alibi online
2017 Best of BurqueFree Will AstrologyAlibi's Personals
 V.13 No.39 | September 23 - 29, 2004 

Idiot Box

How's He Doin?

“Joey” on NBC

Anticipation and expectation are a hell of a thing. They can ruin what would otherwise be an acceptable experience. Go into something expecting too much, and you're guaranteed to be disappointed. Based on expectations alone, NBC's new sitcom “Joey” seems like it would be a major disappointment. It's got the onus of continuing one of the most successful sitcom franchises in TV history. It's also being forced to anchor the last crumbling vestige of NBC's once-great “Must See TV” empire. How could it possibly live up to such hype?

Answer: It can't. Viewed in a vacuum, however, “Joey” is a likable little sitcom lark, neither too inventive nor too brain-dead. The “Friends” spin-off follows would-be actor Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) as he moves out to Hollywood to pursue his acting career. There, he hooks up with his trashy older sister (the nicely cast Drea de Matteo formerly of “The Sopranos”) and her brainy college-age kid (Paulo Costanzo). The show puts Joey in an apartment complex run by a sexy but married neighbor (the so-far not-so-interesting Andrea Anders) and has him rooming with his nephew, whose attempts to escape his controlling mother seem, so far, futile.

Right now, de Matteo is the standout castmember, grabbing her role as Gina and holding onto it with real gusto. Costanzo (who's done some funny stuff in Road Trip and Josie and the Pussycats) makes a good counterpoint to our main character. Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie), meanwhile, puts in a funny cameo as Joey's new agent. LeBlanc, for his part, is a seasoned performer and is capable of milking laughs from so-so situations with a combination of snappy delivery and expert timing.

In its first few outings, the show doesn't exactly feel fresh. So far, the writers have made a lot of fun of Joey being dumb (a joke we'd sort of gotten over on “Friends”). We know Joey's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he's got other qualities that could be emphasized as well. It would be nice to see some of the real emotions LeBlanc let loose on the final couple seasons of “Friends” come into play soon. Obviously, by pairing Joey up with his rocket scientist nephew, the producers were hoping for an “Odd Couple”-type pairing. That's OK, but it has been done before.

Still, I'm hopeful for the show. I think it's at a good starting point. No show starts off firing on all four cylinders. The one good part of the show's stellar expectations is that NBC is going to give it the benefit of the doubt for a long time. Instead of canceling it after two or three airings (an event that will happen more than once this fall season), NBC will give it time to find its legs. Once the characters start to develop into real human beings instead of walking punch lines, the jokes will flow more naturally and the entire show will feel less fabricated.

Whether “Joey” ends up as another “Frasier” or another “Golden Palace” (the late, not-so-lamented spin-off of “The Golden Girls”) remains to be seen. But so far, he's doin' OK.

“Joey” airs every Thursday night a 7 p.m. on KOB-4

Today's Events

The Burning Season at National Hispanic Cultural Center


The real-life story of Chico Mendes whose relentless campaigning against the exploitation and destruction of the rainforest led to his assassination in 1990 by ranchers opposed to his activism.

The Indie Scene: N.M. Short Films at South Broadway Cultural Center

Tomorrow's Events

The Secret History of Sex, Choice and Catholics at Harwood Art Center

More Recommended Events ››

  • Select sidebar boxes to add below. You can also click and drag to rearrange the boxes; close using the little X icons on each box. To re-add a box you closed, return to this menu.
  • Because you are not logged in, any changes you make to these boxes will vanish as soon as you click to another page. If you log in, the boxes will stick.
  • Latest Posts
  • Web Exclusives
  • Recent Classifieds
  • Latest User Posts
  • Most Active Users
  • Most Active Stories
  • Calendar Comments
  • Upcoming Alibi Picks
  • Albuquerque
  • Duke City Fix
  • Albuquerque Beer Scene
  • What's Wrong With This Picture?
  • Reddit Albuquerque
  • ABQ Journal Metro
  • ABQrising
  • ABQ Journal Latest News
  • Albuquerque
  • NM and the West
  • New Mexico FBIHOP
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • Only in New Mexico
  • Mario Burgos
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • High Country News
  • El Grito
  • NM Politics with Joe Monahan
  • Stephen W. Terrell's Web Log
  • The Net Is Vast and Infinite
  • Slashdot
  • Freedom to Tinker
  • Is there a feed that should be on this list? Tell us about it.
    Kombat Kitty @ Stoneface
    Kombat Kitty @ Stoneface3.4.2017