“Episodes” returns for its second season with sex, sex and more sex and proves that the TV version of Matt LeBlanc hasn’t learned his lesson. His disastrous one-night fling with Beverly (Tamsin Greig) at the end of Season 1 destroyed her marriage to Sean (Stephen Mangan), as well as Matt’s friendship with his producer buddy.
Season 2 begins four months after the finale. Sean and Beverly are no longer living together, but are thrown together on a daily basis as the producers of the Americanized version of their British show, “Lyman’s Boys,” now reinvented as “Puck!,” a sitcom about a high-school hockey coach starring LeBlanc. As the story unfolds, Beverly is trying to recapture her marriage and Matt wants nothing more than to save his “bromance” with Sean — and goes to extraordinary lengths to do so.
At a party to celebrate the new season of the Showtime series, Executive Producers David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik and series star Matt LeBlanc filled us in on five things you should know about Season 2.
No. 1: Whereas the theme for Season 1 was the group working together to make a successful pilot, the theme for Season 2 is trying to repair the damage done by Matt in the first season: This is two-fold: Beverly struggles to save her marriage, but Matt is also trying to recapture his friendship with Sean. “We pose the question: Is there any way to recover from: you slept with my wife?” says Crane. “Is there any way of repairing the “bromance?”
Watch the Season 2 Premiere of “Episodes” Early on XfinityTV.com:
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No. 2: The majority of the outrageous scenes are based in reality: In episode one, Matt receives oral sex during a screening party for the premiere of “Pucks!” from a very unexpected — and inappropriate — source; and in episode two, it escalates to full-on sex in his dressing room. “We don’t take these ideas from friends, but I would say it is 100 percent real,” says Klarik. “None of those meetings are exaggerated.” While Krane adds, “It has all been pulled from shows we have been on, situations we have been in, and conversations we have had.”
No. 3: Matt LeBlanc does not censor the writing of his character: “We have gotten into this habit when the three of us are alone or talking, whether it be at lunch or standing on the side of the set, we will kind of riff on the character,” LeBlanc says. “They are constantly writing stuff down. Just funny one liners I have heard — that I didn’t necessarily say. This guy is like a bull in a china shop — not concerned with the impression he makes on people. It is a fun character to play because he is honest. He doesn’t pull any punches. He calls it like he sees it.” Says Klarik, “Matt has an amazing sense of humor. So many of the ideas for the character come from him and things that he has actually experienced in his life.” Adds Krane, “He will let us go anywhere we want. He is so generous.”
No. 4: “Puck!” starts out as a huge hit, but then the numbers slide: Unless “Puck”‘s numbers really wind up in the toilet, there is a chance for another season of it and “Episodes.” “How many shows have we watched that are on the bubble?” Krane points out. “You don’t have to be a hit to be on TV. You just have to stay on TV.”
No. 5: Season 2 of “Episodes” is just as outrageous as Season 1: “I think it is richer because you get to know people better,” says Klarik. “You get to see that Merc (John Pankow) is less of a cartoon and more of a damaged individual and you get to understand the Carol/Merc dynamic better. I love that Carol (Kathleen Rose Perkins) and Beverly are becoming good friends. I like that Carol is still Carol at work, but Beverly’s friend outside of work. That is based on a lot of people we know.
Season 2 of “Episodes” will premiere Sunday, July 1 at 10:30/9:30c on Showtime.