Following Matthew Perry's passing, Chinese fans are grieving for a former buddy. -
Following Matthew Perry's passing, Chinese fans are grieving for a former buddy.
Posted 03 Nov 2023 12:21 PM


'Friends' was a word-of-mouth sensation in China even before the show's formal release. Following Matthew Perry's death at the age of 54, Chinese admirers are grieving the loss of the superstar who to them seemed more like an old friend than a far-off famous.
One of numerous celebrations staged around China on Wednesday night for the actor who portrayed Chandler Bing and passed away on Saturday in Los Angeles was held in a cafe in Shenzhen, a bustling metropolis located across the border in Hong Kong.
The coffee shop was crowded with patrons and floral arrangements as the TV climbed in the room, paying tribute to the 10th-season comedy with everything from its name (Smelly Cat) to the Central Perk sign on its glass wall.
"We didn't anticipate as many people to attend," café manager Nie Yanxia remarked. "Many people started crying as they talked about their memories of Chandler and "Friends."
Pictures of Perry over the years were on a giant poster that was on show on the bar. The bottom message stated, "We love you, friend."
Even though "Friends" didn't make its Chinese television debut until 2012 (via the streaming service Sohu), the show's popularity had already grown more than ten years prior because to illegal DVD and hard drive copies. The program, which aired in the US from 1994 to 2004, immediately acquired popularity as Chinese fans added Mandarin subtitles.
"Back then, China was going through this significant historical transition characterized by the rise of consumerism, individualism, and urbanization," Xian added.
Through viewing the show, many Chinese fans gained knowledge of English and gained insight into American society.
A doorway into subjects like LGBTQ+ themes and sexual material that weren't frequently discussed on Chinese television was provided by the uncensored underground version of "Friends."
According to Wang, a lot of young people in China could relate to Perry's persona and his made-up pals as they figured out how to live on their own and forge identities in a huge metropolis.
Wang remarked, "It's similar to losing one of their own friends." "So that's emotional because there was a feeling of nostalgia and a recollection of childhood or youth."
On Wednesday evening in Shanghai's brightly lit metropolis, over thirty individuals crowded into a little version of the Central Perk cafe.There was not enough space for three people to sit on an exact reproduction of the famous orange sofa, much alone enough to stand. While some people waited on seats outside, others who couldn't fit inside the café spilled out the door and peered in. Inside, supporters read stories on Perry one after the other. A few choked.
Tianjin resident Nilufar Arkin claims that her boyfriend and friends have referred to her and him as the real-life Monica and Chandler. The pair even got matching tattoos with the words from The Rembrandts' "I'll Be There For You" as their theme tune two years ago.
The traditional Thanksgiving scene, in which Monica dances in front of Chandler while donning a turkey on her head, is also shown in the artwork on their arms.The fine art on their arms likewise portray the exemplary Thanksgiving scene where Monica moves before Chandler wearing a turkey on her head. It was whenever Chandler first let Monica know that he adored her.

"I think Chandler and Monica is the model as a couple," Arkin, 27, said. " This is the very thing that I respect for a couple, I love the two of them. He's my sort as a spouse." Arkin caught wind of Perry's passing when she awakened at her companion's home in Xinjiang and separated in tears.

"I could barely handle it and needed to check until I found it was valid, then, at that point, I recently cried," Arkin said. " He's my main one person in the show."

Fu Xueying has watched the series over and again; each time, it becomes on her more. The 20-year-old understudy has visited three Focal Advantage themed bistros, in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, where she felt like she was important for the show.

"'Companions' has been a safe house for my life," Fu said. " Each time I have an excessive amount of tension from school or being miserable, I watch it and fail to remember the things that happened to me."

For mechanical specialist Zhang Fengguang and his fiancee Sun Tiantian, both 30, Perry and the show will continuously be a piece of their lives. In September, Zhang reproduced Chandler and Monica's proposition scene; Sun said OK.

"I utilized his scene and his line," Zhang said. " It seems like I just got to know this tragically missing companion, yet all at once he's recently gone."

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