Joey hit TV screens months after Friends’ finale episode aired in 2004. It was a spin-off television show of Friends. In this show, Joey moves to LA to pursue his acting career.
Matt LeBlanc has admitted that his Friends spin-off show Joey was destined to fail.
The Friends spin off Joey was slammed by critics and proved an audience turn-off after launching when LeBlanc was at the peak of his fame. ‘It was doomed from the start. In Friends I was sharing a 22-minute episode with six other characters. In Joey the script was all me,’ he told Radio Times. ‘It was a lot of responsibility. The pressure was so much, I remember feeling like an elephant had sat on my head,’ he further added.
We’ve shortlisted some possible reasons why the Friends spin-off of a truly beloved character Joey Tribbiani of the mind blowing blockbuster sitcom of all time was such a huge flop-
- Joey’s character was altered too much by scriptwriters and he was no longer the ‘Joey’ Friends fans knew and loved. Friends was simply magic. The cast was incredible, the stories fresh and hilarious. The most important part of the show was the six friends. I’ve even heard from one of the writers that the best episodes they had were when they were able to get the entire cast in one room–which is why their Thanksgiving episodes were always the greatest. They thrived together as friends. Which makes you wonder how Joey would survive alone.
- Friends was about the group as a whole and what made it great was how each character plays off the other characters in every scene. The chemistry that the cast had was magical, which never got old! Each character in the group of six friends had some individual traits and were unique but they couldn’t amuse people on their own and needed the rest of the group members to complement them. ‘Joey’ was like an engine driving itself without a wheelbase, petrol and the driver.
- With a group like that, each character on their own would make a show repetitive as the same types of jokes must be used all the time. A solution would be to create another ensemble of cast members that are equally exaggerated and can carry the show with Joey, but I didn’t think the other characters in that show did the job. The other characters in Joey are not funny at all and are even more prototype than the friends.
- It was devastating for FRIENDS fan to even think that Joey parted ways with the group. This was something the writers should have thought beforehand. They did’nt even keep Joey in touch with his friends. Say for instance, a scene can start with Joey on the phone with Phoebe saying something simple like,”Nice talking to you, Pheebs, but I got to go.” Or when he was premiering in a new film, he received gift baskets–why couldn’t any of those baskets be from Chandler and Monica or Ross and Rachel? It would have been so simple, not having to pay for the actual stars, but keeping those beloved characters alive in a realistic way.
- They completely abandoned the character’s history. Fans were invested in him for ten years, then he moves away from all of his closest friends and barely even mentions them again? The entire first season should have been about how Joey adjusted to life, no longer one of six. At least his new life should have unfolded slowly.
- At the end of the Friends series, Joey gets a new duck and chick, but when he moves to Los Angeles on the first episode of Joey, the duck and chick aren’t even mentioned. It was quite hard to get into.
- Throughout the two series run, they kept throwing in new characters in hopes to develop a steady cast, but it seemed forced and unnatural.
Joey’ was a big failure despite it was a spinoff of our favorite sitcom FRIENDS. But as it is said- ‘Every dark cloud has a silver lining!’ Matt LeBlanc pointed out there was a bright side to the airing of the two-series show as he quipped, ‘I made 30 million dollars, I’d like another one of those failures!’
So did you like the idea of this spinoff? Are there any other FRIENDS characters that cross your mind that could have turned into successful spinoffs? Do let us know in the comments below.