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I TALK Episodes (Series 4)

When Friends finished in 2004, all eyes were on what the cast would do next.

Jennifer Anniston became the rom-com queen, Courtney Cox gave being a cougar a go in Cougar Town, Matthew Perry starred in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Lisa Kudrow made a comeback in Comeback and offered advice over the internet in Web Therapy and David Schwimmer starred in the Madagascar films and will appear in the latest series of Episodes as himself!


But what became of Matt LeBlanc who played Joey Tribbiani? Well, there was the less than well-received spin-off Joey which only lasted for two series, but then his real post-Friends break came in Episodes when he was asked to play a version of himself and the series returns this week for a fourth run.


Episodes follows Sean and Beverley Lincoln, (played by Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig) as they head to Hollywood to adapt their much-loved British boarding school sitcom Lyman's Boys. But when they get there, Lyman's Boys has turned into Pucks! and the boarding school is replaced with a high-school and the English teacher is replaced by a high-school hockey coach played by Matt LeBlanc.


Whilst out there, Sean and Beverley separate after Beverley sleeps with Matt (LeBlanc) in a state of drunken madness! Season three ends with Sean and Beverely back together and back in their beloved London after Pucks! is cancelled by the network... but the series isn't cancelled for long as Sean and Beverley are dragged back out to LA to reprieve Pucks! - a shock to everyone, not least of all Matt who was about to embark on an NBC pilot.


In episode one, Matt learns that he is in somewhat of a financial crisis, having lost $32m! But there's really no need to feel sorry for him, as he's still got $31m left... a sum of money that Sean and Beverley can only ever dream of getting their hands on! Matt does have to make some tough financial decisions though, because if he continues spending the way he is, that $31m will run out in 2019!


With his ex-wife getting married again, this could save Matt millions in alimony, so it's in his best interests to get close to his ex-wife again in the hope that she'll spill when she plans to get married. The sooner the better as far as Matt is concerned. The NBC pilot Matt had to turn down because of Pucks! is back on the cards and Matt manages to convince Sean and Beverley to help him secure it.


As well as all of this, there's a new boss at the network, Helen Basch, which means life has become that little bit more complicated for everyone involved. And whilst Pucks! might as well have been cancelled for what it's worth, it doesn't look like Sean and Beverley will be heading back to London anytime soon as the network are interested in their new script, The Opposite of Us.


With Episodes now into its fourth season, we've really grown to know and love Sean, Beverley and Matt, and I can see no reason why Episodes can't just run and run. Granted, for a comedy it's not laugh out loud, but it doesn't need to be and nor is it trying to be.


The script doesn't rely on outrageous situations, funny one-liners or madcap characters to bring the comedy. Instead we're invited into a world that feels very real, and it's the chemistry between the characters and the decisions they make that draws out the comedy and the more we get to know the characters, the more we're drawn in.


Episodes returns Monday 11th May at 10pm on BBC Two

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