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Customer Review

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant writing and acting!, December 30, 2012
This review is from: Episodes: Seasons 1 & 2 (DVD)
We are in the Golden Age of television, with great shows of all kinds--Horror, Political intrigue, Action, Romance, and yes, Comedy. The extended story arcs of shows now allow all kinds of developments of character that were impossible in the old episodic formats that network shows followed so rigidly in the past. And so, ironically, with Episodes. The first season moves like a particularly funny Greek tragedy right into the final show; the second does likewise although a little less effectively. The writing, by David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, is superb--a fantastic mix of hilarity and pathos, really smart humor and crudeness, all with powerful plot lines and terrific characterizations. Although Matt LaBlanc gets top billing, the show is really about Stephen Mangan as Sean Lincoln and Tamsin Greig as his wife Beverly, and these two actors have superb comic timing. Tamsin is the queen of the aside delivered after a beat, and Sean can deliver even a single word with brilliant comedic inflection--as, in the second season he enunciates the word 'date' like it's physically painful to say. LeBlanc, far from my favorite character in Friends, proves he can act--he's not just the friendly but clueless Joey here--although he is indeed that--but also at times caring, pathetic, remorseful, sarcastic and more...especially horny. Although 'subtly nuanced' might be inappropriate, it's a much richer, more complex and realistic character than Joey. The ensemble is full of brilliant supporting actors, too. Many have written of John Pankow's brilliant turn as Merc Lapidus, the viciously evil TV producer, but my favorite is Kathleen Rose Perkins as Carol Rance, his executive assistant, who makes every line drip with heartfelt insincerity. And I have to mention Joseph May as Andy Button, whose silent departure after being fired is one of the great moments of physical comedy. Episodes is brilliant through and through, and although the second season isn't quite as strong as the first, it is definitely worth your time. Most highly recommended.
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Location: HONG KONG

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