Automotive Deals Summer Reading Shop Women's Clothing Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Songs of Summer Fire TV Stick Happy Belly Coffee Handmade school supplies Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer TarantinoCollection TarantinoCollection TarantinoCollection  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis STEM Water Sports

Format: Amazon Video|Change
Price:$19.99
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

When Showtime was touting the new comedy "Episodes" for its winter line-up, a lot of the pre-press and advertising had to do with Matt LeBlanc. While I like LeBlanc, his presence in a new show was neither a particular draw for me nor a deterrent. However, I did tune in to give the program a shot and was pleasantly surprised that instead of purely a LeBlanc vehicle, "Episodes" featured a smart and savvy ensemble of actors in a delightful (and frighteningly believable) skewering of the entertainment industry. Most specifically, the show targets the creative and borderline insane process behind bringing a new television program to air. This surprisingly intelligent foray into scathing satire may not be the best program on the subject I've ever seen (try the uncomfortable awkwardness of "The Comeback," the blistering ruthlessness of "Action," or the of-the-moment imperative of "Grosse Pointe" as other possible candidates), but it is pretty on-the-mark!

What is intriguing, and quite appealing, about "Episodes" is that it combines the outrageous rudeness you might expect from Showtime with a droll British sensibility more in line with BBC. In fact, it is precisely this dichotomy that fuels the entire premise of the program. The season revolves around what happens when a successful and critically acclaimed British sitcom is adapted and Americanized for a stateside audience. The actual leads of the show are Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Grieg as the married co-creators of said sitcom who are enticed to Hollywood to helm the new interpretation. Playing as fish out of water comedy in earlier segments, the couple soon realize that compromise and capitulation are key in this new environment. For the stuffy headmaster role, the part gets handed to LeBlanc and reinterpreted as a hockey coach in the newly christened "Pucks." But this is just the beginning of the nightmare ride that just may destroy the couple!

Stephen Mangan is terrific--it's hard not to be caught up in his boyish enthusiasm! Grieg tackles the more difficult role with precision--she can be mildly unlikable but is generally the most sensible character in any particular scene. And finally, there's LeBlanc. LeBlanc perfectly uses his world weary charm to great affect. Trading on his persona, he oozes intelligence and industry savvy and, quite frankly, playing an alter ego fictionalization of himself displays more range than you might expect. It's a fabulous performance played with ease. John Pankow personifies showbiz phoniness as a studio executive, Mircea Monroe avoids easy stereotyping as a sexy co-star, and the delightful Kathleen Rose Perkins is the show's secret weapon as Pankow's peppy assistant! This great cast brings this biting satire to life, but it's the well observed screenplays that really sell the concept. The first episode is primarily set-up--but after that, the episodes are bright (there are seven half hour episodes in total), lively and quite smart about the industry. I really enjoyed "Episodes." For me, it's a 4 1/2 star experience--but I particularly recommend it to anyone with an inherent interest in television or Hollywood shenanigans! KGHarris, 2/11.
0Comment| 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 30, 2012
When this Showtime series was on cable I watched it three times and laughed like I was seeing it for the first time every time. The cast of characters cannot be beat. I love them all.

Matt LeBlanc, of course, is the star of the show and plays an actor who is supposed to be playing himself. He isn't "Joey" from "Friends" but because of his role on "Friends" we kind of know him... only now playing "himself" as his star-personna playing Matt LeBlanc, he's even rougher around the edges and hilariously conceited.

The plot centers around a married British couple played brilliantly by Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig who have written an award-winning smash hit comedy in England and how a devious and ruthless Hollywood producer played by John Pankow, (who only pretends to have seen their show)invites them to Hollywood to recreate their show for American TV where they are lead to believe they will have full control. Of course they have no control and to make matters worse they are stuck with "Joey." As their lead.

So a comedy once revolving around a headmaster in an exclusive boys school is dumbed down to a hockey coach set in a regular high school.

The contrast of Hollywood and all that entails seen through the eyes of the British couple couldn't be more spot on. The husband is totally seduced by Hollywood, the fantastic houses, the fantastic weather, the fantastic breasts on everyone, while the wife is just seething with regret and remorse for having been duped by the producer and for having to be stuck with the likes of "Joey."

The fantastic writing coupled with the first class cast is just a joy to watch. The comedy builds and builds and is intelligently written and is fast paced. We begin at the end and have to "back track" to how it all began.

Matt LeBlanc snagged a Golden Globe for his role on the series which was a nod to his great work on "Espisodes." The show and the entire cast also deserved recognition.
0Comment| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
When Showtime was touting the new comedy "Episodes" for its winter line-up, a lot of the pre-press and advertising had to do with Matt LeBlanc. While I like LeBlanc, his presence in a new show was neither a particular draw for me nor a deterrent. However, I did tune in to give the program a shot and was pleasantly surprised that instead of purely a LeBlanc vehicle, "Episodes" featured a smart and savvy ensemble of actors in a delightful (and frighteningly believable) skewering of the entertainment industry. Most specifically, the show targets the creative and borderline insane process behind bringing a new television program to air. This surprisingly intelligent foray into scathing satire may not be the best program on the subject I've ever seen (try the uncomfortable awkwardness of "The Comeback," the blistering ruthlessness of "Action," or the of-the-moment imperative of "Grosse Pointe" as other possible candidates), but it is pretty on-the-mark!

What is intriguing, and quite appealing, about "Episodes" is that it combines the outrageous rudeness you might expect from Showtime with a droll British sensibility more in line with BBC. In fact, it is precisely this dichotomy that fuels the entire premise of the program. The season revolves around what happens when a successful and critically acclaimed British sitcom is adapted and Americanized for a stateside audience. The actual leads of the show are Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Grieg as the married co-creators of said sitcom who are enticed to Hollywood to helm the new interpretation. Playing as fish out of water comedy in earlier segments, the couple soon realize that compromise and capitulation are key in this new environment. For the stuffy headmaster role, the part gets handed to LeBlanc and reinterpreted as a hockey coach in the newly christened "Pucks." But this is just the beginning of the nightmare ride that just may destroy the couple!

Stephen Mangan is terrific--it's hard not to be caught up in his boyish enthusiasm! Grieg tackles the more difficult role with precision--she can be mildly unlikable but is generally the most sensible character in any particular scene. And finally, there's LeBlanc. LeBlanc perfectly uses his world weary charm to great affect. Trading on his persona, he oozes intelligence and industry savvy and, quite frankly, playing an alter ego fictionalization of himself displays more range than you might expect. It's a fabulous performance played with ease. John Pankow personifies showbiz phoniness as a studio executive, Mircea Monroe avoids easy stereotyping as a sexy co-star, and the delightful Kathleen Rose Perkins is the show's secret weapon as Pankow's peppy assistant! This great cast brings this biting satire to life, but it's the well observed screenplays that really sell the concept. The first episode is primarily set-up--but after that, the episodes are bright (there are seven half hour episodes in total), lively and quite smart about the industry. I really enjoyed "Episodes." For me, it's a 4 1/2 star experience--but I particularly recommend it to anyone with an inherent interest in television or Hollywood shenanigans! KGHarris, 2/11.
0Comment| 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 19, 2012
Difficult to sum it up better than "K Harris". However, in addition, I could actually relate to both how a sitcom is created and a behind the scenes look at life in a Hollywood studio.

Yes, this is a great ensemble cast:

1.) Kudos to character actor John Pankow (as Merc the network executive) is a "dark horse". His character is so truly distasteful that I want to strangle him every time he has a monologue!

2.) Matt LeBlanc, as Matt LeBlanc, alternates between being a poster boy for Hollywood excess and genuinely funny. I like him better in this role than I did in "Friends".

Very good series and another winner by Showtime!
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I am really tired of all of the shows which are doing the balancing act of being the combo comedy and drama. Some of these are Big C, Nurse Jackie and Enlightened, which are always competing in the comedy category but are far from being laugh out loud funny. I like these shows but they really do not satisfy my desire for straight comedy. This show does.

The premise is that a married British couple who are comedy writers are plunked down into Hollywood to make their comedy writing work on an American tv show. If you have ever watched British tv, which I have, the emphasis on quality is far more pronounced in Britain than it is in America. Yes, we have our quality tv shows but we also have an incredible amount of outright drek. Unfortunately, these two are hired by a the king of crude, awful tv shows. The producer embodies everything that is awful about Hollywood and everyone who works for him is constantly trying to satisfy his capricious nature. He has a female assistant who seems dumb at first but we come to discover she really understands what sells in her boss's world.

Our two writers play chiefly off Matt LeBlanc, who is the lead in this new show as a hockey coach. LeBlanc plays himself and he is hilarious doing so. The two writers are continually outraged by virtually everything he does yet there is something about him which draws one into his web. While one really would not want to know the producer, it would be hard to say the same about LeBlanc. Inevitably LeBlanc starts coming inbetween these two, something which seemed impossible at the start.

I am now enjoying watching season two of this show, which is every bit as funny.

Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 6, 2012
Too bad there were only seven epidosdes in season one because this comedy is fantastic. Highly recommend you give this a try--regardless of whether you ever liked Matt LeBlanc in Friends.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 30, 2012
I am an avid 'FRIENDS' fan. I slaughter opponents in trivia games regarding the show. Which made me curious to see 'EPISODES' since Matt was one of the stars. I also think British humor is hysterical. ('FAWLTY TOWERS', 'MONTY PYTHON', & 'THE FULL MONTY' just to name a few.) The writing is exemplary. The characters well developed and play off each other brilliantly. I originally rented it on Netflix and watched the entire First Season TWICE in 36 hours. The last Episode I actually watched 5 times. It made me laugh out loud each and every time. The comedic timing between Matt LeBlanc and Stephen Mangan when they are (WARNING**** ENDING SPOILER ALERT****) fighting at the end was unbelievably funny.

Obviously, I loved 'EPISODES: The First Season'. I give a 5.5 stars out of 5.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 20, 2012
This show is very funny. A great send up of behind the scenes Hollywood. Don't hesitate to check it out if you're a fan of shows like Extras, Party Down, etc. The person who gave this a crappy review probably loves Two and a Half Men.
0Comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon June 16, 2012
After winning a BAFTA for their acclaimed UK television series ("Lyman's Boys"), married couple Sean and Beverly Lincoln are approached by a crude American producer (Merc Lapidus) who wants them to adapt the show for the U.S. Despite their distaste for Hollywood, the Lincolns hesitantly agree, assuming that they'll spend a few restful weeks in Los Angeles and make some easy money. Unfortunately, once they hit American soil, everything begins to unravel. Merc had never actually seen their show and immediately starts requesting drastic changes, including recasting the lead character with an American actor. Enter Matt LeBlanc, who plays a more boorish version of himself. He's desperate for a new hit show and signs on to play the lead - an erudite headmaster of a boy's school. Before long, the show has been compromised and changed into a typical, empty-headed sitcom. However, against their better judgment, the Lincolns start to get sucked into the Hollywood scene that they mock, especially once they see the amazing L.A. mansion that has been rented for them and then start to meet celebrities.

"Episodes" is based on a terrific premise that allows for endless American and Brit comparisons as well as satire of television in general. Merc, for example, loves putting on fake Brit accents and saying ridiculous things every time he sees the Lincolns; he also has a dark side, as seen in his hilariously shabby treatment of his blind wife. The show is well-written, although it tends to be more clever than funny per se. The acting is uniformly good and the characters have been flushed out fairly well, although some of the minor characters tend toward caricatures. LeBlanc comes off particularly well as the good-hearted but constantly screwing up larger than life version of Joey, who soon wins over Sean (Stephen Mangan); he received an Emmy nomination for the role. Beverly (Tamsin Greig), on the other hand, is too shrill in these early episodes to be likeable, and the actress sometimes relies on a variety of obnoxious "I can't believe it" faces. Fortunately, the chemistry between Mangan and Greig is quite good (they acted together previously in a UK sitcom called "Green Wing"); they really do seem like a married couple.

The show is a joint production between Showtime and the BBC. Like many British shows, the season is short - just 7 episodes. In these first few episodes, the show has not quite found its tone yet and needs some tweaking, such as dropping or flushing out some of the minor characters. Nevertheless, despite some weaknesses it's still clever enough to rate 4 stars.
11 comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 23, 2015
I love, love, love this show!!!!! I'm so glad I discovered it. What a brilliant little comedy gem. I was disappointed it's not on Prime or Netflix yet so more people who don't want to specifically purchase every season can discover it. I hope Showtime will allow it to be streamed because I'm stunned by how few people have ever heard of it. The best way to describe it is dry British humor plus Entourage plus Joey from Friends. It's absurd and ingenious and...."Pucks!" (You will only understand that if you watch it!)
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Customers also viewed these items

$14.99

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.