Episodes - In The Press
Main News Stories About 'Episodes':
There are series that become critical darlings but never attract a large enough audience to be viable. There are ones that the critics hate but the viewers adore. There are some that manage to score on both fronts, pleasing all of the people all of the time, and become runaway successes. And then there's the fourth type: those series few people really care about, yet which for some reason, just keep being recommissioned.
Written by Pat Stacey. The Irish Herald, 1st July 2015
Now in its fourth series, the Anglo-American show-within-a-show has got looser, broader, dafter, ruder - and as unmissable as Matt LeBlanc's greatest hit.
Written by Dan Martin. The Guardian, 30th June 2015
In his best Episodes, LeBlank is the cable-friendly counterpart to Curb Your Enthusiasm curmudgeon Larry David.
Written by Ellen E. Jones. The Independent, 29th June 2015
Jealous studio boss Helen Basch (Andrea Savage) hates Tamsin Greig's Beverly because she thinks she loves her girlfriend Carol (Kathleen Rose Perkins). Helen also hates the oily Merc Lapidus so she sets him up to do a game show with his sworn enemy, the cash-strapped Matt LeBlanc. Matt's not talking to Sean (Stephen Mangan) and Beverly either, because the Brit abroad writers snubbed his services for their hot new show.
Feeling that their show is being outmuscled big time by rivals in the Emmy campaign, David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik decided to take things into their hands with an ad they scribbled on a white sheet of paper.
Deadline, 18th June 2015
If Matt's money worries weren't bad enough, his dad's heart attack could push him over the edge. Dick LeBlanc (a fabulously grouchy Alex Rocco) is living in a condo that his cash-strapped son needs to sell. But will he survive surgery?
When Matt's dad is taken ill with chest pains, Bev and Sean find themselves somehow embroiled in the mess, which Matt's stepmother thinks has been brought on by the recent revelation that Matt now owes $8m to the IRS thanks to his previous dodgy accountant. Luckily, a few signed Friends photos - some scrawled by Bev and Sean - grease the wheels in the hospital. Meanwhile, Carol's fling with boss Helen is getting serious. They're on pet names already, and it's only been two weeks.
The Matt LeBlanc comedy has been on form this series, partly because it has been unafraid of pushing the boundaries of taste. And this episode is another deliciously questionable corker that sees Matt agreeing to make a paid celebrity appearance at a war criminal's birthday party in order to allay his growing financial worries. It's either that or leaking a sex tape.
The actor, 47, on wearing tights, how Green Wing changed his life, and why he wouldn't want to be more famous.
Written by Ed Cumming. The Guardian, 6th June 2015
The satire is nicely even-handed, with the Brits as guilty of prissiness as the Americans are of shallowness -- and in both cases without ever seeming despicable, merely somewhere between ambitious and scared.
A lot of heads wake up from a lot of pillows in this episode, and they all groan "What have I done?" Carol (Kathleen Rose Perkins) and her boss, the wonderfully monikered Helen Basch (Andrea Savage), face the morning after the night before - as do Matt and his ex-wife. "How much tequila did I have?" wonders the erstwhile Mrs LeBlanc. "Just enough," he replies with a smirk and his usual superb timing.
Halfway through our interview I notice that Stephen Mangan has swung his legs over the arm of his hotel armchair. The posture - relaxed, informal, friendly and also perhaps a bit weary -does speak of the man. After all, he's in the middle of run at the National Theatre of the Ayckbourn-esque drama Rules for Living.
Written by Gerard Gilbert. The Independent, 28th May 2015
Matt's money worries come to a head and you don't need to be a committed LeBlanc watcher to know that he will probably live to regret his unusual solution. Sean and Beverly face problems of their own when Sean's ex-writing partner comes to town and (in a departure from David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik's usually deft plotting) delivers a somewhat implausible missile that may sink them yet.
You know times are hard when you've got to sell your dinosaur egg.
Matt LeBlanc has money problems and, knowing Matt as we do, he is pretty ruthless when he's in a hole. This episode sees the former Friends star's ghastly alter ego encourage his ex-wife to marry her inappropriate boyfriend (the alimony's a bit steep) and face the dreaded possibility of selling his vineyard. He may even have to let his beach cleaner go. Meanwhile, the entire LA TV industry seems to be after the new script written by Brit exiles Sean (Stephen Mangan) and Beverly (Tamsin Greig), who have somehow found their way back to La La Land.
Episodes has so much going for it. It's co-written by David Crane, the clever writer mainly responsible for Friends! It has Joey from Friends in the shape of Matt LeBlanc playing himself, Matt, as an older, greyer and slappably unwiser version of Joey from Friends! It has Tamsin Greig! And Kathleen Rose Perkins! And it's really underwhelming!
Episodes, the comedy in which Matt LeBlanc plays Matt LeBlanc in a TV show about making a TV show, began its fourth series this week. Television has been making shows about making shows for many years, with mixed success. The problem, as with actors talking about acting, is that people at home tend not to consider television to be quite as important as the people who make it. Most of us worry more about running out of rinse aid.
"As much a wry look at US/Brit foibles as an in-joke TV industry satire"
Written by Ben Dowell. The Radio Times, 11th May 2015
The only relief came from Tamsin Greig and Stephen Mangan in the return of Episodes, says Tom Rowley.
Written by Tom Rowley. The Daily Telegraph, 11th May 2015
Sean and Beverly's terrible Pucks!, which stars Matt LeBlanc's ghastly alter-ego, has risen from the dead - "like Jesus if Jesus was a s****y sitcom" says one character. Some people might think Episodes itself should have been put out of its misery a while back. But Friends stalwart and co-writer David Crane has managed to breathe more life into a comedy that is as much a wry look at transatlantic foibles as Crane's satire/revenge on the industry he (and co-scribe and real-life partner Jeffrey Klarik) know all too well.
They've escaped. With Pucks! cancelled, scriptwriters Beverly and Sean are back in London. Except their "shitty sitcom no one watched" has, somehow, been renewed and the duo find themselves back in LA with a version of Matt LeBlanc still phoning in his Joey-from-Friends persona. Thus season four of the telly-about-telly series begins, and it's good to have it back because it's sharply written and funny. Tonight, Matt gets bad financial news. Beverly: "You can have a very nice life, even with as little as $31m."
The script doesn't rely on outrageous situations, funny one-liners or madcap characters to bring the comedy. Instead we're invited into a world that feels very real, and it's the chemistry between the characters and the decisions they make that draws out the comedy and the more we get to know the characters, the more we're drawn in.
Written by Elliot Gonzalez. I Talk Telly, 10th May 2015
Episodes star Stephen Mangan has revealed he feared he was about to be arrested in Los Angeles - but the police were just stopping him to say they loved the show.
The Irish Examiner, 10th May 2015
Some information about the latest series of Episodes.
Written by Morgan Jeffery. Digital Spy, 10th May 2015
If the fictional Pucks! script is dodgy, the Episodes script by David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik is well up to scratch, littered with screwball banter and anti-PC jokes.
Written by Bruce Dessau. Beyond the Joke, 9th May 2015