Matt LeBlanc makes wise career move with 'Episodes' - East Valley Tribune: Tv

TV Outlook Matt LeBlanc makes wise career move with 'Episodes'

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Posted: Sunday, August 26, 2012 6:15 am

If you figure you know Matt LeBlanc now based on playing a version of himself on "Episodes," well, you'd be wrong.

"I'm not really him at all," LeBlanc said of his alter ego. "But it's what the audience thinks celebrities are like (off camera). It's what they think I am like."

As the second season of the critically acclaimed "Episodes" comes to a close (10:30 p.m. EDT Sunday, Showtime), LeBlanc, the imaginary version, is chin-deep in trouble. Lonely and desperate for attention, he's been dating his stalker while also having an affair with the blind wife of his network's president.

That all comes to a head in the finale, when the affairs are exposed, and LeBlanc gets into a physical altercation with the network president, who's been fired because he passed up a series about a talking dog that became a hit for another network.

This is all part and parcel of "Episodes," a broad comedy about LeBlanc trying to revive his flagging career by doing a second-rate remake of a heartwarming British comedy. LeBlanc's career needs help not because of bad career choices but because of poor personal ones.

And, in Hollywood, wrong personal choices are as lethal as picking the wrong project.

The real LeBlanc isn't this level of obnoxious. Also, "Episodes" has been a wise career move.

Created by David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik -- who also were behind "Friends" -- and shot in London (though the series is set in Los Angeles), "Episodes" has brought LeBlanc the biggest critical lauds of any former star of "Friends."

"I trust David and Jeffrey. They're good for me," he said.

Though LeBlanc dismisses the womanizing and other misdeeds that his TV version does, he admits that part of the character mirrors him sometimes.

What exactly are those traits?

"When he's good and kind," LeBlanc said with a grin.

Other highlights for the week of Aug. 26 to Sept. 1 (listings subject to change; check local listings):


-- "True Blood" (9 p.m., HBO). Eric takes one last chance to thwart The Authority as the fifth season draws to an end.


-- The Republican National Convention, covered throughout the day and night on various networks, begins in Tampa, Fla. The gathering, which will formalize the ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as the party's nominees for president and vice president, respectively, wraps up on Thursday.


-- "Addicted" (10 p.m., Discovery Fit & Health). The season-two premiere follows a doctor and her work with nine patients trying to get the substance-abuse monkey off their backs.


-- "Melissa & Joey" (8 p.m., ABC Family). Joey pops the question. And the answer is yes: a lovelorn Melissa will officiate at his wedding in this pivotal episode.


-- "Parks and Recreation" (8:30 p.m., NBC). In a repeat of the season finale, the election is held, and Lesley reflects on what the future will bring, win or lose.


-- "Hatfields & McCoys" (6 p.m., A&E). The entire six-hour miniseries plays out. Kevin Costner headlines the cast of this unexpected hit based on the historical family feud.

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