So Matt Leblanc finally is getting his own series on EPISODES. One that he basically gets to call the shots on. One that will not have the heavy hand of the network screwing things up (not if he can help it anyway) and one that is an actual series with a narrative he can act in, not be a host of, like “The Box.” So what does this mean for his dear writer friends Sean and Beverly? It could mean big changes. But will they be for the best?
Last week, Leblanc screwed up royally by pleasuring himself live on camera to one of his contestants on his show “The Box.” He was unaware there was a twenty-four hour live feed going, and that his old nemesis Merc Lapidus would try and sabotage his career by turning the camera on him purposefully. It ended up backfiring for Lapidus (as most things do) when the ratings spike 30% as a result and suddenly Leblanc has all the negotiating power. He manages to not only get his job as host back but to seal a straight to series promise from the Network itself. Now the question is, what will that show be?
When we catch up with him this week, he is meeting with a writer pitching him an idea for an original series where Leblanc would star as an old mob hitman just out of jail and trying to go straight. He is so broke and unwilling to return to his life of crime that he is forced to move in with his aging mother in her retirement community in Florida. BRILLIANT.
His meeting is interrupted by a phone call from his wife who is livid. Apparently there is some fall-out from his lewd conduct broadcast that he has yet to deal with; his two young sons have both seen it. Matt’s wife needs him to come talk to his kids about it before they end up paying for years of therapy. Leblanc still justifies his actions by claiming the 30% hike in ratings. Matt goes to talk to his two kids and the best he can manage is to tell them that whenever they are about to do something they know is bad to pause… and find where the camera is. His wife just can’t even with him anymore.
Carol is still having a hard time adjusting to the unemployed life. She is stuck inside watching HGTV or something all day (whatever channel has “Flip or Flop” and “Property Brothers;” I am unaware of these things). She is also now so poor that she can not afford her marijuana, which is a huge issue for her. Beverly tries to get her out to go on a hike but it just isn’t happening. Later in the episode, Carol calls Beverly to proudly report that she is outside and eating a donut. However, her outing takes a turn for the worst when she stops to wipe some donut cream from her face in the reflection of a restaurant window… and realizes she is staring directly at Helen Basch, current head of the network who fired Carol AND her ex-flame. She literally runs away.
That night attempting to call Beverly she accidentally dials another old flame, Merc Lapidus, who happens to be doing nothing but watching TV by himself. Soon he comes over with dinner and a whole lot of weed! They feast and smoke and generally enjoy one another’s company. You can see where this is going. The next morning, Carol seems to have her regrets… she knows too much about how much of a douche bag Lapidus actually is. But he is claiming that the old Merc is ancient history and that it may have been fate that she accidentally dialed him to begin with. Carol tentatively agrees to move forward with their rekindling of their romance, if they can take it slow. However, we almost immediately learn that Lapidus is ACTUALLY already dating someone, and it is a familiar face: Morning Randolph! Yuh-oh.
Matt takes Sean out to lunch to “catch up” but in reality only wants to bounce ideas for his future show off of him. Sean immediately gives him a list of things to scratch off his list–anything where people are forced to live together, where people are an “instant family,” where the main character “comes to realize” something. It’s all fairly comical and spot on. Future TV creators would do well to abide by his list to avoid being derivative and lame. Then Leblanc has a great idea: Sean and Beverly should write and create his new show! Sean is not into it, to say the least, as they are committed to their original show “The Opposite of Us” at the moment, and working with Leblanc has not exactly been the best thing for their marriage thus far.
Sean and Beverly are still dealing with the insufferable Tim, leading the writer’s room of their new show “The Opposite of Us” and ruining everything about it. Last week Tim insisted on allowing a handicapped actor audition for a role that could absolutely not be played by a handicapped person. This week Sean and Beverly learn from their agent Eileen that Tim went ahead and officially cast the guy. (Also, Eileen is now representing both Tim and the handicapped actor). They have had it. They quit on the spot, chewing out Tim in front of the other writers and meeting with Matt to tell him that they are on board… And Matt already has an idea that involves him playing a dog. If this is any sign of what the ultimate show will become, Sean and Beverly have a whole new hell in store for them.
Season 5, Episode 3 (S05E03)
Episodes airs Sunday at 10PM on Showtime
Paul Gulyas | Contributor