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Alissa at the apex: the one where Matthew Perry leaves his mark

NBC Universal
Campus Editor Alissa Van Dress recalls the sitcom and actor that shaped her as a teenager.

When I was an early teen, I was never not watching a show on Netflix. It all started in sixth grade when my brother downloaded Netflix on our Nintendo Wii. Free trials were still available and that was my cue to stream as many TV shows and movies as I could before the trial ended. After that, my penchant for binge watching was unstoppable.

At 14, I began to binge watch “Friends” on Netflix during Thanksgiving break. I will never forget admiring the “Friends” banter on my phone while I was at a football watch party at Buffalo Wild Wings. Clearly, I found Rachel Green’s ‘90s apparel and the show’s love triangles more entertaining than the game on the screen.

The first three seasons contained numerous episodes set in autumn, which could not have been better for the time of year. For instance, “The One Where Underdog Gets Away” (Season 1, Episode 9) and “The One with the Football” (Season 3, Episode 9) live in my memory.

When it came to the characters on the show, I genuinely admired them all, but became attached to Chandler Bing due to his mastery of sarcasm. Actor Matthew Perry played Chandler Bing and that, truly, couldn’t have been a better fit.

In my sophomore year of high school, I named one of my take-home babies for my child development class after Perry’s character because “until the age of 25, I thought the only response to ‘I love you’ was ‘oh, crap!’” That should explain why I couldn’t resist honoring Chandler Bing. It is through his character that the audience sees the wit and exuberance of Perry.

Chandler Bing quickly became my favorite character; I strive to be as jocular as him. He taught me not to take life too seriously and that, sometimes, we just need a joke to lighten the mood.

Even though Matthew Perry is no longer with us, I believe that his spirit will never fade. After almost 30 years, “Friends” is still one of the most watched shows. Perry has played his part and his audience will never forget all that he’s contributed.

Despite the sorrow that is felt, I will remember to try to look on the bright side and to crack jokes like Chandler Bing. In the words of the lovable Bing, “I’m not great at advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?”

Thank you, Matthew Perry, for touching our hearts with one sarcastic comment at a time.

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About the Contributor
Alissa Van Dress, Campus Editor
Alissa Van Dress is a junior English major from Amherst, Ohio. She has a concentration in professional writing with minors in business, creative writing and Spanish and Hispanic Studies. Previously, Alissa served as the copy editor at The Carroll News. In addition to her current role as campus editor, Alissa is a JCU football and basketball cheerleader, a writing consultant at the JCU Writing Center, works as a digital engagement ambassador for the JCU Carroll Fund, and serves on the visual arts committee for The Carroll Review. Also, she is honored to have co-founded the Theatre Club at John Carroll University. Other than writing, some of Alissa's favorite hobbies include musical theater, vocal performance, fashion, dance and cheerleading/acrobatics. After graduation, Alissa plans to write for children's entertainment.

To contact Alissa, email her at [email protected].

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