Is Ricky Gervais for Real with Derek?

Derekmidres.jpg

When I first heard about Ricky Gervais’s new show Derek, I wasn’t quite sure what to think. From the preview, it seemed that he played a mentally deficient (or at least very dim) worker at an old folks’ home, surrounded by idiot friends.

“Has he finally crossed that line?” I wondered as it seemed like Gervais was finally being too offensive to tolerate. He’s always been about snark and sarcasm, but could he really have a show devoted to making fun of the disabled?

Then I watched the pilot.

As it turns out, it seems that Derek is something of a redemption for Gervais. We know him best for roles in The Office and Extras, where he plays a pompous jerk that may be a touch goodhearted, but only 5% of the time.

derek2

Derek? He’s pure of heart absolutely 100% of the time he’s onscreen. It’s really the entire premise of the show. Yes, he’s dim, and that’s used for comedic effect, but it’s never mean-spirited and Derek as a show and a character somehow manages to feel like the most innocent thing on TV.

I have to wonder what inspired this “road to Damascus” moment for Gervais. Was he simply tired of always playing the guy everyone hates? I can’t really blame him for wanting to take on a character that everyone can’t help but love.

And the show is good, too. It balances heartwarming and funny in a way that you might not think possible, and the pilot is a must-see for anyone who has been following Gervais’s work over the years. I think it’s the most drastic transformation for nearly any comedian I’ve seen.

derek3

How will the show work as well, a show? It seemed ripe for the half hour special it original appeared to be, but you might wonder how they’re going to stretch it into a full series. After all, there isn’t too terribly much exciting that happens within the walls of a nursing home. And how many times can an old person who Derek likes die and everyone is sad? It already happened in the pilot, but given the nature of the location, that seems like it might happen quite often.

In any case, this is a rather fascinating experiment by Gervais to change the perception of his “brand” from snarky British douche to a nice guy trying to make a hero out of an unlikely character. Not to say being a snarky British douche didn’t make for great television, but I like seeing actors go outside their comfort zone.

I believe the second episode of Derek airs tonight, but you can catch up on the pilot which aired quite a long time ago online here if you like:

One Response

  1. Jake February 7, 2013

Leave a Reply

Al Roker on Ryan Lochte
Ryan Lochte Lied: Why We Love Al Roker Losing it With Billy Bush
The Voice Season 11 Preview
The Voice Season 11 Preview: Miley Cyrus & Alicia Keys – Keeping it Real
New Fall 2016 TV Shows
The 10 New Fall 2016 TV Shows You Don’t Want To Miss!
Runaways
Marvel’s ‘Runaways’ Ordered to Series at Hulu
Deadshot and Harley
‘Suicide Squad’ Sets More Box Office Records, Beats ‘Civil War’
Archive 81
‘Archive 81’: An Interview with the Creators of the Horror Audio Drama, Daniel Powell & Marc Sollinger
Jared Leto as the Joker, laughing in the faces of critics.
‘Suicide Squad’ Shatters August Record for $135M Opening Weekend
Jared Leto as the Joker, laughing in the faces of critics.
‘Suicide Squad’ Soars with $65.1M Friday, Now Heading Toward $150M Opening Weekend
Moviepilot
What Are Twitter Users’ #7favfilms?
The Star Trek 50th Anniversary Blu-ray Set Has 30 Discs
The Star Trek 50th Anniversary Blu-ray Set Has 30 Discs
Ghostbusters
Hollywood: Women in Movies From Past to Present
Actress Zoe Kravitz is added to Fantastic Beasts
Harry Potter’s “Fantastic Beasts” Just Got Hotter – With Zoe Kravitz!
Kehlani, "Gangsta"
Check Out the New Music Video for Kehlani’s ‘Gangsta’ from ‘Suicide Squad!’
Suicide Squad: The Album
‘Suicide Squad’ Soundtrack Is the Best of the Summer: Review
Jared Leto as the Joker
Jared Leto Returns as Joker in ‘Purple Lamborghini’ Music Video for ‘Suicide Squad!’
Galactic Empire
Why Star Wars Fans Should Be Paying Attention to Galactic Empire
Sports News
The Best Lessons From the 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremony
150415194757-2015-playoff-graphic-2-041515.1200x672
The Top Five Moments in NBA Playoffs History
2themastes
Your Official Guide to Watching the Masters Tournament on TV
Austin X Games
X Games Austin 2016 Has an Amazing Sports and Music Lineup

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.