Matthew Perry has passed away, and many are sad. While there are many great pieces honoring Matthew Perry including:
and many more, there is a side of Matthew Perry that reasonated with me that isn’t really talked about when mention his most iconic roles. While Friends was iconic, I’ll admit I missed the boat on it when it was out. I watched it casually, but did not really love it.
I know Matthew Perry as recurring actor in Aaron Sorkin Dramas. These dramas shaped my young adulthood. Example number 1: The West Wing. He played a republican lawyer who worked for the Barlet Democratic whitehouse team. As someone who didn’t agree with the exact politics of the house he was serving, he showed how someone of a different party could work with people who didn’t exactly share their beliefs. The belief that we can put aside our difference to try and get work done despite party is definitly something we could work on today. It’s somewhat comical how relevant entire episodes from the seven seasons of that show are today.
The other Sorkin show that Perry played a lead role in is Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip. This show was about how there are two sides in show business. The premise of the show is that the standards board on major networks are reducing the diversity and quality of our programming. In a world where news channels pick an allegence to an ideology, either democratic or republican, and stick to it and ignore the other side, these issues are still relevant.
It seems to me like Perry was a foundational part of some of my favorite TV shows. I was sad to hear of passing, and my thoughts and prayers to go out to his direct family and friends.