If you’d rather have your lady friends over for drinks in your living room, I have some recommendations for maximum binging of shows and movies and books with amazing lady friendships!
So grab some comfy clothes, snacks, and a beverage of your choice and settle in.
It’s Galentine’s Day time!
There have been many lady friend movies that have come out in the last couple years, but Girl’s Trip surpasses them all. It’s hilarious enough to give your abs a workout from laughing (totally counts as calories burned, right?), and the relationships between these women are just as heartfelt as they are complicated. Definitely a move to watch with your besties!
Craving something a little more stabby? Tragedy Girls will hit the spot! It’s campy and takes a lot of the slasher tropes we love and adore and twists them. The killers? Two best friends who are cheerleaders and run the prom committee in between trying to get a local serial killer to teach them his ways. Their friendship is rock solid and it’s really satisfying to see teenage girls as the enactors of their own murderous destiny, rather than running from some masked dude with a knife.
Parks and Recreation
We can’t talk about Galentine’s Day without talking about Parks and Recreation. The show is pure gold in a number of ways, but Leslie and Ann’s relationship is one of the best things about it. Okay, sure, and Ron Swanson, but I digress. Leslie and Ann’s friendship is just so real, while at the same time making you giggle as Park and Rec often does. It’s a great feel-good series that I highly recommend binging with your lady friends if you need to check out from the world (and the news cycle) for a day—or a week.
Sometimes you need small town shenanigans. Sometimes you need a bisexual lady succubus trying to navigate her paranormal life with her small-time criminal best friend. Lost Girl is a little bananas at times, but only in the best way possible. Bo and Kenzi develop into a really amazing friendship that often provides a light counterpoint to some of the heaviness the show gets into. They’re amazing.
The Call of Crows series – Shelly Laurenston (Start with The Unleashing)
Shelly Laurenston highlights the complexity of female friendships in a way that is purely her style in her series The Call of Crows. The Crows are the all female immortal group who battle together, party together, and do their part to ensure Ragnarok doesn’t come to pass. The women in this group sometimes flat out hate each out, but when push come to shove, they always have each other’s backs. No matter what. There’s also some sexy Viking love in each book, because who doesn’t adore sexy Vikings?
Get Even and Get Dirty – Gretchen McNeil
This great duology features four girls who couldn’t be more different, but have bonded in a secret friendship over their desire to punish the people they think deserve it. The name of their secret group is Don’t Get Mad and while their schemes work out initially, someone ends up dead in a way that links to them and suddenly the stakes are all too real. They have to work together to find the responsible person before they take the fall for it.