Monday, October 30, 2023

Matthew Perry 😢

Irreplaceable .... as both an actor and a human being.

I chose this particular photo because I think it captures him well - the sweet sensitive, hiding behind the smirk - because Matthew the person, and Chandler, the character he portrayed, were apparently very much alike.

Though the multitalented Jon Favreau almost got the role of Chandler, only Matthew Perry could’ve nailed that snarky, rapier-wit-to-mask-deep-seated-insecurity-and-sweetness thing down.    

So I guess I needed a couple of days to be sure this wasn’t a net hoax, this really happened, because I can’t believe that any of our favoriteFriends “ are gone! 😢😢😢

Chandler was actually my favorite character from the beginning as the funniest (close tie for second being between Phoebe and Ross - but they were all funny, playing off each other).  Even though the show wouldn't have worked with a single cast member missing, I honestly think Chandler's sarcasm was the glue.

(I just wonder if Matthew knew that, in the end, considering all of his substance-abuse issues and self-esteem struggles.  I wish he could see now the outpouring of love for him, right now - it's like the entertainment world is flying flags half-mast today over him, not just here in the U.S., but around the world.)

In fact, I still remember the show's trailer, with Chandler dancing around singing, mocking Joey's part in a Pinocchio ... "I'm a little wooden boy." I remember seeing that as a summer of fall shows in 1994 as a preview, while pregnant with my daughter.

Mark, on the other hand, initially thought him snarky and arrogant and chose Ross, but changed his mind, saying Chandler grew on him to become his favorite. 

As anyone who knows me knows, Friends is my all-time favorite sitcom, the ensemble-cast chemistry between the six actors, none of them more important than the other, has never been replicated and never will be 😢

In fact, shows have since tried to replicate "The Six" ensemble with some success - The and  Big Bang Theory - which I also loved,  it was like Friends with ultra-nerds - and How I Met Your Mother, which I didn’t  but they were never really able to replicate that fully likeable collective chemistry of all 6 - there was always one in the ensemble you didn't like or got on you nerves lol.

In fact, other shows tried to replicate it even down to the set. Because if you look closely at even the stage setup on TBBT, it was nearly the exact same across-the-hall setup; Penny's smaller apartment on the left of the hallway, Sheldon and Leonard's huge apartment on the right, 

In fact, even the apartments themselves, down to the carve-out  space with large industrial window -  only on left side of the apartment instead of the right.

Monica and Rachel's apartment ...

Sheldon and Leonard's apartment ...

Same exact base set, right?

Don't get me wrong, TBBT is also one of my favorite all-time shows, but it did use Friends as its base premise; and of course, Sheldon is Sheldon lol.

But their chemistry together was special and you can't fake it or we could eventually sense/feel it, if one got to big for their britches or something.  They balanced each other out, worked it out, almost like family more than friends, actually.  I'm sure they had spats, got on each other's nerves, etc., but there was real love and concern for each other there, you could see it.

And I remember hearing long ago, when they renegotiated salaries, it was all or none - all of them get the same raise or no one does, despite other projects. That’s extremely rare, even today.

And as Matthew Perry put it in his book, "Friends, Lovers, and The Big Terrible Thing," during his alcoholism/drug addiction, the rest of the cast treated him - like penguins lol.

“It’s like penguins. Penguins, in nature, when one is sick, or when one is very injured, the other penguins surround it and prop it up. They walk around it until that penguin can walk on its own. That’s kind of what the cast did for me.”

Too bad not many humans are like that :(

So Mark was on military tours in the early 90s and just saw a couple of episodes and figured the show was about some rich kids from New York and turned it off, which is kind of true, but not like you think - and they struggled, trying to make it without their parents’ help - and if they ever forgot what it was like to struggle and be less privileged, or whined about petty stuff, Phoebe gently but hilariously reminded them. They reached in and found what’s at the core of all of us - and made us laugh at ourselves.

This is why he told me he didn't watch it when he returned from duty, didn't really watch it until we were dating, and I said "Well, give it a minute, you judge too quickly - there's a reason this was my favorite show of all time, and an average of 25-million-plus viewers; must be something there.  This show is timeless, very few sitcoms are."

He finally watched a full episode, and started laughing his ass off, he was hooked - and now considers it his favorite sitcom of all time, like most people do.

They influenced our culture, even  the way we speak, still today - even the British!

We binge-watched from the beginning, not long ago, and it’s funny how fast things seem to happen when you watch it that way, isn’t it? Like Ross and Rachel were together and “on a break” in the blink of an eye, but the episodes were spread out over weeks and months apart in real time, prime time network TV.

So when I first started writing this post, I was waiting for a mammogram, which is often awkward and uncomfortable, , the tech and I couldn’t stop talking about it, sharing favorite Chandler moments, and the time went by fast.

And she, though my daughter’s age, said that with a few exception episodes, is still fresh and relevant today, and the show was her "comfort show."

Amen, me too!

In fact, I’ve mentioned on here before when I was super sad, like when Marian died, after a few days, I put on Friends so I could laugh again.

Now, we can't watch an episode, or even a clip from an episode, without crying 😭 but we will in tribute, because he gave us so much joy 💓

Poor, sweet man - it's a shame that in the end, his demons may have gotten the better of him, though we don't know.  His health hadn't been good as a result of his past ways.

Rest in Peace, Matthew Perry AKA "OH ...MY ...GAWD. We LOVED you, Chandluh Bing!” said like Janice.  Wish you could see how much, around the world, today.   We miss you … and thank you 🙏❤️😢

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