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7th July 2012 09:00:00
Posted by Nick Bryan

Episodes: Season 2 – Final Review

Review of season 2 of Episodes from the BBC and Showtime, starring Matt LeBlanc, Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig.
The second season of Episodes has finished on BBC2, whilst it’s barely getting started on the US Showtime channel (haha we got something first for once), which means I can look back and see how it went. And also means that, yes, there may be spoilers for anyone watching at the US pace.

So: after a winningly okay-ish start, did Episodes keep up that level of quality for all nine weeks?

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I saw the nine episodes of Episodes over a couple of weeks, rather than the nine that God intended, and I am eternally grateful, because the pace is agonisingly leisurely. Characters drift around, having comedy moments here and there, plots feel like incidental anecdotes, but it did eventually come to a head in the finale.

As has been the case since mid-way through season 1, the show has a certain charm, the actors all seem to enjoy themselves, especially Matt LeBlanc as the exaggerated comedy version of himself. And yes, they did eventually make a joke about the Joey spin-off, thank god.

Indeed, I’ve seen comments from LeBlanc in interviews wherein he states that, no, he doesn’t need to work to live, so he can do projects because he finds them worthy or enjoyable, and I can imagine him continuing Episodes for the sheer fun. And Tamsin Greig and Stephen Mangan are pretty charming themselves.

The comedy is achingly gentle, sometimes the punchlines are telegraphed from a mile away (special mention to the one where LeBlanc tries to recruit a Friends character to guest-star, which I guessed from the second the plotline started), but you do find yourselves rooting for the screw-ups in an odd way.

So to wrap up, it’s another pleasant season, if you want something non-challenging and intermittently funny to just flop in front of, you could do a lot worse than Episodes. I can’t pretend it’s high art or better than, say, Peep Show or the similarly-themed Curb Your Enthusiasm, but I still like it. No word yet on a third season renewal but I kinda hope it happens.

The second season of Episodes is available for a bit longer on iPlayer. More info on the