I laughed out loud several times during this week's Episodes, and you know I'm a critic, so that hardly ever happens.
A Brand New Car
Much of the show deals with whether or not Sean (Stephen Mangan) is going to accept the car that Matt LeBlanc gives him as a peace offering. Of course, when you've slept with someone's wife, giving them a luxury sports car will never be enough to win back their friendship, but hey, this is Hollywood. LeBlanc, playing himself, is a really funny and interesting character on this show. He's such a self-obsessed, immature sleazebag and yet, there's something guileless about him. You kind of understand why seemingly sensible people like Sean and Beverly (Tasmin Greig) reluctantly give in to his charms.
The After Morning
Yes, Sean had sex with "Pucks" co-star Morning (Mircea Monroe), and she doesn't see it as a big deal, which surprisingly thrills him. But giving in to temptation like that does seem to make him more vulnerable to LeBlanc's pitch. For his part, LeBlanc continues to mess around with Jamie (Genevieve O'Reilly), who apparently knows all about Merc's (John Pankow) affair with Carol (Kathleen Rose Perkins). Two wrongs don't make a right, I know, but good for her?
The Talking Dog is Killing Us
Week two ratings for "Pucks" take a big dive, just as Morning worried they might. Carol disingenuously tells Sean and Beverly not to worry, but of course, everyone worries. Adding to Merc's woes, former employee Andy Button (Joseph May) is suing him for discrimination. Carol tries to explain to Andy that Merc calls everyone "c__ks__ker," but Merc is eventually forced to hire Andy back to get him to drop the suit.
This was a very strong episode. In addition to LeBlanc's desperate efforts to win back Sean's heart, there were a couple of very "inside baseball" scenes that highlight the inanity of the television world. First there was that table read, with the whiney, boneheaded Myra (a very funny Daisy Haggard) giving her ridiculous notes, at one point mistaking the comedy timing-related word "beat" for "bat" (and just look at the clever way they incorporated the beats into the scene!). Then there was that pitch meeting, where Myra shined again, and Andy inadvertently exemplified Hollywood's version of originality, asking "What other animals can talk?"
This show is good enough that I'm worried that not enough people are watching it. I'll do my part, and I urge you to spread the word, too.
"So like, no sports at all?"
--Matt, after seeing Sean react to being tossed some car keys.
"Seriously? Merc and Carol? By the way, I have a very shocked expression on my face."
--Matt narrates his phony reaction to hearing about Merc's infidelity, for the benefit of the blind Jamie.
"That's the whole part. 'Oh, God, it ate Paul.' That one line."
--Wendy (Scarlett Rose Patterson) tells Sean and Beverly about her audition.
"Okay, you need a new word."
--Carol suggests that Merc stop using the word "c__ks__ker" so frequently.
"What do you want? A Bentley? It's not like I f__king killed your wife.'"
--Matt misinterprets Sean's rejection of the Infiniti.