Ordinary Joe

Fall is back! Midseason is back! Pilot season is back! Seasonal broadcast TV development is back on track!

Ordinary Joe had no ordinary path to series. It was originally written in 2009 by Matt Reeves. The pilot wasn’t ordered by NBC until January 2020, in that fateful before-time, the script having been bought but not ready for 2019. Matt Reeves had just EP’d The Passage – one of those special single season series that gives me chills just thinking about it. (The ending was devastating!). Sometimes a push is the right answer – a lot of momentum was lost in the following year for new series. Some of the pilot had been filmed by March 16, 2020. Filming resumed late 2020 and it was ordered to series end of March 2021. By the time it premiered for Fall 2021, the slate was bare and it had a fighting chance.

“Every decision you make, you write your own life story. But you don’t always get to write your own ending. All you can do is chase what you love and see what’s next.”

I enjoyed this series. I love time travel stories, and this related to different timelines. I also really connected to the main character’s love of Billy Joel. During the time this aired I got super into the Billy Joel Sirius XM channel and realized how much I love Billy Joel too. The channel went dead one day and I found out that it was only a temporary channel to promote the live concerts returning to MSG. I was upset! Episode 107 aired shortly after and filled the void. I’ll always appreciate that.

I also appreciate that Joe’s best friend Eric comes out as bisexual to Joe in an onscreen flashback and develops cute, healthy relationships with both men and women onscreen!

One of the strongest aspects of the series is the attention to the character of Joe and Jenny’s son. In every timeline he has a strong character, striking voice, and a form of muscular dystrophy. The kid steals every scene he’s in and is so much fun to watch. I found myself looking forward to his scenes most of all.

I rewatched some episodes as I was writing this, and it stands up to a light rewatch. I’m pleased with the way the first season turned out and look forward to season 2.

James Wolk as Joe Kimbrough in the 2021 NBC drama series Ordinary Joe.  Standing in front of a microphone playing a black acoustic guitar on right side of the frame, looking camera left.
James Wolk holds a blue shirt and red shirt on hangers.  He is standing next to John Gluck who is in a motorized wheelchair with his arms crossed.  They are playing Joe and Christopher Kimbrough in the 2021 NBC fall drama "Ordinary Joe."
John Gluck as Christopher Kimbreau in Ordinary Joe, NBC 2021
Elizabeth Lail as Jenny Banks wearing blue lapel over graduation attire, David Warshofsky as Frank Kimbreau wearing a grey suit and hat with blue button down, and Natalie Martinez as Amy Kindelan wearing orange graduation attire in medium shots in their own boxes on the top half of the picture.  The bottom half is Joe Kimbreau in extreme close up looking confused.  Ordinary Joe, NBC Fall 2021
Natalie Martinez in bed featured in three boxes side by side tinted greed, orange and blue for Ordinary Joe, NBC Fall 2021.
Elizabeth Lail as Jenny Banks sits on a couch in profile.  Jack Coleman as Douglas Banks stands, back to camera.  The view is through closet shutters in Ordinary Joe, NBC Fall 2021.
Anne Ramsay as Gwen Kimbreau touches her forehead standing next to Wynn Everett as Celeste Kimbreau.  The color is tinted blue as Officer Joe's storyline in Ordinary Joe, NBC Fall 2021.
James Wolk, John Gluck and Reinaldo Faberlle sit at a table in an ice cream shop in Ordinary Joe, NBC Fall 2021
Natalie Martinez and James Wolk stand next to each other looking at each other seriously in Music Joe's apartment with brick wall background in Ordinary Joe, NBC Fall 2021
James Wolk wears a yellow t-shirt and Natalie Martinez a denim jacket as they make out in a bathroom with a red wall in 2021 NBC drama Ordinary Joe
Charlie Barnett as Eric Payne sits on a couch far right facing camera.  Next to him is Rushi Kota who plays Sai in the 2021 NBC fall drama Ordinary Joe.
James Wolk wears a t shirt and sits on a couch next to Charlie Barnett in a polo shirt in 2021 Fall NBC drama Ordinary Joe.
Ordinary Joe's three Joes: Nurse Joe on the left in green, Officer Joe in the middle blue, and train wreck Music Joe on the right in orange/red.

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