My friend Andy Watt made me watch Episodes, and I was hooked from the very first one! So when again, Ynaija asked me to review a series or movie, I decided to use it! Enjoy it below, and if you didn’t see it then, be nice to me and I could lend you my copy!
Episodes, a new Anglo-American sitcom that debuted on Showtime on the 9th of January started strong with approximately 800, 000 viewers on its first night. Funnily, despite the fact that the comedy was created by David Crane (Friends) and Jeffrey Klarik (Mad About You), both wildly successful sitcoms, the laughs don’t kick in till you’re on the second episode.
Episodes is the story of Sean and Beverly Lincoln played by critically acclaimed Stephen Mangan (Green Wing) and Tamsin Greg (Love Soap). In the seven part series, Sean and Beverly are the producers of a multiple award winning British TV show called Lyman’s Boys which is about a the carryings on of the headmaster and pupils in an old, prestigious school.
Sean and Beverly lead a quiet, passion filled life in London till they are cajoled by Merc Ladipus (John Pankow), the President of a US based TV Network into moving out to Los Angeles to recreate the show for an American audience. One word for the experience? Disaster!
First shocker is the replacement of the headmaster and original lead of Lyman’s boys, Richard Griffiths (Harry Potter, Withnail and I), an erudite Royal Shakespeare veteran with… Matt LeBlanc (Joey, Friends). Sean and Beverly are heartbroken, but are assured that there will be no more mutilation to their scripts.
From their obnoxious talking door, to the security guard at the gate who asks them the same question every day for the entire duration of their stay – and you are here to see – they realize their Beverly Hills home isn’t all it was promised to be (like everything else they were promised). The fake pillars, malfunctioning tap in the jacuzzi, and the celebrity neighbours they never get to see are the beginning of an adventure that gets worse by the day.
Ever seen a librarian in an outfit so clingy you could imagine her boobs would burst free if she as much as lifted up a pencil? A blouse so snug it looked like it was stuck on with glue? That was one of the many heart wrenching changes made to the script; Beverly would later lament, ‘I don’t even recognize it any more’.
And the spiral downwards couldn’t be any faster as everything that can go wrong, does. From Beverly’s paranoia about her husband having ‘a thing’ with Morning, the librarian, to the uncertainty about Merc approving the pilot; the viewer is forced to empathize and take sides with the different characters at different times. It is also interesting to watch Sean battle to balance his loyalties between Beverly’s growing disenchantment with all that is LA, and his fledgling friendship with Matt LeBlanc.
The seventh episode of Episodes peaks with Beverly showing just how thin the line between intense hatred and passion when she ‘rolls’ with Matt LeBlanc, her arch enemy. The ensuing drama? Classic!
Episodes is full of compromises, and will give the viewer an idea of the various hurdles writers face in the production of their works, and how much they have to bend over just to please the piper.
The ‘British innocence’ Sean and Beverly display at the mannerisms of Americans is hilarious; the language is easy, sarcasm is at its best, and the cast deliver their lines so convincingly (Matt LeBlanc is stellar as himself) that even I excuse the vulgarism that attends each scene. Note that the language is for a mature audience.
Based on the success of this pilot, I can’t wait for the full serial, and even though I honestly don’t know what episodes could be added to Episodes, I know I will never watch any Hollywood production the same way again!
- Episodes (the1tvjunkie.wordpress.com)
- Matt LeBlanc Would Revive ‘Friends’, Says He ‘Could Use The Money’ (inquisitr.com)