Ordinary Joe

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The first time I saw a commercial for this new NBC series. I said to myself, "This is going to be like This is Us" and my instincts were on the money about that. I just watched the pilot for this new NBC hour long drama about the road possibly taken that will definitely appeal to This is Us fans. The show opens at the 2011 graduation ceremony at Syracuse University, where we meet Joe, late for the ceremony who meets Amy, and confesses to her that he aspires to be the next Billy Joel. We then meet his on again off again girlfriend Jenny, who invites Joe to her parents' beach house. Joe's narration then introduces us to his BFF Eric and his mother and uncle, who have always wanted Joe to go to the police academy, in the tradition of his deceased war hero dad. The show then flashes forward and we are introduced to three different versions of Joe's life: Rock star Joe is living with Amy, a budding politician who he is trying to convince to have a baby; Nurse Joe is married to Jenny and the father of a handicapped child, though Joe and Jenny are on the verge of divorce; Cop Joe is introduced saving the life of a political candidate and Amy is his campaign manager and becomes involved with Joe. I think I got that right. Like This is Us, this show is going to require a scorecard to keep up with exactly what is going on with Rock Star Joe, Nurse Joe, and Cop Joe because the same events and characters flow in and out of each of Joe's life. There was actually a totally surreal scene in the pilot where Nurse Joe walks into his high school reunion and Rock star Joe is onstage performing a song he wrote for the reunion, though Rock star Joe is off camera. If I had a complaint about the premise, Rock star Joe's life seems awfully tame for a rock star but that could change. James Wolk works very hard to make all three Joes work, though I'm not really buying Rock Star Joe yet. Loved Elizabeth Lail as Jenny,. Charlie Barnett as Eric, and Adam Rodriguez as the slick politician, but it's a little too similar to This is Us to find a real audience and I will be impressed if it makes a full season on the air.



Just finished ep 2, which came off as trying to cover a little too much territory as we found the three Joes in the midst of the 20th anniversary of 9/11. As ep 2 closed, I'm finding Nurse Joe to be the most realistic life that we're being presented thus far. Felt his pain about getting up to that podium and reading his father's name. I was impressed that Rock Star Joe isn't going to get to meet his son instantly just because he wants to. Cop Joe seems to be headed toward resenting his father's shadow. Speaking of Joe's father, I really didn't think the flashbacks to Joe and his father added much to the proceedings. I understand the purpose, but this show is already challenging to follow without the flashbacks to Joe's childhood. And I'm pretty sure that Jenny going to law school is going to be the straw in the camel's back for Nurse Joe's marriage. James Wolk is working very hard at being credible in these three roles, but for some reason, as I watched this episode I kept picturing another actor who really could have been wonderful in all three of these roles. Jake Gyllenhaal would have been incredible in this show, but I'm going to keep watching anyway.



Well, ep 3 kept me interested enough in the show to want to keep watching, despite the fact that I'm finding one of the three lives depicted more compelling than the other two. The story of Nurse Joe is the one that is really keeping interested...his determine to fix his marriage is genuinely moving and it might finally be starting to work. It looks like Rock Joe's obsession might ruin his marriage as she has officially thrown her hat in the political ring and wants to be more than the wife of a rock star. Loved when Rock star Joe found himself on the phone with Rock Star Jane's husband. I love the way some elements of each of Joe's interlock and how the supporting characters have different jobs in each of Joe's life. For example, Rock Star Joe's Best friend Eric is his manager and is dating Jenny; in Nurse Joe's life, he's a gourmet chef who's dating Amy, and in Cop Joe's wife, he is a married pizza delivery guy waiting on the birth of his first child. Loved that moment in the hospital where Cop Joe is talking to DA Jenny and she gets a phone call from Nurse Joe and Christopher wishing her a happy birthday. There's a whole lot of suspension of disbelief required here and only one of the three lives (Nurse Joe) is really working forme, but I think I am going to keep watching for awhile.



Just finished ep 4 and Nurse Joe is still the only story that is keeping my attention. Rock star Joe is too self-absorbed and Cop Joe's heart doesn't seem to be in what he's doing. Like that their adding some dimensions to Adam Rodriguez' Congressman Diaz. Another thing crossed my mind while watching this episode. Since I really don't see this show lasting an entire season, I was wondering if the writers are allowed to write a proper finale for the show, will we find out that one of these lives is really the path Joe took and the other two unrealized dream/fantasies?



LOVED the big reveal in ep 5 that Joe's best friend, Eric is bisexual and I wondered why they waited until the fifth episode for the reveal...maybe because it officially makes him the most interesting character on the show and his character is not really where the focus is supposed to be. Charlie Barnett is doing exemplary work in this deceptively complex role. I have to say that I'm really starting to hate Rock Star Joe and Bobby Diaz, all three versions of him. Rock Star Joe is just obsessed with completely uprooting Chris' life, he's moving way too fast. He doesn't seem to care that Chris is happy and doesn't seem to care about the fact that Chris learning who he is might not be the best thing for Chris. Glad that Nurse Joe and Jenny were able to work things out so that Chris can be in Guys and Dolls...looking forward to that. Hating the fact that every word of Bobby's mouth seems to be a lie now and there was no justification for him having Rock Star Joe followed. The only thing about Cop Joe that's working for me is that it's the only life of the three where Jenny and Amy actually interact with each other.



Ep 6 was full of surprises as the supporting characters for each Joe were all strategically placed in different roles in each Joe's life. Adam Rodriguez did some strong work as the three Bobby Diaz characters. Loved the Bobby Diaz that was supposed to begin rehab with Nurse Joe, though it was a little sappy and predictable the way he was inspired by Chris. I was blown away by the reveal of Nurse Joe's Uncle Frank that didn't see coming and it was a little squirm worthy that Cop Joe's Uncle Frank might be a little dirty. I still think Rock Star Joe is being really selfish...he had to know that Tik Tok duet was a bad idea. Despite Zeke's amazement and joy at the attention from Rock Star Joe, Rock Star Joe's determination to be part of Zeke's life can't end well. I did love Rock Star Joe and Nurse Joe's confession scenes to Amy and Jenny, respectively though. Can't believe this show stull has my attention I wonder if anyone else is watching.



Ep 6 was full of surprises as the supporting characters for each Joe were all strategically placed in different roles in each Joe's life. Adam Rodriguez did some strong work as the three Bobby Diaz characters. Loved the Bobby Diaz that was supposed to begin rehab with Nurse Joe, though it was a little sappy and predictable the way he was inspired by Chris. I was blown away by the reveal of Nurse Joe's Uncle Frank that didn't see coming and it was a little squirm worthy that Cop Joe's Uncle Frank might be a little dirty. I still think Rock Star Joe is being really selfish...he had to know that Tik Tok duet was a bad idea. Despite Zeke's amazement and joy at the attention from Rock Star Joe, Rock Star Joe's determination to be part of Zeke's life can't end well. I did love Rock Star Joe and Nurse Joe's confession scenes to Amy and Jenny, respectively though. Can't believe this show still has my attention I wonder if anyone else is watching.

I've been watching "Ordinary Joe" too. I like the show, but it gets confusing trying to keep up with how the other characters are related to Joe in each of his lives. I didn't even realize that his uncle was missing in the life where he's the nurse until it was revealed in the last episode.
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OK, just when I was getting in the flow of this show, ep 7 totally messed with my head. As it began, I found myself stopping the tape and making sure I was watching the correct episode because I wasn't sure what was going on. Once I realized I was watching the correct episode, I started to freak out when I realized what they were doing. Are we going to eventually see six different Joes from three different points of view? My head started to hurt about halfway through this episode as I wondered if I'm actually going to be able to keep track of all of this. But if I could keep up with This is Us, I guess I could keep up with this...I'm going to give it a try anyway. This is a very ambitious undertaking, even the cast has to get confused at times.



There was some Emmy-worthy work from David Warshofsky in ep 8 as Nurse Joe's Frank brought further conflict and pain to his family's life while feeling betrayed by Cop Frank. It was hard to tell whether we were still on the switched look at Joe's life until it was revealed that Bobby Diaz died in Rock Star Joe's life. i don't understand how he would die in that life and not die in the other Joes' lives? I can't believe Jenny went to her law professor complaining about the stress of being a single mother? She's so much smarter than that. And what was Amy thinking displaying that watch during Bobby's funeral? I understand the look back at Amy's childhood incident but I don't think we really needed it. This show is already covering too much territory as it is.



As ep 9 rolled...the first thing that went through my mind is if the three Joes I was about to watch were from the Joe who went to the beach house after graduation or the one who didn't. I realized I had no idea, which had me questioning why we even had to delve into the operative path for Joe. The concept of this series is already overly complex and it's not getting any simpler. This ep had a little too much syrupy melodrama for my taste. I hate that two new possible romantic triangles might be introduced through Nurse Joe and Jenny. These wto have enough issues right now. There was some great acting in this episode...Wyn Everett dominated the screen with every moment she had as Aunt Celeste and David Warshofsky should be prepping an Emmy reel. That first scene with James Wolk banging on the drums started off really annyoing but Charlie Barnett saved it.