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Back In The Muck With Showtime, Part 2

Episodes Season 3


Of course, one could make the argument that there haven't been a lot of changes involving the group of creative minds behind Pucks!, the show at the center of the more cerebral Episodes. There are, however, two major differences: less time has gone by as the show begins Season 3, and the people involved are slightly less cutthroat, and a lot funnier.

None of them is more entertaining than that of Matt Leblanc. You wouldn't have thought it possible for things to get worse for him after the last couple episodes of Season 2, but they have. For starters, with his ex-wife more disgusted by his behavior, she seems more determined to take custody of his kids from him, a case that he immediately makes worse by getting caught in a DUI with them in the backseat. Apparently, things have gotten so bad for him that his attorney bluntly tells him, he "would gladly trade him for two Mel Gibsons and a Tiger Woods." He seems to be making some progress with his romance with Merc's soon to be ex-wife, but by now we know that he's probably going to screw this situation up too.

Even worse things seem in store for assistant head of programming Carol, who in the Season 2 Finale finally ended her messy relationship with Merc. Having turned down Merc's job in order to be with him, she finds her career may be in even worse shape when she loses the job to new head of programming Castor. Castor seems energetic and dynamic, but as we very quickly learn, it's all a facade kept up by mood stabilizers, so no one's future at the network would be better.

One would hope things could at least get better for Sean and Beverly, who took a big step towards reconciling in the premiere--- and then took two steps back when Beverly revealed she'd slept with Rob while they were separated. Sean could've lived with that was he not still grieving over her one-night stand with Matt back in Season 1. Matt seems willing to help in the last episode, but that's it own level of crazy.

What none of this does justice to is just how funny all this is. Almost everyone in this series is egotistical and back-stabbing, but it seems to be done with a much more playful jabs than we get on House of Lies, because, hey, this is Hollywood. Even the cops who pull Matt over for a DUI can not help but try to plug their own friends and their work with him. And there is a level of sympathy here, that is almost completely absent in all of Showtime's other programming for the two Brits who still feel like they're head out of water, even though they've become close with Carol and Matt, even though, well, you know.

Episodes has a shorter season and takes longer between seasons to get prepared. Don't let any of that put you off, though, and watch this series. You'll get a good feeling, even if they don't