I haven't seen Joey in weeks, since I'm in class Thursday night and I've instructed TiVo to grab the solidly enjoyable Everybody Hates Chris instead. Since I was at home tonight, I thought I'd check back in with everyone's now-least-favorite Friend.
I don't know whose bright idea it was to move Joey to a big house, or, more specifically, a bland, flimsy set that we're meant to believe is a big house. The apartment from Three's Company was more convincingly luxurious than this place.
Who really thought this would fix the show? "I know why people aren't watching. The apartment set is too tacky! Joey needs a house!" Too bad the set design is rushed and half-assed and feels simultaneously empty and claustrophobic. This is a big Hollywood mansion? An oddly-placed, too-prominent "grand stairway" sits awkwardly in the middle of the set, and it's a mark of the designer's laziness that it doesn't even have handrails. It's enough to make you pine for that tacky apartment set, which seemed to have the same amount of square footage anyway (which makes sense--the sound stage is only so big, after all). You can either have your traditional sitcom apartment that's unrealistically big, or you can have a mansion that's obviously too small.
Sorry, Joey set designers. I call this a Downgrade.
Plus, now side characters like the weird stalker/neighbor who always reminds me a little of Sean Keane (or at least, Sean Keane when he's doing an impression of a desperate loser) have no reason to be there, since they're no longer neighbors. If there's one thing this show didn't need, it was to be even more labored and unrealistic.
The episode's plot was also grating, with Drea De Matteo's character made to be an obnoxious shrew forcing everyone else to be miserable in order to follow her elaborately dull Thanksgiving plans.
Watching Joey is like reading Highlights and doing the "What's Wrong With This Picture?". They should have an answer key in the credits. Did I get everything?