Episodes season 2 continues on the same path as season 1. Sean and Bev are no longer a couple (though still married) but write their TV show Pucks together anyway, despite the fact that Sean discovered Bev had slept with their star, Matt LeBlanc (who is playing himself). LeBlanc’s still on his self sabotage lifestyle as he has an affair with his boss’s wife and has sex with his stalker. A lot of it is stupid, like Morning’s cheek enhancement malfunction, but it is consistently funny and surprising, often saved by the awkward or ridiculous (like trying to hide Morning’s cheek with a book or her hair). As much as I will never stop singing the praises of Tamsin Greig and Stephen Mangan, the supporting cast certainly holds their own. Kathleen Rose Perkins and John Pankow as Carol and Merc are particularly good. Carol and Bev have great chemistry, which comes out on their woman-to-woman chats while hiking the hills of Hollywood, the last of which ends with Carol chasing Bev up a cliff to get her to admit she knows Merc’s wife is having an affair with Matt LeBlanc. Merc Lapidus is network scum–just look at his father’s funeral service if you don’t believe me–but bizarrely not wholly unlikable. This season sees the addition of James Purefoy as Rob, Morning’s brother and Bev’s new love interest. As good as he may be, I never quite got settled into his American accent. Of everyone, Daisy Haggard is the funniest. They don’t over-use her, so whenever she says anything, I mean anything, I squeal with laughter.
Although we continue to get the satire on Hollywood business and L.A. life, like Merc’s job being in jeopardy over passing on a talking dog show (Wilfred anyone?) and what to do when your boss’s father dies, the show is less about the specifics of translating a British show into an American show, which was the biggest draw for me. It’s focused more on the relationships. Matt spends the first couple episodes trying to win back the affection of Sean and Bev after he destroys their marriage. While Bev is swooned by a free car, Sean takes a little more time to heal. Meanwhile, Carol is still holding onto the hope that Merc will leave his blind saint of a wife to be with her. Sean starts seeing Morning for real, while Bev is holding out for Sean, until the last couple episodes when she goes on a couple hesitant dates with Morning’s brother. Then, when Matt finds out the network thinks he’s too fat, he gets in a fight with Jamie Lapidus and invites over his stalker, at the risk of losing visitation time with his kids. Sean and Bev have a few on-again-off-again moments, and we’re left wondering whether they’ll get back together for good at the top of season 3. I sure hope so.
Season 3 is currently airing on Showtime in the States.