I don’t know where I really stand, liking or not liking, with regards to Ricky Gervais.
I remember his early stuff on, ‘The 11 0’clock show’ and his solo stuff on that old cable channel UK Play. Or was it Play UK? Hmmm, anyway, it was generally insulting and not that funny, unless you think calling Alison Moyet names in a piss-poor Beavis and Butthead style is funny, of course.
Then came, ‘The Office’ which is still a bit hit and miss for me aside from the really quite brilliant Xmas special which ended the series. (As a side-note, I’ve really taken to, ‘The US Office’ which is fab’.)
‘Extras’, I watched as well, due to me being and still being a TV/Film extra so I was curious to see what his take was on it. It wasn’t anything like being an extra and from watching it I presumed the idea was more about seeing well known film stars act like their complete, perceived, opposites, ie, complete gits. However, what really annoyed me was Gervais’ main character reacting with, 'I don't want to go out with a psychopath' when offered a chance to go out with someone who had, ‘clinical depression’. That rankled and still does now.
At the moment of writing this I was watching, ‘Life’s too Short’, that show with Warwick Davis in it and it’s the same atmosphere as it seems to be in all of his shows. People acting like complete gits, saying the worst thing and being put in the crappiest situation where the reaction is to any and all of the situations by either saying the rudest thing or to act it out. Watching Warwick Davis in this, watching his ‘character’ being put through and putting other people through various uncomfortable situations usually regarding his height, I find it extremely annoying that he gave Karl Pilkington and others a bad time for similar in their, ‘Idiot Abroad’ show. Yet, what’s this? Warwick sleeping in a chest of drawers for laughs.
All Gervais’ comedy seems to revolve around is the minor shock factor of, ‘Ooh, look Keith Chegwin’s talking about choking himself out whilst masturbating. ‘Oh my! Les Dennis is in the nude talking about sex!’ ‘And look, there’s Clive Owen being an obnoxious tit!’
Saying nasty things, putting people in crap situations and generally being arseholes.
And as for that depression/psychopath crack, all I have to say about that is a showing of the following. Funny and not spiteful or pandering to people’s ignorance at all. All from the early days of, now, a true comedy icon.
Look and learn Gervais.