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Why Matt LeBlanc Embraced Humiliation for Episodes

The star of Showtimes departed cable comedy says there was little he wouldnt do for a laugh.   ...Read More...

Weekend Binge Guide: May 2018

Have the weekend free? Going out is overrated! Binge-­watch one of these shows instead:   If you want to laugh:   Episodes See all reviews for Episodes Maybe it's because I wasn't the biggest Joey fan (don't @ me), but I'm not kidding when I tell you that Episodes is Matt LeBlanc's finest role/show to date. The series, which ran for 5 seasons on Showtime (although each season contained only 7-9 episodes) stars LeBlanc as a sort of a**hole version of himself - we hope - in a post- Friends universe, and he's great. If you don't believe me, he actually *was* nominated for an Emmy for the role 4 times, although I'd still argue that the show mostly flew under the radar. The show started off mocking the United States' tendency to knock off British TV series, which is why we were introduced to the characters of British writers Beverly and Sean Lincoln (played by Tamsin Greig and Stephen Mangan, respectively), who were appalled to learn that a difficult LeBlanc would be starring in a US version of their show. As the show progressed, the characters became involved with various other shows - including a great gag with LeBlanc hosting a truly terrible reality series - but always made astute observations (and inside jokes) about the TV industry.   If you want to cry:   American Crime See all reviews for American Crime Be forewarned that American Crime - not to be mistaken with American Crime Story - is a show that is often horribly depressing and difficult to watch. As a result, many people did not watch it when it aired originally, although they definitely missed out. The series is an incredibly powerful and beautifully acted series, starring A-rate actors including Felicity Huffman, Regina King - who won 2 Emmys for her work - and Timothy Hutton. The show was an anthology, created by John Ridley (who won an Oscar for his work on 12 Years a Slave), with each season focusing on different stories about race, class, and gender in America. Unlike normal crime series, this show was not focused on the cops, but on everyone else connected and impacted by a crime. Though the series has concluded, it will remain thought-provoking and relevant for years to come.   If you want to scream:   Dexter See all reviews for Dexter Dexter is certainly an example of a show that overstayed its welcome (and had a pretty universally despised series finale, which isn't a great way go out), and this may have tarnished its lasting legacy for some. That being said, the show's first few seasons were some of the best TV out there - then and now. It also clearly was ahead of its time on the serial killer trend - these days there are too many serial killer series to count - as the show debuted all the way back in 2006. Perhaps don't watch the entire series, but certainly check out the first 4 seasons of this Showtime drama about a blood-splatter analyst for the Miami Police department (played to perfection by Michael C. Hall) who moonlighted as a pretty likable serial killer. Why was he likable? He was targeting other murderers who had managed to escape justice. The show also excelled at crafting season-long arcs with different mega-villains each season.   If you want to think:   Westworld See all reviews for Westworld I would hope that most of you are already watching Westworld , but in the event you are not, this seemed like a fitting month to include it in our binge guide, as it has recently returned (after a hiatus of over a year) for a highly anticipated second season, and has already been renewed for a third. Westworld is the name of a futuristic theme park, where robotic hosts are essentially enslaved, forced to fulfill the twisted desires of the park's rich visitors, only to have their memories wiped and then suffer again. Problem is, as the robots usually do, they begin to gain their own consciousness and revolt against the terrible humans, and boy is it fun to root for those robots! HBO is betting big on Westworld as the network's successor to Game of Thrones - the budget is clearly massive from the sets to the stars - and it shows. Thankfully, the big budget isn't wasted, as the show is also hugely compelling. Once you begin, you'll likely have to keep watching until you are up-to-date and eagerly awaiting the next week's new episode. p { text-­align: justify; }

Episodes Finale: Creators on How They Learned From Will & Grace Going in Wrong Direction

Matt LeBlanc s Showtime series Episodes aired its series finale on Sunday, and the show took some cues from what has succeeded as a swan song for previous series and what hasnt. Episodes co-creators David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik told TheWrap that their time working on Friends helped them realize that fans want series finales to give them a final dose of what they loved, rather than dramatically altering the recipe. Were big believers in that the ending should be satisfying, Crane said. Making the choice to be deliberately or aggressively unsatisfying on a show like Friends or a show like Episodes if an audience has been willing to take this journey with us, we owe it to them to end in a way that feels satisfying.  ...Read More...

Episodes Delivers a Funny, Heartfelt Series Finale

  Ahead of Episodes ' series finale, all was not right between Matt ( Matt LeBlanc ) and husband-wife writing duo Sean ( Stephen Mangan ) and Beverly ( Tamsin Greig ). The former Friends star, who had convinced them to quit their previous show, outright rejected their newest project, potentially leaving   ...Read More...

Episodes Creators Talk Very Meta Series Finale, Carol's Happy Ending and More

The old saying goes, write what you know and thats exactly what Sean and Beverly did in the series finale ofEpisodes. In the end, the show within the show becamethe show. After Matt went behind his friends backs and accepted an offer for another series, the Lincolns returned home and wrote the script forEpisodes! []

Matt LeBlanc Recalls Turning Down Offer to Play Ty Burrell's Modern Family Role

Matt LeBlanc could have told the Dunphy kids where to keep the pizza and where to keep the napkin. In a recent interview with USA Today, the actor recalled how in 2009, he was offered the...   ...Read More... //

Farewell to 'Episodes': Creators Reveal the Crazy Plot Point That Became Reality

Ahead of the Showtime series' final-season premiere, David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik sound off on the difficulty of working in broadcast television, whether they'd consider a 'Friends' revival, and the possibility of an 'Episodes' film: "We've been approached."   ...Read More... //

How Matt LeBlanc's Real-Life Stalker Turned Into an 'Episodes' Storyline

On the Showtime comedy, his character slept with an obsessive fan in season two after the actor fooled the creators into thinking he'd done the same in real life.   ...Read More... //

The Most Important Shows on TV: Week of August 14, 2017

Which TV series will your friends (and the entire internet) be talking about this week? Stay informed — or at least be able to fake it — with SideReel's weekly guide to The Most Important Shows on TV.   Broadchurch (Series Finale) Wednesday at 10 p.m. on BBC America Why: The final episode of the third and final season of this phenomenal British show is here. The suspenseful series began with the discovery of a local boy's dead body on the main beach. Broadchurch is the kind of town where everyone knows everyone, so the reality of a killer living among them led to some dark moments. The first season ended with the gut-wrenching unmasking of the murderer. Season 2 followed the trial that further tore the town apart before ultimately bring some residents back together. This season picked up with a new investigation into a sexual assault that took place at a party with at least 50 possible suspects, most of them friendly with the victim, but it all connects to the previous themes. In the finale, the rapist is revealed and it's another stunner. Prepare to talk about: All the Doctor Who connections, including the newest Time Lord, Jodie Whittaker, and the best (don't fight me), David Tennant; how many loose ends there are — is this really the last we'll see of DIs Hardy and Miller?   Marvel's The Defenders (Series Premiere) Friday at 3 a.m. on Netflix Why: After three years and 65 episodes paving the way, Marvel’s The Defenders arrives. It's been described by Marvel’s top TV exec as "the most ambitious television project to date." That might be hyperbole, but this really is event TV, bringing together Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist to — you guessed it — save New York City. Now, about Iron Fist . Reviews were decidedly less enthusiastic for that fourth standalone series. But as part of this fierce quartet, and particularly as a duo with Luke Cage, Danny Rand is a delight. In addition to the four leads, The Defenders features Sigourney Weaver as Alexandra, a sophisticated and compelling adversary who uses Elektra Natchios ( Daredevil 's Elodie Yung) to go after the reluctant heroes. These eight episodes struggle a little with pacing, but overall they recapture the cool, smart, darkly comedic tone that has been such an important part of Netflix's Marvel series. Prepare to talk about: How much we've missed Jessica Jones; Luke Cage's declaration that he's "not looking for superfriends" and how much we need an alt comedy cut of this show with that precise title.   Episodes (Season Premiere) Sunday at 10 p.m. on Showtime Why: In an era of "gentle comedy," this show is properly funny. It's taken me a minute to find room for this scathing Showtime satire, but I'm finally ready for it. And just in time for the final season! For those who, like me, were just sort of aware of Episodes , the show follows a fictionalized version of Matt LeBlanc as he navigates the treacherous waters of a sadly too real entertainment industry. LeBlanc is great; he's been nominated for four Emmys for his work here. At the start Season 5, Matt's game show, The Box , is a big hit. While that means his career and bank account are healthier, it also means he's stuck with the "host" label and beholden to his producer/nemesis. OK for Alec Baldwin, not so much for Fake Matt LeBlanc. Meanwhile, Sean and Beverly also are professionally stuck, as Sean's infuriating ex-partner is now in charge of their new show. Prepare to talk about: Triscuits; why Real Matt LeBlanc, so good in this show, is wasting his time with Man With a Plan ; this realness: "Comedies don't need to be funny anymore… you just need to end after 30 minutes."   T.J. DeGroat is the editor of SideReel, always and forever. Follow him on Twitter . p { text-align: justify; }

Video: Showtime(R) Offers the Season Premieres of "Episodes" and "Dice" for Early Sampling

Watch the season premieres to both series right here as well as Showtime's various outlets.   ...Read More... //