Derek TV review – 2013 – Ricky Gervais fails at his solo acting and directing debut!

I have always rated Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant,to date their work has been pretty much faultless,The office will go down in history and Extra’s was a solid piece of work,added to this you have a decent movie in Cemetery Junction and the light-hearted but hilarious Idiot abroad with Karl Pilkington.

Stephen Merchant has always joked with Ricky that all his successful work and roles are Ricky’s personality and in essence Ricky,David Brent and Andy Millman are not worlds apart,they are both witty and sarcastic and most of the time the joke is on them,there are character differences with ego and goatee but not a lot else.

So as we move on to Ricky’s new show Derek, it’s surprising that Ricky has attempted to act for a change,Derek, to put it nicely is slower to catch on than the rest of us,he walks round with the pride of a gimp while his hair is brushed forward to create the same character Ricky used when he is referring to  ”simple” characters on his live stage shows.

The show itself is such a let down,I don’t know if Stephen Merchant’s absence is a reason but I honestly think that if he had viewed what Ricky had viewed on day one of Derek he would have pulled Ricky aside and told him it was shite, maybe Stephen is smarter than we think, maybe this was his plan,let Ricky show what he doesn’t know about making great TV and I will come out smelling of roses.

I get uncomfortable when watching Ricky play the rain man (Derek), Ricky is banging on about the fact that he is not disabled,either way I am not against someone playing someone of Derek’s ability, it just makes me cringe when a comedy legend such as Ricky is trying to show range that he just doesn’t have,the show has been described as a light-hearted drama with moments of comedy, I would describe it as a ball ache of a show with moment’s of nauseousness, I am sure any comedian in the future would call their work ”drama” if the laughs failed to arrive.

The Office was not a laugh a minute comedy,it had a brain and was put together and created by people who knew what works and what was funny,it seems one of these people have forgotten these golden rules.




6 thoughts on “Derek TV review – 2013 – Ricky Gervais fails at his solo acting and directing debut!”

  1. Graham Linehan said being a good writer is like “taking a good shite” – you really need to be bursting to produce something good.

    “David Brent” was the amalgam of a myriad of different characters which Gervais had observed throughout his working life. His portrayal of Brent was lauded by all and sundry and his idiosyncratic acting style probably became the most mimicked style in the ensuing years.

    However a decade on, most people are now beginning to suspect that it was Stephen Merchant who most likely crafted the scenarios and supporting characters which enabled Gervais to give his masterclass in awkward, faux pas humour.

    The Office was undoubtedly brilliant – and sometimes unquantifiable ingredients conspire at the right time to make something like this happen. Magic.

    The reason “The Office” was so good, is because it resonated. People saw Brent and said “oooh my boss is like that!” or “the guy in the video shop is like that!”. Everyone knew the “universal character” that was David Brent.

    But even more so – perhaps all of us knew, deep down – but dare not say – that there was a little “David Brent” in all of us. We all know what it feels like to try too hard; to be disrespected by the ones we crave respect from; to be lonely. And whilst the humour was always brilliant, it was always tinged with a hint of sadness.

    Since then Gervais has been on a downward slope. No longer is he bursting with good ideas – rather – hes swollen with his own ego.

    Now hes either indulging in vanity projects (such as his shallow portrayal of himself in “Lifes Too Short”) or relying on Karl Pilkingtons naturally brilliant sardonic humour to paper over the cracks of his own shortcomings.

    But his latest offering is abysmal. So abysmal, I’m left wondering, where do you start when trying to critique it?

    There’s no point in trying to discuss it – it’s there for all to see. The only thing that will resonate with the audience now, is how truly awful it is.

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