1) The writing by David Crane & Jeffrey Klarik is super sharp and very funny. 2) The cast, from lead to support, are excellent--Matt LeBlanc stars alongside two superb British actors, Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig. I'm so happy to have discovered all three of them* and, 3) Episodes is from Showtime, who rarely miss when they aim for great.
*More on Matt in a bit.
What Episodes is about: 'Husband and wife writing team Sean and Beverly can't wait to bring their successful British television series across the pond to make it big in America. But in true Hollywood fashion, it quickly becomes a laughable, clichéd sitcom - starring none other than Matt LeBlanc. Matt not only messes with their beloved show, he rocks the foundation of their relationship. So now, even if they survive the absurdity of show business, will their marriage survive Matt LeBlanc?'
Episodes takes on some familiar territory but does so with verve, biting humour, and originality.
Matt LeBlanc stars as himself starring in a TV comedy, so it is structured as a show within a show. My reaction to a Matt LeBlanc-led production was not quite as extreme as Beverly's (Tamsin Grieg)--utter horror--but I'd wasn't familiar with his work other than via all the 'Joey' jokes that were made about the character LeBlanc played in the much-loved American sitcom, 'Friends.' Turns out, I like the guy!
LeBlanc as well, Matt LeBlanc, is a bit of an arse in Episodes. He well aware that he's thought of as such and is first to admit to his own foibles, making him quite likable despite his sometimes extremely annoying behaviour. In sharp contrast to LeBlanc, Merc Lepidus (John Pancow) the president of the network, is utterly spoiled, mercurial, unfaithful to his spouse and un-loyal to everyone in general. He's a perfect example of someone rising to the level of their ineptitude. Pancow nails the character, making Merc easily despicable.
The hapless writers in Episodes, Sean and Beverly, are a husband-wife writing team who accepted the offer of a lifetime to jump across the pond from their British successes with their award-winning series to a chance to strike it bigger in Hollywood. Previous to Episodes, I'd not seen any of the work done by Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig, and I'm so very glad to have discovered them. They worked together with much acclaim in their native U.K. and it's immediately apparent why. The chemistry is intense and appealing and they are very funny.
Enjoy a look at the sure-to-be a hit, Episodes which premieres on SHOWTIME Sunday, January 9th at 9:30 PM ET/PT:
From the people behind Friends and Mad About You comes a new comedy series about making it 'Big in Hollywood.'
'All the jobs are cheating!' LOL!
Screwed, Hollywood Style
EPISODES premieres on SHOWTIME Sunday, January 9th at 9:30 PM ET/PT, following the Season Four premiere of CALIFORNICATION, and followed by the series premiere of SHAMELESS. Encores will be broadcast throughout the week and available On Demand and on Showtime Anytime™.