Joey - Sunday August 5

joey and the dad (15/22);
joey and the party for alex (16/22)

Continuing on Five tonight is the second series of the US spin-off sitcom starring everybody’s favourite ‘Friend’, Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc). With double helpings on Sunday evenings, 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 tonight’s first episode, Joey flies his dad to LA to attend the glittering premiere of his movie, only to find his father is less than enthusiastic about his career; and Carmen Electra’s new billboard threatens to overshadow Joey’s film.

Joey can barely contain his excitement ahead of the premiere of his action movie, and has even arranged for his dad, Joseph Tribbiani Sr (Robert Costanzo, who played the same role in ‘Friends’), to fly first class to LA to attend the event. Joey is delighted to have his father around, but Alex is puzzled by the fact that Joseph Sr seems to be unimpressed by his son’s success. “Your dad should be really proud of him,” she says to Gina. However, Gina points out that Joey never notices his father’s disdain: “Joey hears what he wants to hear,” she explains.

Alex does her best to ignore Joseph Sr’s comments, but is eventually compelled to make Joey see the truth. At first Joey does not believe her, but when his father is unable to name any of Joey’s characters or TV appearances, the spell is broken: “It’s obvious he thinks my career is stupid,” Joey says. Nevertheless, he is certain that his father will enjoy the star-studded premiere – until Joseph Sr leaves halfway through. Can Joey get to the bottom of his father’s apathy?

Also in this episode, Joey is thrilled to see a giant billboard of his face rise above the streets of LA, only for movie star Carmen Electra (playing herself) to unveil a stunning, scantily-clad image of herself on the board next to it. As the crowds gaze up at the eye-catching advert, Joey bemoans its impact: “This is a disaster!” he says. “No one’s even going to look at my billboard!” Despite his disappointment, Joey happily accepts the offer of a date with Carmen, and hopes to make up for a previous occasion when he turned her down (see the episode, ‘Joey and the Temptation’).

In tonight’s second helping of Joey, Alex has a crisis on the eve of her 30th birthday; Michael embarks on a career as a DJ; and Gina and Jimmy take their relationship to the next level.

Joey is awakened at midnight by a flustered Alex, upset about her imminent milestone: “I’m freaking out!” she says. “I’m about to turn 30 and my life is one huge disappointment!” Joey calms her down, but struggles to conceal his true feelings for her, until Zach offers some advice: “You got to remind her of when she saw you as more than a friend,” he says. So Joey decides to take advantage of the fact that Alex’s boyfriend, Dean, is away and organises a special dinner for the two of them.

However, the evening does not go to plan when Dean cancels his trip and turns up on Joey’s doorstep just before Alex arrives. Joey is forced to grit his teeth as Dean organises a party for Alex and lets slip that he plans to propose to her. In the event, it is the eccentric Jimmy who prompts Joey to action: “You want this girl – do what you got to do,” Jimmy says. But can Joey speak to Alex before Dean pops the question?

Meanwhile, Michael develops a new hobby as a DJ, providing the music for Alex’s party. And Gina and Jimmy decide to get matching tattoos.

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