Showtime's Episodes hasn't begun shooting its third season yet, but I already know which installment is going to be my favorite. Creators David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik are planning to spoof a...
Matt LeBlanc's Showtime comedy Episodes has been renewed for a nine-episode third season, the cable network announced Thursday.
Episodes stars LeBlanc as a fictionalized version of himself, a role which earned him his first Golden Globe and Emmy nods since Friends. Joining LeBlanc again will be Stephen Mangan and Tasmin Greig as Sean and Beverly Lincoln, the creators of a hit British show that is remade as a starring vehicle for LeBlanc in the U.S.
Matt LeBlanc is a pretty big jerk on Episodes, and not in the neurotic Larry David-on-Curb Your Enthusiasm-kind of way. In the Showtime comedy, LeBlanc plays himself as a lame-brained has-been — with a stinky Joey cologne line to match — but also a womanizer, bum dad, and most recently, the kind of guy who sleeps with his friend's wife without remorse.
It's a complicated if depressing alter ego to take on, and certainly one attention-grabbing way for the real-life LeBlanc to jump back into the spotlight following the 2006 failure of Joey. Executive producers David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik say that they didn't craft the part around the real LeBlanc, who in person is pleasant but serious, relaxed but not overly friendly. "Occasionally, he'll be playful, but he's not Joey," Klarik says.
Are the creators of Showtime's Episodes bitter? They don't think so!
"Fake Matt is...
The February 6 episode of Showtime's Episodes makes jokes about an issue that television comedy has long avoided: rape. The storyline finds Matt LeBlanc (playing an overly clueless version of himself) at a rape prevention benefit, struggling to uncork a bottle of wine — oblivious to the survivor onstage relating the story of her brutal attack. Wickedly funny or brazenly insensitive?
It's difficult to believe that the creators of Showtime's Episodes are not holding a grudge against network TV.
Their last series, the CBS sitcom The Class, was axed after one short season, and their follow-up comedy (for cable, natch) is nothing if not an indictment of how the worst broadcast shows get made, sometimes in spite of a great idea. Just take a gander at Episodes' fictional network honcho, a crass and careless tyrant who transforms an urbane British hit about the headmaster of an elite boys school into a broad comedy for American audiences starring Matt LeBlanc.