Consecutive bickering. Drunken actor stranded in a watering hole. Some outlandish dialogue, things you would never even say to your nearest and dearest. For the first time I actually laughed out loud at Episodes and for three obvious reasons. That irritating producer Merc fucked out of the picture temporarily (I wish for good), we strayed away from the production of dull, aimless TV show “Pucks” and Matt LeBlanc finally opened up and showed his ominous side.
Given that shoddy, humorless pervert producer Merc was out of the way, for the first time we had a chance to focus more on the three main leads, Sean, Beverly and Matt. The plot was a tad simple but what the hell, Merc wasn’t part of it so I was satisfied. After Matt loses custody of his children he goes on a bender in an LA bar. A bloke from the paparazzi is waiting outside to take a photo of Matt in his tricky, “sick as a dog” state of mind, so he calls Beverly and Sean to sneak him out of the joint. Whether they manage this feat comes down to a hilarious conclusion!
Matt LeBlanc is entertaining as his ego-centric, disinterested, louse-like shadow self. He complains that Beverly judges him too much and the court were unfair with their ruling yet he got caught doing stuff with a lady while his kids were asleep at home. Not just any random lady he invited over, but the kid’s nanny. And one of his boys walked in on them. Then there’s the mystery woman Kendra he asks to crash over at Sean and Beverly’s house after they let him stay over following his timid beer binge. Who is she, Sean asks with one of the blankest expressions. Matt responds “We fuck once in a while”, to which Kendra gets to close the show with the screwiest line “Has anybody seen my dog?”
Matt LeBlanc’s shadow self may be one of the most dreary, uninteresting characters in sync with a tiresome script, but he has some of the best lines which at times lead me to the verges of my own “cracking up” point. Without question he is the funniest thing about this slow paced, pointless sitcom which provides evidence of the wider range of comedic performances the real Matt LeBlanc can offer. LeBlanc is due further credit by the fact that despite all of the flaws and issues of shadow self Matt, although he is a complete and utter walley we actually end up feeling sorry for him. Having said that my real concern is just how close the character is to the real Matt LeBlanc. I say this primarily on one basis -he shares the same laziness and lack of ambition I saw when Matt LeBlanc made an appearance on The Graham Norton Show earlier this year.
Sean and Beverly, the British duo who took their show to America to make it big in Hollywood are still not as funny as I want them to be. I want to laugh at their discussions over how old the lead actress of “Pucks”, Morning, really is. I want to chuckle and be engaged by Beverly’s bickering over Matt’s self-indulgence but I can’t find the humor. In fact I find the chemistry between Sean and Matt so much more enjoyable then Sean and Beverly’s private exchanges. Beverly’s reactions to Matt’s irresponsible behaviour are becoming funnier but only in tiny doses. Finding the laughs in her character are really difficult to extract. Beverly obviously still hates LA and given Morning is beginning to gain interest in Sean and Sean is beginning to gain interest in Matt, all she can think about is when is the right time to leave. She wants to escape from what is slowly becoming misery and to be honest she doesn’t add any comic value to the show so I don’t mind if she just fucks off.
Pushing the show within a show “Pucks” to the bottom of the pecking order of what’s important and what’s not, and concentrating more on the false and funny relationships between the main characters, we got to see a darker, intenser show with some genuinely funny and at times sentimental moments. By a long distance this was the most engaging episode of Episodes so far and I just hope for the sake of this show fulfilling some kind of comic distinction, the awkwardness and inappropriateness which made me reach the fringes of prolonged laughter in episode four, continues in the final three episodes. The best line of episode four came from the best thing in the show, Matt LeBlanc, when he persuades his ex-wife to let him see his boys, and delivers this line with such unbelievable precision “Come on just once don’t be a cunt”