View Full Version : I think I've pinpointed the problem with "Joey."

10-09-2005, 01:29 AM
It's how to balance the supporting cast.

Overall, I think the writing and acting have been stronger so far this year, and though they're slowly solving the problem of giving the supporting cast more to do, they're nowhere near there yet.

It's a tricky problem, because with Bobbie now a regular and the new addition of Zach, there's five supporting characters to balance and give equal attention to without taking away from the main character. This is not an ensemble like "Friends" where you can give three of them the focus in one episode, then spotlight the other three the next week. Joey needs to have the 'A' plot each week, and since "Joey" rarely has 'C' plots, that leaves only one plot for any assortment of the remaining five to fill, especially since Joey usually has the 'A' plot to himself, due to his job detaching him from the others.

Since her divorce arc at the end of last season, Alex has been given a good balance of being emphasized without taking attention away from the main character, so keep up the good work with her.

Gina's new job is giving her more material, especially in upcoming episodes from what I've seen, and the producers keep mentioning important storylines for Michael later this year that will more than likely provide more for her in addition to Michael.

Bobbie is fine as is, because she's meant to be nothing more than comic relief, which is good, since her character is best in small doses. Involve her in a storyline once in awhile, but fleshing out or humanizing her character is not necessary. And with Joey as her client and Gina as her secretary, those connections allow her to integrate with the other characters (for example, Alex meeting Gina at her office and running into Bobbie there, or Bobbie visiting Joey on set and starting a conversation with Zach).

Zach is really the only one who's left up in the air. Aside from his fairly large role in the season premiere, he's had nothing to do other than provide the function of being someone for Joey to talk to at work. Give him storylines and involve him more in the lives of the other characters, and he'll work out fine.

I think the best solution is to create a faster pace that will allow for a 'C' plot. The pace will go well with the tone they're trying to set for LA (i.e. the 'fast-forwarded' exterior/establishing shots they use a lot). Another solution is to include other characters into Joey's 'A' plots more often. With Bobbie as his agent, Zach as his co-worker and Gina working for Bobbie, there's a number of ways to get any of them involved in his crises at work, but we rarely see more of that than Zach standing around the set or Bobbie calling Joey after the crisis has already occurred. Find a way to get them more hands-on involved. Joey getting Bobbie to coerce his co-star out of her dressing room in "JAT Taste Test" is a good example of what I was thinking.


Brian Damage
10-09-2005, 01:46 AM
Very good, well thought out points. I do think that the writers were getting a bit desperate by hotshotting Joey's career success and love life.

10-09-2005, 12:46 PM
I agree that you can throw other characters into the A-Plot, but they have to make sure they do NOT do what they did last year: throw Joey into the other plots. Joey had something to do with the A, B, and C plots and that was just too much because Joey was doing too much. It's not believable that this guy could handle all this. And the character started losing its luster very quickly.

So yeah, there has to be a very delicate balance and it's a problem they've handled far better this year, but that they still have a long way to go.

10-09-2005, 10:50 PM
Yes, that too. Joey should be the obvious main character of the show without having to make the show all about him.