Joey: Friends Spin-off, Sunday May 13

joey and the house (5/23);
joey and the e.s.l. (6/23)

Everybody’s favourite ‘Friend’ Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) is back with a new series of the US spinoff sitcom, with double helpings every Sunday evening. The series charts Joey’s new life in LA, where he lives with his feisty sister, Gina (Drea de Matteo, ‘The Sopranos’), and her intelligent but shy son Michael (Paulo Constanzo, ‘Road Trip’).

In the first of tonight’s double bill, Joey decides to spend some of his new-found wealth on a luxurious house, much to Gina’s disapproval, while Alex gives anger management a try.

With the money pouring in from his current movie, Joey has been on a spending spree – Segway machines and a plasma screen TV for “the boring part of the stairs” being just two of his latest purchases. Now he has decided that it would be a good idea to invest some of his money, instead of throwing it down the toilet – literally – and has spotted a house that he is interested in buying.

When Joey and Michael view the house, they cannot figure out why they feel like they have been there before, until the estate agent tells them that it has been used as a location for adult movies! Joey is delighted and decides to put in an offer. “It’s the perfect combination of elegance with a disgusting past!” he exclaims. “It’s me!” Gina, however, is not happy that Joey is making such an extravagant purchase and wrestles the phone off him when the agent calls to tell him his offer has been accepted.

Later, a guilt-stricken Gina resolves to do whatever she can to get the house back for Joey, and is relieved to hear that the seller (guest star Betty White, ‘The Golden Girls’) has rejected the other buyer’s offer. Unfortunately, she is under the impression that Gina is Joey’s wife… and that the ‘couple’ have a young child. Zach promises to help them out by loaning them his girlfriend’s son, but when this falls through and he turns up with an animatronic baby, all hell threatens to break loose…

Also in this first episode, Alex realises that Joey’s view of her as a ‘buddy’ is making her angry. So when Bobbie is forced to seek anger management therapy – for beating up Phil Collins – Alex decides that she could also benefit from a session or two.

In tonight’s second episode, Joey accidentally joins a class for learning English as a second language when he follows a beautiful woman into a classroom, and Gina finds herself in hot water after losing Bobbie a valuable client.

After following the beautiful Maria into a classroom, Joey discovers that he is now in a beginner class for people learning English. Reluctant to give up the opportunity of getting to know Maria better, he decides to chance it and pose as a student – and is soon impressing the teacher with his excellent accent and ability to count to 15 in English. Maria is also taken with Joey’s English skills and agrees to accompany him to a bar after the lesson.

“I am so lucky to be with the smartest guy in class,” she coos. It all seems to be going so well – until a question from the teacher about the subjunctive tense floors the new star pupil. Annoyed that his status as ‘smartest guy in class’ is threatened, Joey resolves to devote his energies to his studies –much to Maria’s chagrin. Can Joey really be trading a beautiful lady for a gold star?

Elsewhere in this second episode, Bobbie is mad at Gina for losing her a valuable client and tells her that she has to find a new one. In desperation, Gina turns to Joey’s hated co-star Lockwood (John Larroquette) and asks him if he is interested in new representation. Joey is unimpressed when Gina’s attempts to win Lockwood over include giving him Joey’s swanky trailer –but there is worse to come…

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