Entertainment

21 What-ifs: This Would Happen If Friends Was Set In Mexico City 

Friends is a synonym of New York. The streets, smells and slang of the Big Apple transpire in almost every scene of the show. However, one of the big missteps of the Warner Bros. sitcom was its lack of diversity: few non-white characters were given major roles, and New York seemed to be as white as a glass of milk.

In the spirit of diversity and trying to let our imagination run wild, here’s 21 what-ifs… Imagine Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe and Rachel actually lived in Mexico City, a metropolis as richly complex as New York. If the famous amigos were chilangos (slang for Mexico City dwellers) their lives would be a tad spicier and a bit more chaotic.

Venga, pues!

1. Joey would be a struggling telenovela actor

Credit: Friends. Warner Bros.

Part of Joey’s charm has to do with his constant failures as a thespian. In Mexico City he would get minor roles in period telenovelas and would have to wear ridiculous costumes and talk in old-fashioned Spanish. She would also receive a cachetada or two.

2. Phoebe would open a trendy spa in La Condesa: “El gato apestoso”

Credit: Giphy. Anonymous.

“El gato apestoso” means “smelly cat”. If you are fans of the show you get the reference. Phoebe would be an esoteric guru in trendy La Condesa, a gentrified hood full of hipsters and lovers of all things organic.

3. And she would live in Coyoacán

Credit: 168119-Coyoacan. Digital image. Expedia

But Phoebe would not live in La Condesa, but in the hippie central of Coyoacan, the home of Frida Kahlo and El Hijo del Cuervo, a bohemian bar where we can totally picture her singing a tune.

4. Ross would teach at the UNAM

Credit: UNAM-mexico-city. Digital image. Tellanto

The Universidad Nacional is the oldest university in the continent and home of the country’s brightest minds. Dr Ross Geller would certainly lecture here. His students would think he is a snob, un fresa.

5. And he would have grown up in Satélite

Credit: images.jpg. Digital image. Fuerza Mexico.

This suburb has a personality of its own and its inhabitants, satelucos, often deny actually being chilangos. The Gellers would be one of the oldest families in this area north of the city, once sold as suburban paradise.

6. Monica would end up working at Pujol (one of the best restaurants in the world)

Credit: download. Digital image. Gourmadela.

Mexico City has a buoyant culinary scene. Monica would work her way up and end up working at chef Enrique Olvera’s Pujol, which is often voted as one of the top 15 restaurants in the planet. Tacos never looked so good.

7. Chandler would take Monica rowing to the Chapultepec Lake

Credit: lago-de-chapultepec. Digital image. TripAdvisor.

Rowing in this greenish lake smack in the middle of the city is a common date. It is a bit kitschy, but so is Chandler. We can imagine them tripping into the water and Monica getting a horrible allergy and ending up in hospital. Pinche Chandler!

8. Ross and Rachel would have a hot date at the top of the Torre Latinoamericana

Credit: torre-latino-cdmx-dos. Digital image. Mexico Desconocido.

This is one of the first high rises in the city, and Ross and Rachel could have a Sleepless in Seattle moment watching the endless sea of lights flickering below them. Ay, cositos! 

9. “The one where Little Ben would get lost in Perisur”

Credit: Friends. Warner Bros.

Perisur is one of the biggest malls in the South of the city, El Sur. Rachel would babysit little Ben and lose him while window shopping and daydreaming of haute couture. He would be saved by a heroic abuelita.

10. Joey’s flirting phrase would be “Qué transa, chiquita?”

Credit: Friends. Warner Bros.

TBH Joey is a bit creepy and sleazy. His catchphrase in Spanish would sound even stickier than his famous “How you doin?”. He would rightfully get slapped a time or two.

11. Rachel would work at the Palacio de Hierro in trendy Polanco

Credit: download (2). Digital image. Sordo Madaleno Arquitecto

After cancelling her wedding Rachel would work as a waiter for years and they find her dream job as a personal shopper for fresa ladies from Las Lomas and Polanco in this superfancy department store.

12. Joey and Chandler would go to Teotihuacán to try to hook-up with gringuitas

Credit: Panoramic_view_of_Teotihuacan. Digital image. Wikipedia

This archeological site is just an hour out of Mexico City. Whenever both of them were single, the dynamic duo would try to flirt with American tourists in their broken English, pretending to know the history of ancient Mexico.

13. Central Perk would be a hipster cafe in La Roma: Delicia Central

Credit: coloniaroma. Digital image. Dinero en Imagen

La Colonia Roma is one of the most traditional neighborhoods in the city. It is full of amazing colonial architecture and recently has become home of all things hipster, organic and yummy. Central Perk would be Delicia Central, a homy yet sophisticated cafecito.

14. Gunther would be an Spanish chavaruco: Pierre

Credit: uELlY02. Digital image. Memes del Chavoruco.

One of the funniest secondary characters in the show is the manager at Central Perk. Instead of German he would be French and his name would be Pierre. He would be the epitome of the chavoruco: the stereotype of the man in his 40s or 50s who feels and acts like he is 20.

15. They would all get together on January 6 to eat Rosca de Reyes

Credit: Giphy. @iequezada

One of the most amazing traditions in Mexico is getting together on January 6 and sharing a delicious round, donut-shaped pastry with hidden plastic or ceramic (in the fancier versions) figurines of baby Jesus. Whoever gets it is obligated to buy tamales for everyone on the Day of the Candelaria, February 2.

16. And Joey would actually EAT baby Jesus to avoid buying everyone tamales

Credit: Friends. Warner Bros.

He is a voracious eater, so he wouldn’t just eat most of the rosca, he would also swallow Jesus because he is cheap.

17. They would ALL complain about the traffic

Credit: Trafico_Ciudad-1-e1513188266727-960×500. Digital image. Animal Politico.

Mexico City’s traffic was recently classified as the worst in the world, so many episodes would start with characters being grumpy, sweaty and uncomfortable after spending hours sitting in a hot car.

18. Phoebe would also open a vegan taco stand

Credit: tacos-veganos-de-jackfruit-e1494947848296. Digital image. Mercado Flotante.

Phoebe was ahead of her time. In the 1990s she was a weirdo, but today she would become a business mogul, particularly in trendy CDMX (Mexico City’s official name). She would open a taco stand and serve tacos al pastor made with jackfruit. Yum.

19. Joey, Chandler and Phoebe would be chairos 

CreditGiphy. @am85

Mexico City is the epicenter of a social division that has deepened in Mexico between the upper-middle and upper classes and basically everyone else. After the election of the leftist AMLO as president (he starts his mandate on December 1), his supporters were called chairos. Given Joey, Chandler and Phoebe’s more modest origins, and their support for social and gender justice, they would likely belong to this camp.

20. Monica, Ross and Rachel would be fifís

Credit: 1142_fifi_620x350. Digital image. SDP Noticias.

On the other hand, the other three are quite privileged, so chances are they would be sort of conservative and terrified of a left-leaning government. They would proudly be fifis, a term coined by AMLO.

21. They would all have maids, so Friends would have many more characters

Credit: Devious Maids. Lifetime.

Social dynamics are different in Mexico and it is common for even middle-class households to hire a domestic worker. The characters in Friends would most likely have some hired help, giving the scriptwriters endless possibilities to discuss class issues and add a joke or two.

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David Schwimmer, The Actor Who Played Ross In Friends, Defended The Show After Backlash Over Insensitivity And Lack Of Diversity

Entertainment

David Schwimmer, The Actor Who Played Ross In Friends, Defended The Show After Backlash Over Insensitivity And Lack Of Diversity

Warner Bros. Television Distribution

“Friends” is loved by everyone. You’d be lying if you said you’ve never spent an entire day on the sofa, binge-watching the 90s comedy. But it’s safe to say that some of the jokes, punchlines, and themes of the show wouldn’t have been very well received in 2020 —aka some of the show’s storylines have been regarded as more than a little problematic. Here are some examples. 

“Friends” originally aired in the 90s —but with Netflix reviving the craze for the show a few years ago, millennial viewers noticed a few insensitive punchlines.

The show was on air since 1994 and up until 2004. But since “Friends “started streaming on Netflix just a few years ago, modern day fans have found issues with the way the show depicts and handles some issues —like its lack of diversity for instance, or its depiction of women and LGBT people. 

Pretty much everything about “Fat Monica,” for example.

The whole ‘Fat Monica’ storyline fed into the media’s perpetuated image of overweight individuals as punchlines and nothing more. She only became a “worthy” character after she lost the weight, or at least that’s how the show made it seem.

Exhibit B. The treatment of Chandler’s trans dad.

Chandler’s homophobia and jokes about his transgender parent were awful. While the addition of a proud gay character in a show during the 90s was a huge step forward in television, they totally misrepresented the community. The show conflated transgender people and drag queens. In trying to expose and dismantle some prejudices, they also perpetuated others.

The objectification of women by the male characters

There’s a Thanksgiving episode where Ross and Joey are trying to leave so they can go and meet Joey’s good looking roommate and her dancing friends. And just like this one, there are many other episodes in which “the boys” spend the whole show trying to think up ways to trick women into sleeping with them —in this particular episode, Joey literally calls the women “objects” —and I’m triggered.

Joey’s sexism usually went unchecked—and he was downright creepy a lot of times.

Most of Joey’s scenes revolved around women —and a lot of them are problematic. Sure, he had his good and sweet moments, but it’s super problematic that he can’t remember who he’s slept with, or how he makes his roommates make breakfast for his conquest and then dump them for him. His roommate’s search was also awful: “Female, non-smoker, non-ugly.” —Seriously?

The constant examples of fragile masculinity.

The male characters frequently had to make a HUGE issue out of their fragile masculinity. Here’s an example for you: In the episode where Chandler moves in with Monica, she has him making cedar sachets with old pantyhose. Chandler asks to leave to go do “guy stuff.” He then finds Joey learning to knit and Ross applying face powder to try and minimize the contrast of his overly bleached teeth. He leaves in disgust. Later, after pointing out all the feminine touches Joey’s new female roommate has applied to the old apartment, Chandler points out that Joey is turning into a woman. “Why would you say that? That’s just mean,” asks Joey. “Now I’ve upset you? What did I say?” replies Chandler. “It’s not what you said. It’s the way you said it… Oh, my God! I’m a woman!” exclaims Joey in disgust —*ALL THE EYEROLLS*

Ross has been one of the most criticized characters.

The character of Ross has seen a lot of criticism, for his dismissal of the importance of consent, his possessiveness over women, the casual anti-gay comments and more. 

Even the show creators have admitted to feeling uncomfortable with some scenes. 

The creators spoke about their regrets at Tribeca Film Festival’s “Friends” 25th anniversary. When asked by the audience if there were storylines that they regret, Kauffman had a couple of examples ready: “the one when Phoebe starts dating her sister Ursula’s stalker, played by David Arquette (“we did a lot of rewriting on that to make it work”).” “It’s much harder for me to enjoy the good moments when there are moments in it where I’m going, ‘Oh my God, we let that happen? We did that,'” she explained.

Meanwhile, co-creator, David Crane, admitted he doesn’t remember a lot of specific scenes and jokes after working on 10 seasons 15-25 years ago, said that when he does stumble upon an episode, he’ll occasionally wonder, “Wow, really? We went with that?” “There are some that are better than others,” he said.

In a recent interview with the Guardian, “Friends” star David Schwimmer who played Ross, said he”doesn’t care” about the backlash, because he believes it comes from the show being taken out of the context of its time.

When asked about the backlash that the show went through after its Netflix renaissance, the actor said; “I don’t care.” A few articles and several Twitter threads suggested that the show’s jokes hadn’t aged well, like Chandler worrying about seeming gay, or jokes about Monica’s weight. “The truth is also that show was groundbreaking in its time for the way in which it handled so casually sex, protected sex, gay marriage, and relationships. The pilot of the show was my character’s wife left him for a woman and there was a gay wedding, of my ex and her wife, that I attended.”

“Friends” is a product of the pre-“woke” era when it comes to race, too. 

“Maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends,” Schwimmer says. “But I was well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of color. One of the first girlfriends I had on the show was an Asian American woman, and later I dated African American women. That was a very conscious push on my part.

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Don’t Plan a Basic Bachelorette Party, Try These Fun Ideas For Your Pre-Wedding Party

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Don’t Plan a Basic Bachelorette Party, Try These Fun Ideas For Your Pre-Wedding Party

@bachandstag / Instagram

Have you ever heard of the tradition of the “June Bride?” It comes from Roman times when couples would get married during that month in order to appease Juno, the goddess of fertility. While Summer is still a popular time to get married, October is actually the most sought after month to get married. September and November are also often chosen because of the mild temperatures, beautiful changing foliage and because they are before the winter holiday season.

With so many saying “I do” during this time of year, let’s focus on one of the most important parts of the wedding experience: the bachelorette party. Whether you’re tying the knot soon or are hoping to in the future, there’s no way your girls are letting you walk down the aisle without one last party totally in celebration of you. Since it’s such an important milestone, it’s only right that it be an extra special affair. If your needing some inspiration to upgrade your bachelorette plans from average to awesome, explore these fun options.

1. Get goosebumps with a spooky ghost tour.

Instagram / @citytoursmke

Is that cold feet your getting or are you just spooked by the ghostly specters at this party? Don’t be afraid to embrace the macabre and explore the haunted parts of your town. Most cities have some sort of ghost tour company that can take you and your girls through the history of local haunts. Whether you prefer a walking tour or to be driven around sipping spirits, this option will scare up a good time. Just be sure to sage the bridal party afterwards.

2. Explore your favorite winery, distillery or brewery.

Instagram / @winelabmx

If you can rosé all day, are curious to see where your favorite vodka is made or are just in it for the booze, this party is for you. Breweries, distilleries and wineries are always down to offer tours to the public that offer as much tasting time as they do information. The best part: the alcohol is included with these tours so you don’t have to worry about settling a bar tab at the end of the night. 

3. Take DIY to a whole new level.

Instagram / @mmadalynne

For the crafty sort of bride-to-be, diy events are a lot of fun but a bachelorette party should take it to the next level. That’s where Madalynne Intimates comes in with their DIY lingerie kits. The company sales sewing kits complete with everything you’ll need to make a handmade piece of lingerie. The bridal party can create sets for the future bride’s wedding night or can make a little something sexy for themselves with this option.

4. Embrace your inner thrill seeker.

Instagram / @gravitybah

They say marriage is the ultimate adventure but your bachelorette party can still get in a ton of excitement. Whether your interested in indoor skydiving, a trapeze party, bungee jumping or paragliding, there are plenty of thrills to be had before you take that marital plunge. After this party, the actual wedding will be a piece of cake.

5. Learn how to work the pole.

Instagram / @chromerosespoledance

You aren’t the only one who got inspired by the movie “Hustlers.” Make Jennifer Lopez proud and conquer the pole with a group pole dancing class. If you’re really bad at it, you and your girls will have plenty to laugh about and, if you’re really good at it, you’ll have something new to show the fiance.

6. Hit the road.

Instagram / @thetravelergene

What better way to celebrate your upcoming journey into marriage than with a journey with your favorite girls. Load up the car and rent an Air B&B somewhere new. Explore the local night life and enjoy what a change of scenery can do to your group. It doesn’t have to be Vegas to be a good time.

7. The ocean is calling.

Instagram / @jessecalauren

All life comes from the water so why not return there to celebrate this next step in your evolution. Rent a place by the beach or a real life boat house for you and the crew and enjoy the sunshine and surf while ocean-side. You could also plan a private yacht trip or book a vacay with a cruise line and experience the bounty of the sea that way.

8. Eat your heart out.

Instagram / @oysterhousechs

You’ve probably been watching what you eat the past few weeks but what better time to indulge than now. If you’re a foodie who loves to feast, take your bridal party on a food tour of your city. Discover all the best places to dine or just hit up some of your favorites. You deserve every last bite in honor of your big day.

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