The show, however, isn't Pankow's or Perkins', it belongs to Mangan, Greig, and LeBlanc. The two Brits play off each other and the insane world around them very well. The characters take two different approaches to their fish-out-of-water existence, but make both believable and enjoyable, particularly when the other does the opposite. Watching Episodes, one gets exceptionally involved in the Lincolns' life on all levels and roots both for and against their actions.
As for LeBlanc, he's just plain good on the show. Joey Tribbiani worked brilliantly as a character on Friends and less well as the center of his own series, but it's clearly a role that's typecast LeBlanc whatever his talents may be. It is our familiarity with that goofball character that makes this role possible. But, rather than going all out and becoming a caricature of his potential self, LeBlanc's character and performance is more restrained than that – he is just a human being who has a tendency towards Hollywood foolishness, which following his incredible television success is wholly understandable. LeBlanc has some of the saddest and some of the funniest moments on Episodes and while one could imagine many a former sitcom star playing themselves on the series, LeBlanc makes the role his and makes every scene he's in an involving one.
Episodes doesn't succeed across the board – its representation of Hollywood and some Hollywood personalities is far too one-note and grating. However, LeBlanc's portrayal makes up for many of those shortcomings and Greig and Mangan as the show's true center are wonderful. They make both the comedic and the dramatic portions of the show engaging.
The DVD release of Episodes is, however, sadly lacking in special features. In fact, the only real bonus items related to the series are some lackluster biographies of the stars. Also included (via internet connection on a PC, not on the discs themselves and not accessible from a DVD player) are episodes of a couple of other Showtimes series – Dexter, The Borgias, and House of Lies. As a show about television, Hollywood, and celebrity, at minimum the show really could have utilized the producers, stars, and behind the scenes team for a piece on the reality behind the fiction.
Despite this oversite in the release, the show itself is good enough to merit one's consideration. Episodes may not be the sharpest satire, but it's enough to hold one's interest and make one curious about what happens next.