EPISODES “Episode 3″ Advance Review

EPISODES

EPISODES “Episode 3” Season 1 Episode 3 – It’s time for the first ‘Pucks’ table read and Matt wants some changes in the third installment of EPISODES. I watched the episode early because I’m lucky that way, and the show is starting to hum right along even though the show within a show is having a bumpier ride.

The morning of the first table read for the network arrives and Sean wakes up excited; not surprisingly, Beverly is less so. So far they have had to change their lead actor and show premise, and they still don’t know if Merc actually likes their show. Tension is running high between Beverly and Matt and when he requests yet another change to the show, she takes it less than well. This arc is very well-played because as black and white as the issue initially seems, it eventually becomes gray, putting a good twist on the “American comedy is so much dumber than British comedy” joke.

Because Beverly can’t talk to Matt without either screaming or whimpering, Sean deals with him for a day, with surprising results that are both funny and a good set up for drama down the road. The two make a fun pair and we get a nice study in contrast between the easily impressed Sean and the easily intimidated but stubbornly protective of her creation Beverly who’s back on set. I’m really enjoying the charmingly manipulative Matt and the effect he has on both Sean and Beverly.

There’s a good bit of Merc this episode, which is both good and bad. When he’s used right–like in a meeting with Carol–he’s a terrific piece of satire, but when used essentially as a comic prop, he falls flat. Carol, though, is always good as we see more and more of her personality. Myra remains Myra, which is fine by me, and we meet Matt’s leading lady on ‘Pucks,’ whom you may remember was referenced in the pilot, along with a few other on-set faces.

A few choice lines:

“I suspect it’s nothing like being in bed with Noel Coward.” This simple line just tickles me and that we get an Oscar Wilde joke later–who says TV for Americans (even if it’s shot in England) isn’t smart and funny?

“No dawdling. Two minutes tops.”/ “Five.”/ “Five? What are we doing it twice?” Just what every woman wants to hear.

“Even I don’t look cool with you driving this.” Not true.

“I don’t like a lot of people and they all look at me.” Beverly creates as many problems for herself as Matt does.

“My eyes are up here. I’m not a piece of meat.” Point, set, and match.

Beverly is becoming more and more like ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ lost in a world she can’t–and doesn’t want to–understand and it’s fascinating watch her fall deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole. It’s also getting more and more darkly funny, especially as Sean’s journey diverges and Matt continues to be a wild card.

After you’ve watched Episodes on Showtime tonight at 9:30pm eastern/8:30pm central, I hope you’ll come back and post your thoughts. Who’s right: Beverly or Matt?

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