Thursday, January 27, 2005

Pal Joey

It's Thursday night, and time to wonder why the Friends spinoff Joey doesn't quite work.

Oh yes, it has its moments. But it falls short. Part of the problem may be the supporting characters. Joey's sister, for instance, is depicted as being one (very short) step above the level of a hooker. She's too skanky and scuzzy to be really likable. Joey's nephew is supposed to be a computer genius who's too geeky to get a date, but the actor who plays him looks like he stepped out of a Gap ad. This guy can't get a date? Hey, I've been a dateless geek, and I've known dateless geeks, and this kid, my friends, is not a dateless geek.

The only supporting character who is genuinely funny is Joey's agent. She livens up the show whenever she's around. The guy in the apartment complex who wants to be Joey's pal has potential but hasn't been used much. The blonde, wholesome apartment manager is pretty but blah, or maybe she's just pretty blah.

I thought the show would improve once Joey got a regular acting gig, but his role in a prime-time soap (the fictional series Deep Powder) hasn't sparked many laughs. The writers don't seem to get it. Yes, Joey was in a soap opera before, and it was funny. But it wasn't funny because it was a soap opera. It was funny because Joey, who is an idiot, played the role of a brilliant, world-famous neurosurgeon. In Deep Powder, he plays ... well, I'm not sure what he's supposed to be. The guy who owns the ski lodge? Whatever it is, it's not funny.

I'm still rooting for this show to succeed. I was a big fan of Friends and would like to see this spinoff work. The producers are planning to bring in new characters and cast members, presumably to make Joey's world seem a little less underpopulated.

Right now, though, Joey is looking more like AfterM*A*S*H than Frasier. And that's no joke.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right about Bobbi, Joeys agent. She is great and deserves more time. Maybe she deserves her own show and Joey and guest star on it. Just an idea.

February 17, 2005 2:08 PM  

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