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This is why Matthew Perry can’t watch his own show “FRIENDS”

The popular NBC show “FRIENDS” captured the hearts of millions with its witty humor, relatable characters, and unforgettable moments. However, one of its main cast members, Matthew Perry, despite being a pivotal figure in the show's monumental success, finds himself unable to watch the show. Here's why.

Matthew Perry on "Q with Tom Power" in 2022

Despite starring in all 10 seasons of the renowned TV series Friends, 54-year-old Matthew Perry, refrains from watching the show today. The character he brought to life, Chandler Bing, became a beloved figure on the NBC sitcom from 1994 to 2004.

During an interview with radio host Tom Power's show “Q with Tom Power” in Toronto in 2022, Perry revealed his reasons for abstaining from revisiting old Friends episodes. He explained that these episodes trigger memories of his arduous battle with drug and alcohol addiction. Perry, pointing to different versions of himself in various episodes over the years, explained his struggles with substance abuse. .

While filming Friends, Perry battled addiction, and when he looks back, he claims he can identify the drug he was abusing based on how he looked in each season. He is appreciative of his former co-stars, including David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and Jennifer Aniston, but he also harbors resentment towards his time on the show.

“I didn’t watch the show and haven’t watched the show, because I could go, ‘Drinking, opiates, drinking, cocaine,’” Perry said. 
“I could tell season by season by how I looked. I don’t think anybody else can, but I certainly could, and that’s why I don’t want to watch it, because that’s what I see, that’s what I notice when I watch it,.” Perry added. 

This perspective is not new. In his memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir (2022),  Perry openly discussed his weight fluctuations as linked to his substance use. 

“If you gauge my weight from season to season — when I’m carrying weight, it’s alcohol; when I am skinny, it’s pills. When I have a goatee, it’s lots of pills," Perry wrote in his memoir. 

Perry's battle with addiction led him through 15 rehab stays and enduring serious health consequences, including a burst colon due to opioid overuse. However, he shared with People magazine that he had reached a significant milestone of 18 months of sobriety in October.

Despite the difficulty of confronting his past on the show, Perry expressed during his Toronto interview that he might consider re-watching the cherished sitcom. He acknowledged the impact it has had across different generations and the heartwarming memories attached to it. Perry admitted, “It was really funny, and all the people were nice,” he added. “I’ve been too worried about this and, you know, I want to watch  Friends  too.”