Episodes, TV review: Matt LeBlanc needs a little more help from his friends
I should perhaps admit that I share my gig as a one-day-a-week TV reviewer with other roles at The Independent. These including manning the Martini trolley every other Wednesday and polishing the contents of the office trophy cabinet. So, it's for those reasons, rather than professional negligence that I've not been able to keep up with Episodes (BBC2). Sorry.
I'd turned off because it didn't really do it for me. In it, husband-and-wife writing team the Lincolns (Tamsin Greig and Stephen Mangan) take their hit British comedy to the US only for it to get destroyed by what (the real-life) Greig calls "death by encouragement". Their show is quickly Hollywoodised with lead Richard Griffiths switched for a grotesque of Matt LeBlanc, played by Matt LeBlanc.
Two full seasons later, Episodes has had something of a critical renaissance and a couple of Emmy/Golden Globe nominations. I'm just not sure what's going on.
Regardless, despite the quality cast and the awards, I'm still not quite convinced. Episodes' portrayal of a TV network feels slightly too airy, and not that funny, nor dramatic. LeBlanc is great, though. At one point, he tries to wriggle out of a speeding ticket by tolerating being called Joey, and of course setting up the punchline. The cops ask him for a picture. Matt says "sure" in the hope that it'll help him wriggle free... the picture is a mugshot.
Mangan's dynamic with LeBlanc is fun, too. In one scene, "Matt" is asking Mangan's Sean for advice in writing an email to his wife. When he gets it – "It's got to be personal, from the heart" – this is his pristine response: "Exactly, I can't write that shit." It's not bad, but sorry, Matt, we're probably best with those interminable Friends repeats...
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Revealed after 75 years of secrecy: 'Fifi' the glamorous WW2 special agent who tested British spies' resolve
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Laurie Lee's Rosie: What is it like to inspire a writer's work and be immortalised forever on the page?
Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
Doctor Who series 8: Time Heist pictures revealed ahead of episode 5
The Walking Dead season 5 air date, trailer and season 4 recap
Star Wars 7 leaked set photo of Adam Driver changes everything
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'