After Friends ended in 2004, Matt LeBlanc signed off on a spin-off, Joey, which would air on NBC for two seasons before being cancelled in 2006 due to low ratings. The TV series shows the Friends character Joey as he leaves the rest of the group behind to pursue his acting career in Hollywood. However, he soon discovers that fame and fortune doesn’t come as easy as he had expected, and Joey finds himself unemployed with only minor roles every once in a while.
I think the series played off on a lot of common stereotypes about Los Angeles, and I also think it did a good job in proving a lot of them wrong. Joey initially moves to California thinking he will become a famous actor, and as many people like him, he comes to find out that life in Los Angeles isn’t as glamorous as he thought. Much like Arturo Bandini in Ask the Dust, Joey has an expectation of Los Angeles that isn’t necessarily true, leading him to be disappointed when he discovers how hard it is to be successful.
Joey also seems to be under the impression that everyone in California works in the entertainment industry, and he is surprised to find that many of his new friends are just regular people. One character that does a good job in balancing out this stereotype is Joey’s roommate and nephew, Michael, who is a 20-year old college student studying rocket science. I think this character, being a complete opposite of the male Hollywood stereotype, brings a lot of value to the show, and makes it more realistic.
I really enjoyed watching this show, and as someone who didn’t grow up in California, I found it to be true to many misconceptions people have of Los Angeles. It’s a bit tricky to find online, but it’s a fun show to watch if you’re a fan of Friends.