Female friendships on soaps tend to not be featured storylines. At best, they are on display as general support and cheerleaders for each other’s romantic relationships (and I’m all for that—still waiting to see more Kayla and Hope).
That’s why Chelsea and Abby’s friendship is a special treat.
I first took notice of their friendship during Nick Fallon’s first appearances. He, Chelsea, and Abby all go out to Dune, and Chelsea is coolly contemptuous of Nick. He is undeterred, he still thinks she’s fabulous. Abby asks him why he wants to be with Chelsea, when she’s so mean to him.
Nick says, “Why do you?”
I think the show has actually spent some time pondering this question. Why are these two friends?
On Monday’s episode (2/19) this week, Chelsea calls Abby because she wants to talk. She’s had a hard week, with finding out Dr. Shane Patton was Nick and her father rejecting her. But when Abby arrives, full of ready sympathy, Chelsea is prickly. She doesn’t want to talk about her father and snaps at Abby for asking about it. She starts complaining about Nick instead, and Abby agrees with her and tries to defend Nick at the same time. She winds up with, “I told him for weeks to tell you.”
(beat) Chelsea: “You knew about this?”
At this point, I was expecting Chelsea to either quickly move on to talking about Nick again (the real target of her ire), or even kicking Abby out. But instead Chelsea says, “I guess I really can’t be that upset. I’m sure I haven’t been the best of friends to you. It’s payback time all around for me.”
And this wasn’t an isolated case. Remember Chelsea snapping at Abby that Max would never be interested in her, and Abby snapping back at her? But they made up later, and it was actually shown on-screen, as being something of importance.
How refreshing, that a friendship between two women could be close yet prickly, a source of tension, and conflict—and character development.