It goes without saying that Friends is one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time. It brought about "the Rachel" cut, it launched a thousand priceless Thanksgiving GIFs, and what's more, it brought us Joey Tribbiani. However, its gaffe-centric humor and character development are just as much a product of its era as its outfits and celebrity references. Since the days of Monica, Joey, Chandler, Rachel, Ross and Phoebe, a lot of what we deem acceptable in our programming has changed, and although Friends is and will forever a classic, times have changed, and its unclear that, were it pitched to studio execs today, it would make the cut.
For the sake of clarity, let's imagine what it'd be like if Season 3 of Friends was made in 2013. Season 3, to recap, was when Monica had to get over breaking up with Richard, Chandler dated Janice for real until she was caught making out with her ex-husband, Ross unleashed his famous "we were on a break" line, Rachel and Ross broke up and competed for their friends, Phoebe's half brother thought she was a prostitute, Monica dated and consequently broke up with Pete, the millionaire-cum-Ultimate-Fighting-Champion wannabe, and Ross had to choose between bald Bonnie and a confused Rachel.
But where would our favorite friends be in the magical year of our lord, 2013? Here's a rundown of where the Friends characters might be, if they were written for the current time.
Firstly, they would all live in Brooklyn, not the Village. Ugly Naked Man would be Unshaven Naked Anarchist, and Central Perk would be a vegan-friendly, gluten free, fairtrade only bakery/bookstore/cafe, renowned in the neighborhood for its yerba mate. All fat jokes about Monica's childhood would be gone, as would all the comments about Chandler's sexuality.
"The Rachel" wouldn't be a piece-y shoulder length bob but long beachy waves carefully ombre-d from chestnut to white blond. Her dream job wouldn't be working for someone as corporate or blasé as Bloomingdales, so she'd be hired in the press department for 3.1 Phillip Lim, thank you very much. She and Ross would break up over the fact that not only did he sleep with someone else, but he really didn't subscribe to that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie TED talk they watched together, and she could never date a man like that, even though she doesn't really get the whole feminism thing.
Phebes would be a vegan, lesbian masseuse with a side career as a professional dominatrix. She would've spent the beginning of this season in jail for protesting Obama's use of drones, and would've once had a secret threesome with Joey and another chick, but of course, they would've kept it a secret from the others.
Joey would be a failing sculpture artist whose one triumph was when his work was shown at PS1 in 2011. He'd sleep around, but only with art school undergrads, which is why he'd have to avoid SVA, FIT and the New School completely. He'd live with Chandler, and they'd adopt a rescued pot belly pig who was found in an underground pig fighting ring down in Bed-Stuy. Instead of the easy chairs, they'd have jumbo bean bags chairs, which they'd love and do not let anyone else sit in.
Chandler would be dating Janice, a yuppie rich girl from the Upper East Side. She'd irritate the shit out of his friends with her ability (and propensity) to switch constantly between French and English, and how totally ignorant she was about the plight of the poor. He would work in the green energy sector, but hate his job and wish more than anything that he'd followed his dreams of being a radio personality. He would not be embarrassed that his father is a drag queen, but he would be tremendously scarred by the fact that his mom is an erotic novel writer.
Ross would be a professor of Philosophy, teaching part time at CUNY Hunter while writing a comprehensive paper on the ethics of abortion. He would sleep with his TA while he and Rachel were "on a break," and would be so embarrassed after Rachel found out that he would have to fire her on the grounds of poor knowledge of Kantian ethics, even though it was really because she slept with him. He would constantly lord it over all his friends that he managed to score an apartment in Williamsburg "before it got all gentrified," and he'd be super into pursuing his one true passion: the Casio keyboard.
Monica would be dating Pete, CEO of a successful hedge-fund, but would decide to break up with him when he declares he's going to quit his job and start a biodynamic food forest/farm in a corner of Prospect Park. She'd shave half her head, though she wouldn't shave her legs, and she'd work as a caterer for the Bandshell, which she hates, but it pays the bills.