Recommended Re-Viewing: Aaron Sorkin On 'Episodes', The Binge-Watch He Wishes He'd Written

The Academy Award-winning screenwriter of 'The West Wing' and 'The Social Network' on why you should bunker down with this British-American comedy

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Recommended Re-Viewing is a series in which we make the case for re-watching an old film or TV series which you can stream without leaving your house. It might be a plot that's so bad it's good, a scene which deserves more interrogation or a director's underrated gem.

In this instalment, Aaron Sorkin, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of The Social Network and director of Molly's Game, talks about his ideal binge-watch.


I think Episodes may have been a show that slipped through the cracks for some people, but you’ll start watching the first episode and come up for air and it’ll be a week later. From beginning to end it’s kind of one continuous story, so it’s nice to be able to watch the next one right away. It’s not so much that it im电竞官网-has influenced my writing, it’s more that I watch it thinking, ‘I’d love to write that’, because it's such a solid romantic comedy.

im电竞官网-The overall joke that drives the whole series is that Sean and Beverly, a married couple who are the writers of a sophisticated, Bafta-winning TV series in the UK, have their show bought by an American network.

im电竞官网-They want the couple to recreate their magic, but in Americanising the series they ruin everything that’s great about it. Their contract means they have to keep making this terrible show where Matt LeBlanc is now a playing a hockey coach instead of a headmaster at a prestigious English boarding school.

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Episodes feels like a nice UK and American collaboration and a marriage of British and American humour. Sometimes there’s a pace to it that can feel a little bit like a British sex farce but it always keeps its feet planted. I think Matt LeBlanc gives a sensational performance as an absurd version of Matt LeBlanc, and there's an actress in it called Kathleen Rose Perkins who I had never seen before but who I now think should be cast in everything.

It used to be that when you saw something that was made before 9/11 it made you feel nostalgic just knowing that, when it was made, that hadn’t happened yet. When Episodes was made, Donald Trump hadn’t been elected yet, so there’s a kind of ‘Oh we were so young’ quality about it. It's a show which makes you feel happy.

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I’ve written about TV a couple of times, on Sports Night and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and The Newsroomim电竞官网-, and I think it’s a really interesting workplace, which is fun to go behind the scenes of. I’m really lucky in that I haven’t had Sean and Beverly’s experience, which is nightmarish on the show, but I can identify with the struggles of putting a TV show on every week.

I might be biased toward Episodes because the two romantic leads are writers, but it’s nice for writers to be romantic leads sometimes.

As told to Olivia Ovenden

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