Joey - Sunday July 15

joey and the christmas party (13/22);
joey and the snowball fight (14/22)

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’s Christmas party goes awry when he discovers that his friend Alex has been in love with him for some time.

Having shared a kiss after Joey’s return from Tijuana (see last week’s episode, ‘The Tijuana Trip’), Alex and Joey go to the bedroom to take things further. On the way up, Joey takes the liberty of removing Alex’s bra using his “sexual sleight of hand”. However, when he returns downstairs to grab some champagne, Joey runs into Gina who accidentally reveals the true extent of Alex’s feelings for him. With the girl in his bedroom apparently in love with him, Joey finds himself in the unenviable position of having to turn down sex in order to preserve a friendship. Hurt by the rejection, Alex decides that she needs some space and resolves to avoid Joey’s Christmas party that night.

As the party gets underway, a number of beautiful women arrive and Michael and Zach practise their weak lines on them: “I’ve been with two women now,” asserts the newly confident Michael. “It’s time for me to step up to models!” Despite his friends’ pleas for much-needed assistance with the ladies, Joey finds himself missing Alex and calls her. She eventually arrives, but has only come to tell the host that she has made other plans. “Everything shouldn’t change between us just because of one night,” pleads Joey. “It’s more than just one night for me,” responds Alex, “and I think you know that.”

Joey gets back to his party but cannot shake the disappointment that Alex is not there. Then, a telegram from Alex arrives, telling Joey to look out of the window: she has arranged for snow to fall in LA! The gesture makes Joey realise that he has genuine feelings for Alex, but as he heads across the yard to tell her, is he too late?

In tonight’s second episode, Joey tries to come to terms with Alex’s new relationship; and Michael’s dad, Jimmy, arrives back on the scene.

The morning after the party, Joey is upset to see that his lothario neighbour, Dean, is still at Alex’s place after their night together. “I can’t believe I blew my chance with her!” he bemoans. Gina explains that there is plenty of time, since a relationship with a ladies’ man like Dean cannot last long. However, Joey’s hopes of a quick reunion are dashed when he speaks to Dean before he leaves for brunch with his new girlfriend. “It’s not about the sex,” Dean explains. “I think I could really like Alex!”

Joey now finds himself in a difficult position: he desperately wants to act on his feelings for Alex, but cannot contravene the “dude rule”, which states that one man cannot move in on another’s girl. Confused by his predicament, he argues with Alex, before enjoying a snowball fight with her using the fake snow in the yard. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, will Joey pluck up the courage to tell Alex he loves her?

Elsewhere, Gina’s one-time boyfriend, Jimmy, returns to town and Michael considers revealing what he recently learnt: that he is Jimmy’s son. Michael, Joey and Gina arrange to meet Jimmy at a café, where Gina orders a ginger ale, prompting Joey to make an insightful observation: “Oh my god, you’re pregnant!” he yells. So soon after discovering the true identity of his father, is Michael about to gain a sibling?

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