A number of TV shows have taken place in Pittsburgh over the years. There was Mr. Belvedere in the 80s, My So-Called Life in the 90s, Queer as Folk in the aughts, and most recently This is Us. And while Milo Ventimiglia’s and Mandy Moore’s Pearson family proudly represented the Black & Gold, a new drama could probably be considered the most Steelers-centric show of them all. It’s the BET+ original series Average Joe.
Average Joe stars Deon Cole as Joe Washington, a diehard Steelers fan who works as a plumber in Pittsburgh, specifically in Highland Park. After his father Teddy’s passing, Joe learns that his dad lived a secret life and stole money from some dangerous people. Now, those people think Joe has the money, and they want it back. Joe’s fandom creates several moments that would make any Yinzer scream, “Double Yoi!”
Here are the five best.
(WARNING: Minor spoilers ahead)
No. 5: A Christmas Tradition
In a flashback to “last year,” we learn that Joe and “Touch” Tuchawuski (Michel Trucco) share a Christmas tradition: gifting each other Terrible Towels.
“New year, new towel, new chance for a Super Bowl. That’s just how it goes,” Joe says. And it makes sense IRL. Pittsburgh has had three instances where they’d already been eliminated from playoff contention by Christmas Day in the 2000s, and only once under Mike Tomlin.
No. 4: A QB Connection
Leon (Malcolm Barrett) and Cathy Montgomery (Cynthia Kaye McWilliams) spend the entire season trying to reclaim some sense of power in their marriage and working-class lives. When they finally get a win over the owner of a chop shop, their celebration is interrupted by an odd discovery: Teddy’s Terry Bradshaw and Neil O’Donnell license plate holders.
Why would Joe’s father want to commemorate the losing quarterback of Super Bowl XXX? The answer could unlock the show’s central mystery.
No. 3: The healing power of the Terrible Towel
Joe quickly learns that the men looking for his dad’s money are serious, and his body takes a beating that would make Ben and Bradshaw wince. With no gauze or bandages in sight, he hilariously turns to the next best thing: Myron Cope’s Terrible Towel.
No. 2: Deal-sealing seats
Joe’s father Teddy seemingly had one prized possession before his passing: his Pittsburgh Steelers season tickets. In the wake of his death, the biggest question on everyone’s mind is who will Joe share them with. So when the ish hits the fan, the price for loyalty is steep; Acrisure Stadium steep.
No. 1: Teddy’s last words
The series opens with a memorial for Joe’s father Teddy, who just recently passed. This is where we learn Teddy’s final words to his son, which has something to do with feeding beans to the biggest thorns in the Steelers’ side for the past two decades.
Average Joe debuted on BET+ in June, but all 10 episodes are now also streaming on Paramount+.