A star isn't born.
What's one sure-fire way to lure some eyeballs back to your ratings-challenged series? Stunt casting! That's the tack the increasingly desperate Pucks crew takes in Episodes' sixth episode as Matt is tasked with a seemingly easy assignment -- enlist one of his former Friends to appear on his new show. Too bad he's apparently pissed all of them off in the past eight years since the series wrapped...
Remember how we said way back at the beginning of Season 2 that the relationship stuff was the least interesting thing about Episodes? Well, last night's episode reconfirmed that opinion, as the so-dull-nobody-cares affair between Carol and Merc and the slightly-less-dull-but-still-nobody-cares dalliance between Matt and Merc's wife Jamie, drove much of the narrative as the two secret couples conspired to secretly get away for the weekend until an overeager travel agent frelled up their secret plans by booking Merc and Jamie on a Napa vacation. (Clearly, Merc should have booked his defunct Cabo getaway with Carol via Priceline.com. Isn't he supposed to be buddy-buddy with Bill Shatner?) On the upside, this was finally the straw that broke the back of the Carol/Merc alliance and we can only hope she means it when she says she's through with their romance. We were over it a season ago.
After last week's episode, which dealt more with personal business, last night's Episodes got back to the business of show. That's probably why it was one of the stronger outing so far this season as the various relationship dramas were pushed to the backburner and all of the characters were focused on one thing: fixing Pucks.
Hey, remember when Episodes was a behind-the-scenes look at a terrible American sitcom called Pucks? No? That's okay, because the Season 2 finale, which aired last night, barely mentioned the show-within-the-show at all. Instead, personal business overtook the business of show, as the finale wrapped up a few of the season's will-they-or-won't-they storylines (among them, "Will Sean and Bev reconcile"; "Will Carol break up with Merc already"; and "Won't someone please arrest Labia?") while leaving enough threads dangling to weave a third year, should Showtime decide to order one. If it does come back, here's hoping -- and we're probably the only people in the show's version of America wishing this -- there's a lot more Pucks and a lot less partner-swapping.
The boys are back in town... one more time.
The bulk of last night's episode of Episodes concerned itself with the passing of network head Merc's father and the fallout that had on Pucks' cast and crew. Specifically, that fallout entailed having to attend the funeral for a man they'd never met and who, according to his son, wasn't even that nice of a guy. Even more problematically, Sean and Bev had to find the proper gift to express their condolences, only to watch all the most thoughtful (and expensive) presents get snapped up by folks with bigger checking accounts than their own.
Last night's Episodes tackled that age-old question: When is it okay to be fat in Hollywood? (Answer: almost never.)
Episodes -- Showtime's answer to Entourage -- premiered last year to solid, but unexceptional reviews and ratings, which is only appropriate since it's a solid, but unexceptional show. But the void for behind-the-scenes of Hollywood comedies created by Entourage's departure from the airwaves and a surprise Golden Globe win for Matt LeBlanc (who plays... Matt LeBlanc) convinced the network to give it a second season, which started up last night.
The Season 2 premiere of Episodes ended with the cast and crew of Pucks learning that the show's pilot had pulled in boffo ratings despite receiving largely terrible reviews from critics. But last night's episode revealed another key Hollywood truth: in television, success can turn to failure within the span of a single week.