By Josh Duboff. Photos: Getty Images, Courtesy of Instagram.
This recurring series, Social Studies, takes a closer look at the social-media accounts of our most popular and prominent stars.
Unless they are playing some elaborate long con on us all, the four stars of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants have shared a long-time “I.R.L.” friendship, often using their Instagram accounts to share photos of their get-togethers and celebrations, in the way that a group of friends you went to college with might. Birthdays are marked; projects are supported; holidays are enjoyed. And whether it is an intended effect of their posts or not, the continued stream of activity from the group serves to tease their fanbase about a potential on-screen reunion, as well.
There are many properties for which, the minute their finales conclude, whispers immediately begin about a reboot or sequel. For certain television shows or movies—Zoolander, Gilmore Girls, the list goes on—that revival can take many years to come to fruition. The first two Traveling Pants films were not box-office juggernauts, per se—the first (released in 2005) earned $42 million, the second (2008) $44 million—but they did have a somewhat under-the-radar cult following, and rumors of a third film have persisted in the decade since the sequel.
All of the four lead actresses—Blake Lively, Amber Tamblyn, America Ferrera, and Alexis Bledel—are semi-regularly asked about the prospects for a third movie in the franchise. Lively said this past June that there is a “strong chance” that there will be a third film, continuing, “The four of us are still best friends and to be able to create something together again has always been a dream of ours.” Bledel and Tamblyn have recently echoed this sentiment, as well. As recently as this past January, Tamblyn seemingly confirmed that the movie is in development, via Twitter. And in late March, Ferrera said that a third movie would be “amazing.”
But while we wait for anything resembling an official announcement about the film or when it might actually begin filming, the four continue to provide what amounts to a sequel of sorts, via their pronounced, lively (sorry), ongoing Insta-friendship. And their fans cannot get enough.
In June of 2016, the four took a very low-key group selfie on a couch, which was shared both by Lively and Ferrera (“#sisterhusbands,” Lively captioned hers). The comments are as apoplectic as you might expect: “This is so iconic,” “I love how they’re still friends,” “This makes me happy omg” . . . you get the drift. Scrolling through the some 200 comments on a Bledel Instagram from 2014, in which she and Lively and Tamblyn are seen “supporting America with her new book,” or one of the four of them from the same year grabbing brunch, is like wading through a river of heart-eye emojis.
Perhaps aligned with talk of a sequel heating up once again, the four have included each other in their feeds with increasing frequency—especially over the past year. Lively put up a post to celebrate Tamblyn’s pregnancy in October. (Lively, with more than 15 million followers on the platform, far outpaces the other three in terms of audience size.) On New Year’s Day, she posted one of herself and Tamblyn FaceTiming with Ferrera. For the Women’s March, Tamblyn posted shots of herself with Lively and with Ferrera. (Bledel seems to be slightly less present in their hangouts—though, we should all know by now not to necessarily take everything we see on Instagram at face value.)
There is also a political angle to many of their recent posts. The group has used their feeds to share messages related to the Women’s March and the corresponding movement, often referencing the power and strength of their own friendships. In her New Year’s post, Lively wrote in the caption, This year has taught us a lot. But it’s reminded us to practice something we’ve always known... “Love your pals. Love yourself”. Happy 2017
The way the four of them use Instagram, celebrating special occasions, tagging each other with inside jokes, promoting the causes they believe in, it really can almost feel as if, yes, the third film in the franchise is playing out on the platform. Oh, Bridget has two kids now, and Tibby is spending New Year’s at her place; Lena’s overseas but definitely checking in via group text. Presuming they do end up making a third film in the franchise, we can be sure the movie itself will be rivaled in attention by the flurry of Instagrams the four of them post throughout the entire production.
This story originally appeared on Vanity Fair.
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