Episodes - Season 2

Starring: Matt LeBlanc, Tamsin Greig, Stephen Mangan, John Pankow, Kathleen Rose Perkins, Mircea Monroe, Daisy Haggard
Creator: David Crane, Jeffrey Klarik
Rating: ****

Air Date: Friday 10pm, BBC 2

Episodes first appeared on our television screens last year, with the unique selling point of a fading TV star Matt LeBlanc played by the one and only Matt LeBlanc. As the ex-Friends star told many interviewers last week, this could have been a tad creepy for him, but luckily he was in the safe hands of his former Friends producer (David Crane) and the BBC.

Matt LeBlanc, Tamsin Grieg
& Stephen Mangan
It's fair to say that the show could've been a risk, but luckily for LeBlanc, it paid off. LeBlanc returns to the second series, now with a Golden Globe for Best Actor in his hand (something he never achieved during 10 years in Friends). The question now is, can he continue this successful TV comeback into season 2, the question, at the moment, is yes he can.

A cheeky little recap reminds us of the clever concept, of a British husband/wife writing team, Sean and Beverly Lincoln (Mangan & Greig), whose TV show Lyman's Boys (now Pucks) has just been picked up by the US. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity/success is complicated because of the unfortunate moment when Beverly slept with their resident A-lister and her husband discovered the fact in the first season finale. So, here we are with this awkward love triangle now finding themselves four months later in Hollywood, on the brink of their show going on air.

The start of the season cleverly shows us how all of the characters have developed and their situations have changed since season 1, and this evolution helps open the door to much scenarios and storylines than the previous season.

The Lincolns are struggling with their new Hollywood status, dealing with the TV ratings, reviews and obvious temptation at every corner. Greig and Mangan are brilliantly and perfectly cast, they fit so well into this situation and have amazing chemistry together, that they are able to bring their British comedy style to the series and the clash of American/British comedy works tremendously well.

Kathleen Rose Perkins & John Pankow
Bringing his American brand of comedic acting is LeBlanc, he's just as generous with his status as he previously was, happy to be sent up as a man in his first role since Friends”, constantly making giving a wink to the audience about his "How You Doin'?" days. This kind of attitude is clever, conspiratorial and is almost like an inside joke with both actor and audience, that literally can’t help but draw us in.

This week however the show was stolen by,  Carol Rance (Perkins), having a inappropriate and lewd affair with the show exec, Merc Lapidus (Pankow). The affair is chugging along pretty badly, and get a tad worse when she bumps into his wife at a screening, and sets the scene for one of those awkward sight gags of which successful sitcoms are made. Its these awkward scenarios, inflated egos and constant one liners that make the show so brilliant, and although it will never match the success of Friends, it is a brilliant cult comedy to do battle in today's sitcom world, right next to Community, 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation.

Episodes - Season 2 Promo