The SmarK TV Rant for Joey: Episode 2
Original airdate: September 16, 2004
“They call me the Notezi”
I guess they’re counting the pilot as “episode zero” or something, judging by this week’s title. Next week is “Joey and the Party”, so hopefully they’ll have a naming structure in place by then.
While not as funny as Friends yet, the show is definitely showing a marked improvement in overall quality this week. It appears the plan is going to be less forced sitcom humor and more just allowing the main characters to play off each other, which is fine with me. While the laughs weren’t as frequent or memorable as the pilot, they were better laughs, if you know what I mean.
This week, Joey (still without a means of income) decides that it’s time for new roommate Michael to have less quality time with mom, and after seeing her leave his room in her pajamas, who wouldn’t make the same judgment? Gina doesn’t want to give up the fight that easily, however, so Joey schedules a little manly bar-hopping time with his new protege to hopefully chase the dorkiness out of him. Gina wants to go along (“I make a great wingman!” she cheerfully declares, something you just don’t WANT to hear from your mom) but when they snub her, she retaliates by ratting out her son’s fake ID to the bar and thus blackmailing them into letting her come along for the next excursion. The most solidly funny part of the episode follows, as Joey and Gina trade theories on dating (as Joey notes, nine “ones” is pretty dangerous stuff) and Michael gets increasingly embarrassed. That’s the dynamic they need to hit, with Gina being a tramp and Michael playing straight man ala Topher Grace on That 70s Show. Luckily, he hooks up with a solid five by the end of the show. Meanwhile, the plot thickens between Joey and his married lawyer pal Alex, as he discovers that she’s either the superintendent in hiding, or has the same handwriting teacher. And apparently, underwear is see-through in hot water. Who knew? Solid stuff for the second (first?) episode, and now it’s very much on my must-see viewing list.
– No obnoxious agent this week, thankfully. If that character is gonna work at all, it has to be played in very small doses, and luckily they didn’t start hammering it into the ground right away.
– Great chemistry between the leads, which a show needs to be believable. Gina and Joey are great together, and if not for the fact they were already cast as siblings, they’d make a great romantic foil for each other.
– Better pacing and structure than the pilot, which was kind of all over the place at times. This one had a point to make, and made it.
– The theme song blows. I was hoping it was a temp track while they got the rights to “I Love LA”, but I guess not.
– Nothing else, really. It was consistently funny from start-to-finish.