Proving summertime viewing isn't always fluffy and forgettable fare, "Episodes" is the smartest comedy viewing choice of the season.
A large portion of its appeal stems from its low-key manner. Though it's a U.S. comedy set in Hollywood, "Episodes" is shot in England and somehow is able to duplicate a BBC-like style: subtle, mockish and unpretentious. Yet the moments that are loud and buffoonish seems perfectly American in execution, something that the Brits like to pretend we invented.
The second season finale (airing 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Showtime) of the Hollywood mocking program culminates with strings of the second season's subplots tying together in one big ball of superb messiness.
Among the revelations: the indiscretions Matt (Matt LeBlanc) come to light. His affair with his boss's blind wife and his tryst with his stalker muddy the waters.
Meanwhile, Merc (John Pankow), the pompous ousted network chief, has lost more than his job.
His wife is having an affair, and his mistress has been asked to take his network job. If you've seen the promos for this week's finale, you know Merc doesn't take the news well.
Then there's estranged married couple Sean and Beverly Lincoln (wonderfully played by British talents Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig). They've been split all season, with Sean giving into temptations around the office, and Beverly taking the first steps to independence.
Without being overly sentimental or overtly personal, "Episodes" manages to paint an accessible portrait of its characters through nuisances, not long and windy dialogue.
"Episodes" is a jolly good show. Well done, mate.
Score: 4 stars (out of five)
Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!