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Joey Review

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Matt LeBlanc’s Friends spin-off shows his enduring comic appeal but a struggling supporting cast

★★★★★

It would be unreasonable to expect Matt LeBlanc’s Friends spin-off to be as much of a hit as its closest comparator, Frasier. Kelsey Grammer’s relatively minor role in Cheers allowed writers to heavily embellish him for his own series, while Joey is lumbered with the problem of being one of the most recognisable characters in sitcom history, suddenly shorn of five of his best punchlines but having to conform to an established history.

The writers flounder in trying to establish a surefooted set of characters in the struggling actor’s new LA home, but LeBlanc’s well-honed comic talents have saved the series from instant cancellation.