TV Article

Two Timing

Why ''Friends''' new love story seems so familiar. Joey and Ross both get involved with an African-American woman in an upcoming arc -- just as they did in a 2001 episode

Aisha Tyler, Gabrielle Union | DEJA VIEW Union (right) played a love interest for Joey and Ross in 2001; Tyler will play one in April
Image credit: Aisha Tyler: Tsuni/Getty Images; Gabrielle Union: Jim Spellman/WireImage.com
DEJA VIEW Union (right) played a love interest for Joey and Ross in 2001; Tyler will play one in April

Don't accuse the ''Friends'' gang of not recycling. An April 24 story arc, in which an attractive African-American woman (former ''Talk Soup'' host Aisha Tyler) becomes involved in a love triangle with Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and Ross (David Schwimmer), seems strangely similar to a 2001 episode in which an attractive African-American neighbor (Gabrielle Union) became involved in a love triangle with -- you guessed it! -- Joey and Ross. The déjà vu wouldn't be that notable except that ''Friends''' depiction of New York City is notoriously lily-white.

But exec producer David Crane insists the producers didn't set out to cast a black actress -- they just ''loved'' Tyler. ''The other story line [with Union] was quick and funny, where the two guys didn't realize they were dating the same girl,'' says Crane. ''Charlie Wheeler [Tyler] is a brilliant paleontologist who should be dating someone like Ross, but hooks up with Joey first. She really only dated paleontologists, but now she is with a soap star.'' How about at least changing the triangle? Newly single Phoebe could use some lovin'.

(Additional reporting by William Keck and Dan Snierson)

Originally posted Mar 07, 2003 Published in issue #700 Mar 14, 2003 Order article reprints
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