The SmarK TV Rant for Joey – Episode Five

The SmarK TV Rant for Joey – Season 1, Episode 5

“Joey and the Perfect Storm”

– Originally aired October 7, 2004

“It’s just like the first one, but ON A PLANE!”

Bit of a clunker this week, as this one felt too much like a cheesy sitcom, complete with cliches and caricatures. Nothing to panic about, but considering the source material this show has to live up to, I’d like to be able to expect more out of it than this.

The show (directed by David Schwimmer this time around) follows two threads — first up, Joey decides to start trying for plays instead of movies to help make ends meet, but gets bummed out when he only ends up the understudy for Richard III. However, Michael gives him a pep talk about Lou Gehrig and makes him realize how important it can be to be the guy waiting in reserve for the star to go down. However, since it’s a sitcom and Joey is REALLY dumb, he takes it too far and accepts understudy positions for three different plays, each apparently worse than the next. And of course, all three plays end up with actors calling in sick, and Joey has to understudy all of them. Bobby is no help (although she’s getting funnier as she gets meaner) so Joey goes to one of the sick actors and tries to convince him that the show must go on, but the Lou Gehrig speech doesn’t work as well coming from Joey. Go figure. The payoff once he figures out what to do and memorizes the opening lines from “Richard III” is, shall we say, less than surprising, but still funny.

The other plot thread sees a tenant moving out of the complex, leaving one open, and the boys immediately fear that Gina will move in. Thus, they launch a Wacky Scheme to make sure she doesn’t find out and that someone else gets it, but Howard just can’t hold a secret that big in for long! Even with the promise of Die Hard 2! Of course, at the end everyone makes up and all is well again, which is because it’s a sitcom. I think that’s one of the main differences between a “dysfunctional” family like in this show, and a TRULY dysfunctional one like in Arrested Development. In the latter show, things don’t wrap up nicely at the end of 22 minutes, and the family certainly doesn’t forgive each other. That’s why Joey is funny but not truly brilliant. Yet.

The Good

– Howard returns! You have to love Howard.

– Although the plot was dumb, the show is still funny, especially the ongoing battle between Gina and Alex, and Michael’s incredulous reaction to his mother actually having advice for dating a Cajun girl named Raisin.

– Bobby the Oversexed Agent continues to work well in small, over-the-top doses. Any more would get too annoying, though.

The Not-So-Good

– As mentioned, the plot was so Three’s Company at times that it took me out of the show.

– Joey works best when he’s reacting to the lunacy around him or getting jokes bounced off him, not having to carry the show. When the whole show is all Joey, he just looks like a big dumb actor.

– I once again have to mention that the theme song REALLY REALLY sucks and they need something new, hopefully before the end of the season.