The second series of Episodes came to an end a week or so ago and already it has left a bit of a gap on my Friday night schedule. (Not really, we tended to watch it late anyway, god bless the iPlayer!) Thankfully, the second series lived up to the promise of the first and was a fantastic way to end the working week - laughing all the way.
Overall, I still believe the first series was the best and if they do carry on for more, I don’t think the first will ever be beaten. It was a perfectly crafted piece, with exceptional dialogue and incredibly funny scenes. My only complaint was the out-of-character action for Ms Grieg towards the end of the series, but even that was completely forgiven when the final episode fight scene had me in tears of laughter.
I re-watched the first series before embarking upon the second, and in hindsight that was probably a mistake. If I had gone in with just the fond memories but without specifics, the second may have surpassed the first. As it was, I knew exactly what I was hoping for and it wasn’t quite what I got.
It’s hard to pinpoint why the second series didn’t quite have the same punch as the first, particularly because everything comes across as a criticism. Just like Sherlock, the worst episode of Episodes is still a gazillion times better than most of the TV out there, but if we’re comparing like for like, there was something I didn’t quite connect with as much in the second.
They were quite upfront and honest about it before the series aired, saying the success of the first and the new relationship statuses within the show allowed them to expand the cast of characters and get a bit more zany with the action. There was certainly some of that, but I didn’t think anything was too wild as to ruin the series, thankfully.
Interestingly, I thought some of the scenes where you’re rooting for Beverley and Shaun to get back together were reminiscent of Green Wing - you just want it so much for the characters, it aches when they are thwarted. I really enjoyed the growing relationship between Beverley and Carol - the latter being one of my absolute favourites. Then, equally, some of the scenes fell a little flat - I wasn’t all that keen on Matt’s ex-wife, and anything where the annoying ex-assistant showed up was just going through the motions. Where the first finale made up for any let-downs, this finale felt more as though it was tying up all the loose ends, with too much plot and not enough room for the regularly scheduled hilarity.
Nevertheless, there were plenty of laughs along the way, so many in fact that we’re going to have to rewatch at some point to pick up the jokes we missed whilst we were laughing. (As an aside, the tagline ‘Who needs Friends’ that went with the above teaser poster was one of the most genius things about the whole series. The episode with Matt rekindling his Friends relationships was a bit awkward as it went along, but the payoff was worth it times a million.)
Overall, a great second series, much fun and plenty to love. I can’t see where they could go with a third, but if they do decide to do it, I’ll definitely be on board.