Episodes has a fighting chance


Full disclosure upfront. I wasn’t going to give the new series from Hat Trick Productions and Showtime much of a chance from the beginning, given that it initially read as a documentary and not a comedy. However, after seeing episode one, this has the potential to be the ‘much-anticipated’ hit that the BBC is hanging its hat on. For one reason, casting. They nail “LA” better than anything since Robert Altman’s The Player. Two, anything that Hat Trick Productions is involved with is worth the time. Also involved from the beginning are the creators of Friends and Mad About You. Who knows, maybe American producers have learned their Coupling lesson this time around.

Episodes is the story of a happily married English couple, Sean and Beverly Lincoln (Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig from the greatness of Green Wing), BAFTA award winning producers of a hit British TV show called Lyman’s Boys. Enter the typical powerful and smarmy US network executive, surrounded by a entourage of ‘yes’ people, who persuades them to move to LA and remake their hit show for an American audience – with disastrous results. Way too close to Coupling to not be a documentary.

Don’t take my word for it. Here’s the first episode in case you missed it…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrIxTWFIxnI

The series premiered this past Sunday on Showtime in the States and last night on BBC 2. Anyone see? Would love to know what you think about it.