TV Review: Episodes 2.1

The postmodern concept is starting to become tiresome, but the series has enough likability to stick with it.

rating: 3.5

Episodes may not have been a runaway success last year when it aired on BBC 2, but a cult following on both sides of the Atlantic has seen the series return for a longer second series. The premise of a well loved British show being turned into a soulless American version certainly rings a note, and the casting of both Stephen Magan and Tamsin Greg as married writers Sean and Beverly is very clever indeed. Matt Le Blanc plays a twisted version of himself and despite Bev and Sean€™s protests, find himself cast in the lead role of their sitcom. In the real world, Matt LeBlanc won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance as himself. It€™s becoming a growing trend for actors to play versions of themselves, Entourage, Curb Your Enthusiasm and even 30 Rock has served as a platform for this. Whilst the concept of the sitcom within a sitcom might be too postmodern for its own good, the 3 leads all bounce off each other so well you can look passed this. Series 2 picks up 4 months on from last year's finale; Sean and Bev have now separated but still maintain a working relationship. Their series €˜Pucks€™ is about to be broadcast, and Bev is hoping her birthday gift for Sean will help lead to a reconciliation. Friends Co-Creator David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik are behind the series, they previously worked together and created the short-lived sitcom The Class. Learning their lessons they duo seem revived and bring a warmth to the series that so many sitcoms fail to capture. Surprisingly production for this show was mostly based in England, only the second unit filmed insert shots in L.A. This was a tender opening instalment that was more about the characters than big laughs, it€™s this attention to detail that makes Episodes something better than just another sitcom. The postmodern concept is starting to become tiresome, but the series has enough likability to stick with it. Episodes continues Friday at 10pm on BBC 2
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