Episodes - In The Press
Main News Stories About 'Episodes':
Showtime comedy Episodes will use Matt LeBlanc's real life appearance on The Graham Norton Show as a storyline for the fictionalised version of himself on the show.
Written by Christopher Hooton. Metro, 21st January 2013
Series two provided little respite for downtrodden British writers Sean and Beverly as they fought to keep their sitcom - and marriage - alive whilst all around them in La La Land were losing their heads. It didn't help that Beverley (Tamsin Greig) had slept with the show's star Matt LeBlanc (Matt LeBlanc), or that Sean (Stephen Mangan) was now sleeping with the female lead. The second season of Episodes continued to offer a smart, funny, hyper-real story of 'normal' people trying to make it in Hollywood.
Tim Glanfield, Radio Times, 25th December 2012
After the unmitigated failure that was Friends spin-off Joey, this British-US comedy threw Matt LeBlanc a potentially dubious lifeline.
Sophie Haslett reviews series two of Episodes, the soft Hollywood satire starring Stephen Mangan, Tamsin Greig and Matt LeBlanc.
Written by Sophie Haslett. The Daily Telegraph, 10th July 2012
James waves a fond goodbye to Episodes, which wraps up a somewhat patchy series with a great finale. Here's his review...
Written by James T. Cornish. Den of Geek, 8th July 2012
So to wrap up, it's another pleasant season, if you want something non-challenging and intermittently funny to just flop in front of, you could do a lot worse than Episodes.
Written by Nick Bryan. The Digital Fix, 7th July 2012
Episodes has been brilliant light relief from the surnames down.
Written by Lucy Mangan. The Guardian, 7th July 2012
Second series of behind-the-scenes television comedy comes to a satisfying conclusion.
Written by Fiona Sturges. The Arts Desk, 7th July 2012
Whenever there are secrets in sitcoms, they never stay secret for long. With Jamie having an affair with Matt, Merc having an affair with Carol and Carol being offered the job Merc doesn't know he's lost yet, there's plenty of dirt to come out in this final episode of season two. Against the backdrop of Merc's 'Man of the Year' award ceremony, and with everyone present, there's also the perfect opportunity for the revelations to emerge. While there are no major surprises in the season's denouement, there are still laughs to be had, especially in one of the later scenes between Sean and Matt. Very watchable even when it's not hilarious, Episodes ends in a manner which leaves the door open for another season without suggesting there'll definitely be one.
Dylan Lucas, Time Out, 6th July 2012
The dark and shameless whirligig of Episodes spins to an end tonight, complete with fighting, kissing, swearing and Sean (Stephen Mangan) doing "his Wallace and Gromit smile".
David Butcher, Radio Times, 6th July 2012
This sitcom about a sitcom, starring Matt LeBlanc, Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig, has never quite lived up to its sizzling potential. However, series two does end on a high: the marriage of big cheese Merc comes under fire from all corners as he gears up for the Man Of The Year event. Plus Nigel Planer pops up as LeBlanc's lawyer - a union that promises a rich seam of comedy if he stays for series three.
Episodes delivers a finale that is nearly all sit and hardly any com. It's Merc's big night at the Man Of The Year Awards, which gives a great opportunity for all the characters to be in the same place. Trouble is the show takes an age to set all this up, forgetting to include any actual jokes as it clumsily moves the pieces into place and reminds us what they've all got at stake. We're left with some desperate, lumbering slapstick and shouting in the final few minutes, the sort of thing a bad soap opera does when it tries to be funny.
Tonight's finale of this soft satire about the making of a US TV series scurries to tie up loose ends and deliver an emotional punch. As with previous episodes, it's a qualified success that doesn't quite manage to seize its comic chances. There's schmaltz: even Matt LeBlanc's character, hitherto the show's most reliably unsentimental, gives a soppy speech. Having said that, the longueurs of plot are regularly buoyed by great zingers: Episodes' strength is in causing sharp intakes of breath when characters say the unsayable. For example, slimy studio boss Merc believes his sightless wife can actually see the odd shape: "And she calls herself blind?" retorts Merc's lover. "What a b---h!" An amusing climactic scene sees fisticuffs at an awards show, and Nigel Planer delivers a wonderful cameo as LeBlanc's lawyer. At the centre of the maelstrom are Beverly and Sean (played faultlessly by Tamsin Greig and Stephen Mangan) as the Brits trying to make sense of the amoral milieu and deciding whether to reunite. Episodes hasn't hit the heights of other shows-within-a-show such as The Larry Sanders Show and Extras, but its swipes at Tinseltown score often enough to please.
Another floundering instalment arrives from series 2 of Episodes.
Written by James T. Cornish. Den of Geek, 2nd July 2012
Dragons! Goblins! Lizard men! Ogres! Harpies! Mermen! Succubi! Just some of the suggestions tossed desperately around a TV network brainstorming session when LA studio boss Merc casts around for ideas. It's a lovely scene that, like so much of the Hollywood material in Episodes, has just enough plausibility, not least because you can imagine that the show's writers - including David Crane of Friends - have been around the studio block enough times to have seen this sort of scattershot creativity with their own eyes.
David Butcher, Radio Times, 29th June 2012
The penultimate episode of this sparkling comedy about two scriptwriters navigating the moron-infested waters of Hollywood. The day doesn't get off to a good start for Matt LeBlanc (playing an exaggerated version of himself) when he wakes up in bed with his stalker Labia (Sophie Rundle). But it's nothing compared to the awkwardness felt between Sean (Stephen Mangan) and Beverly (Tamsin Greig) in the wake of Beverly's date with Rob (James Purefoy).
Matt LeBlanc's weight-gain is the focus in this week's Episodes, which delivers another strong instalment...
Written by James T Cornish. Den of Geek, 23rd June 2012
The one-liners were up to the usual high standard.
Written by Michael Pilgrim. The Telegraph, 22nd June 2012
The stars who appeared as versions of themselves in Ricky Gervais's Extras and Life Is Short were prepared to collaborate in a certain amount of self-mockery, but nothing on a par with this. Matt LeBlanc's caricature takes another humiliating turn as the (fictional) network start to complain that their (fictional) star is putting on weight.
David Butcher, Radio Times, 22nd June 2012
In a nice reversal of standard Hollywood sexism, tonight's slice of this enjoyable, postmodern sitcom, sees leading-man Matt (Matt LeBlanc) under pressure for piling on the pounds. The network bosses want writers Beverly (Tamsin Greig) and Sean (Stephen Mangan) to have a quiet word ("we need hot Matt, not fat Matt"). Matt takes it predictably poorly. Beverly meanwhile has issues of her own. She's off on her first date in a decade and needs some reassurance. Carol (Kathleen Rose Perkins) steps in. "They're going to give you alcohol. They're going to give you food. In two hours you're done. It's like a flight to Omaha."
Another meeting where Bev and Sean think their show is going to be axed turns out to be about something else entirely. The problem they are faced with is one of the more realistic Episodes has dealt with, as Matt LeBlanc's decreased screen time on Pucks! has given him the chance to stuff his face and pile on the pounds. In the more soapy part of the show, Bev goes on a date with Morning's brother Rob (James Purefoy), an apparently normal LA resident, something the show has in very short supply.
The programme has become infamous after its makers mistranslated a gravestone inscription - with disastrous results.
Written by Nathan Jeffay. The Guardian, 17th June 2012
Episodes delivers a great episode in what has so far been an uneven series.
Written by James T. Cornish. Den of Geek, 16th June 2012
It has been said that acting out one side of a telephone conversation is one of the toughest tests for an actor. On that basis, Matt LeBlanc gives something of a masterclass tonight as his character is forced to make a series of humiliating phone calls to his former co-stars on Friends: studio boss Merc wants Matt to rope one of them in for a guest appearance on Pucks! But before all that he has a surprise encounter with his stalker, who turns up in his kitchen unannounced, and topless.
David Butcher, Radio Times, 15th June 2012
Not many of the problems faced by the writers and producers of the show within this show ring particularly true. More credible and much better played is the storyline in which Matt LeBlanc tries to get one of his Friends friends to guest for the all-important sweeps week. Cue lots of scenes of LeBlanc doing one-sided phone conversations that reveal he's managed to insult and offend all his old co-stars.