Our Friendly Review of Matt LeBlanc’s New Series “Episodes”January 21, 2011

Our Friendly Review of Matt LeBlanc’s New Series “Episodes”


On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies and shows on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: "Episodes" (Showtime).
By Jean Tait

I hate L.A. Don’t you hate L.A.? If L.A. didn’t exist, we’d have to invent it just so we could make fun of it. Satire was invented knowing someday L.A. would be there, waiting for it. Yes, I know, it’s been done before, but when it’s done so well, it is completely delightful.
With its new satire on the business of television, “Episodes,” Showtime has hit it out of the ballpark again. Matt Leblanc plays former Friends star Matt LeBlanc, offered the lead in a new TV show based on a hit British show. The writers of the hit British show, husband and wife team Sean and Beverly Lincoln (Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig) come to Los Angeles at the behest of uber-producer Merc Lapidus (John Pankow—in the least fleshed out of the roles), an arrogant, highly successful television tycoon. 
Matt LeBlanc
Matt LeBlanc / Episodes (SHO)
Thinking they are simply going to re-create their British show including their very British star, Julian Bullard (Richard Griffiths), they are quickly sucked into the tacky, money-driven Hollywood system. Beverly fights the sucking, but Sean finds it enjoyable, which adds more tension to their once-unassailable relationship.


In this clash of sensibilities, Merc’s assistant, Carol Rance (Kathleen Rose Perkins), keeps smiling and adapting to whatever she thinks will work in any given situation, all the while never ingesting more than 100 calories a day. This should be a breakout role for Kathleen Rose Perkins, who is absolutely marvelous, keeping up with Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Grieg, and of course, Matt LeBlanc, who gets to finally show a little intelligence under his “Joey” persona. Just a little.
Clever, clever, clever, and witty, too, “Episodes” is delightfully funny. If I were pitching the project, I’d say it’s Slings and Arrows meets “The Comeback.” Smart Brits and a Friends alumnus: a winning combination.

- Jean Tait

Jean Tait is a contributing writer to On Demand Weekly. Currently the Director of Programming for the Connecticut Film Festival, Jean has programmed for the Jacksonville Film Festival and Sundance Channel.

Check out previous reviews by Jean Tait:

Bon Jovi

Showtime's Big Year

Pillars Of The Earth

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