Here’s What Happens When You Let a Computer Write a ‘Friends’ Episode
Since Friends called it a day in 2004, the show's fans have shouted into the void, demanding new episodes and, of course, a reunion. How are Chandler and Monica's adopted twins, who are now older than we want to believe? Are Rachel and Ross still together (or are they on a break)? And seriously, seriously how did everyone afford that massive purple apartment? And spare us that "rent control" crap.
After hearing the rumors about an upcoming Friends reunion would only amount to a two-hour NBC special airing in February, many were left disappointed. But comic artist Andy Herd devised a solution: He fed all 236 of the sitcom's scripts into a computer program, generating brand-new episodes.
Herd posted screenshots of the results on Twitter, among them this snippet of TV magic:
Herd insisted that this new material is better than the show's original writing, and even some of the sitcoms currently clogging the airwaves. He told the Washington Post, "I have received a lot of positive feedback," adding that he possesses a "childlike fascination" with the possible intersections between humor and computer learning.
Programming enthusiasts were interested in hearing about the software behind the experiment while others were simply amused by the postmodern pastiche, which mostly consists of pure nonsense. Though, moments like this still capture the essence of the beloved sitcom:
Monica: I hate men! I hate men!
Granted, the scripts might not be what the show's loyalists had in mind, but if nothing else, the computer-generated scripts gave us one more reason to worry about the potential for artificial intelligence to put us all out of work — maybe.
But at least in our unemployment we can stage these gems from Herd's computer program's fan fiction:
Monica: Oh my God!
It sure is great to have the gang back together.