Why Matthew Perry Brought A Sense Of Unease To The Friends Reunion

The cast of “Friends” finally gave fans what they’d been asking for for years when they reunited for “Friends: The Reunion” special, which began streaming on HBO Max on May 27. Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, and Matthew Perry all seemed pretty happy to be back together as they celebrated the iconic sitcom, but the latter is being accused of making things a little uneasy.

The special one-off episode revealed a number of things we never knew about the show and its cast, as well as some touching moments with famous faces. David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston dropped the bombshell that they almost followed the path of Ross and Rachel and got together offscreen, while Lady Gaga made a special appearance to perform “Smelly Cat” with Kudrow in character as Phoebe Buffay in Central Perk. In another behind the scenes titbit, LeBlanc opened up about an incident that happened while filming one of the show’s most memorable episodes that saw him dislocate his shoulder.

But why exactly is Perry being called out for his role in the reunion after fans previously picked up on his slurred speech in the special’s trailer? Scroll on for the details.

Matthew Perry's past struggles weren't explicitly addressed during the Friends reunion

As the reviews came in for “Friends: The Reunion” special, one journalist claimed Matthew Perry’s past made things a little uncomfortable. Variety’s Caroline Framke noted the show didn’t “discuss any of his troubled experience explicitly, but it nonetheless lingers around the margins with palpable unease.” Perry did very briefly touch on his struggles, admitting he felt he would “die if they didn’t laugh” at his scenes, which “wasn’t healthy.”

Perry has been open about his experience with substance abuse over the years. In 2002, he admitted to People he’d “been through a very dark time,” which included a hospitalization and two visits to rehab. He confirmed there was a time in his life, since shooting to fame, that he’d take an “insane number of pills” and would drink “probably a quart of vodka a day.”

But it wasn’t just his troubled past that viewers touched on. Framke also noted there was a point in the show where Perry said he didn’t “hear” from his castmates anymore, which didn’t seem like a joke — and plenty of fans agreed. “I wanted to hear more from Matthew Perry. It was really sad to hear him say how he felt when scenes would not work out, it took a big hit at him. This should be spoken about more,” one person tweeted. Another added, “When matthew perry said ‘I don’t hear from anyone,’ that felt real.”

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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