The internet has been imagining what the sitcom Friends would look like if it had started airing in 2021—and it might be too pretty.
A viral image shows the Friends leads’ faces doctored and filtered to give them chiselled and eerily flawless features, resembling the effects of image-editing tool FaceApp.
The photo was first shared by Twitter user @itssecretqueen on November 23, with the caption: “Friends, giving.” It has been liked more than 200,000 times.
FaceApp allows users to alter selfies to add makeup, tweak facial features and fix their hair. Many influencers and celebrities have been accused of using the app to manipulate the images they post on social media.
The app sparked a TikTok trend this year, with users adding filters to their images to present an “Instagram vs reality” effect.
The @itssecretqueen image has also prompted close to 18,000 retweets and many comments imagining what Friends 2021 might be like.
“This show would have had a theme song closer to Girlfriends than it would have to Friends,” wrote one user.
“What Ross thinks he looks like in the leather pants episode,” joked another.
Phoebe’s updated look attracted the most attention, with some saying she looked like a Kardashian sister. “Phoebe ate them all up,” wrote one Twitter user.
It wasn’t long before the image was shared across other platforms. The photo was posted to Reddit just 18 hours ago and has gained over 70,000 upvotes. The post was captioned: “If Friends aired today.”
The comedy’s creators and cast have also speculated about what a modern-day version of Friends might look like.
In May 2021, ahead of the show’s reunion special, director and executive producer Kevin Bright told The Hollywood Reporter that a lot would have to change about the characters. “We would be so aware. It would be integral to the chemistry and the conversation that these guys would be having. Do they get together as much as they do on the show, or is this more of a social media back and forth?
“So much would change, but to get them to behave realistically within this time, there would be a lot that would change about them.
“And the racial makeup of them would change because of that. If we did Friends today, no, I don’t imagine they would probably end up being an all-white cast.”
Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe, made the same point in an interview with The Times of London last year. She said: “It would not be an all-white cast, for sure. I’m not sure what else but, to me, it should be looked at as a time capsule, not for what they did wrong.”