With all of the shows I try to get to, it is rare to re-review a show I wrote about a mere two weeks ago. However, I was not at all impressed with the pilot of Showtime's Episodes, and the second and third episodes were fantastic. Since my opinion has changed so much, I felt it only fair to revisit Episodes, and write what the show is truly about, rather than just leave the bad taste of the pilot as my sole opinion.
First of all, Matt LeBlanc (playing a character similar to himself, not coincidentally named Matt LeBlanc), who I complained was barely in the first episode, is wonderful. He is funny and comfortable with himself, which sometimes makes him seem arrogant, but sweet. This was illustrated best in last night's "Episode 3". Matt argued that the librarian at the school (in the show, now named Pucks) shouldn't be a lesbian. It was easy to see why Beverly (Tamsin Greig) would be upset with that opinion, and fight against it. Matt came across as a bit of a horn dog who just wanted to make out with the beautiful actress playing the role. But when Matt really opened up to Sean (Stephen Mangan) about why he made the suggestion, and how it would help their series, both Sean and I were swayed. Matt cares about what he's doing! A revelation!
It's funny, because there are plenty of goofy characters on the series, such as the gate keeper, Wallace (Lou Hirsch), or the Head of Comedy, Myra (Daisy Haggard). I assumed that Matt was going to be one of them. If he had been, he would quickly have fallen victim to the same situation he outlined for Sean about the lesbian. I like the jokes and less developed characters, as they are wonderful recurring one-notes, but I'm glad to see that Matt isn't one of them, and he actually is a full player in the show.