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Derek - New Channel 4 Comedy from Ricky Gervais


lordcookie
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I just didn't see the point of this to be honest. The humour is fairly predictable, the drama a little cloying, although actually far less so than I expected. It had lots of rehashed pratfalls and scenes from The office and extras and just sort of bounced along without any aim or direction. I think it might have benfitted from Derek being played by someone other than Gervais, but if it had it most likely wouldn't have been televised. Actually kind of weird to watch really.

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Yeah the headbutt scene with the Eminem track to make her seem cool :facepalm:

There was something there though, his character was refreshing (as was the setting) and the characters had potential but it seems bizarre Gervais went for emotion as you just can't do that in a one off 25 minute special with new characters. It felt more like an experiment on his part to prove you can make such a show unoffensive and to that extent I feel he pulled it off. I'm glad he's doing a series as this seems to have potential to deal with emotion more which I really missed from Life Too Short and even Extras to a lesser extent. I just wish he never made this one off special, it's sort of gone off on the wrong foot.

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Predictable. Mentally disabled guy, therefore he must be nice and charming. Would've been better if he was a complete prick and horrible character but that would've taken balls to write and Gervais can't be bothered to put effort into his work anymore.

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Predictable. Mentally disabled guy, therefore he must be nice and charming. Would've been better if he was a complete prick and horrible character but that would've taken balls to write and Gervais can't be bothered to put effort into his work anymore.

I'm not sure I agree with that. So many people in this country are 'terrified' of the disabled, especially people with mental disabilities. Mental healthcare in this country is shockingly underfunded and is so often swept under the carpet. A show that portrays someone with a mental disability as a nice and friendly character might actually help to erode some of that fear.

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Not impressed. Just hits all the same notes as his previous work, some awkward comedy, talking heads, with piano over the top of emotional heart string moments. The Derek character, although I didn't find offensive, I did find awkward to watch. The jutting jaw, the shuffling hunched walk. Couldn't he just have played him a simple minded guy without the physical tics? They do exist!

It didn't really work as a one off either.

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I’m glad it’s getting a more positive response in here, I thought it was really touching and brilliant for a 25 minute special.

There’s no question there were a few duff moments in there. The head-butt was out of character, you could see where the pond scene was heading a mile off and there were a few too many characters introduced all at once. But seeing as this appears to be more of a trial run for a series, you can understand Ricky trying to cram as much stuff in there as possible.

Karl’s scenes stole the show in my eyes, as soon as he entered the frame, I was already smiling awaiting what he was about to come up with. When he was told to fix the old woman’s frame of her painting, contemplating on why old people have so much shite, I was bursting out laughing. But those tirades by Douglas were bookended nicely with the far more serene and touching moments, with Ricky putting the prize money in her purse and crying at her wake, it was a nice introduction to his comedy than what I’ve seen of The Office.

If they can structure the inhabitants of the care home nicely and mix the observational comedy of Douglas’s and Derek’s life into the sadness of their existence, then I think this could be a really great series. Let’s hope it gets green lit by Channel 4.

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Predictable. Mentally disabled guy, therefore he must be nice and charming. Would've been better if he was a complete prick and horrible character but that would've taken balls to write and Gervais can't be bothered to put effort into his work anymore.

Nah, I think that's one of the things he's got right. If Derek was genuinely unlikeable, there would be no scope to involve the audience emotionally, given that he is at the centre of everything. We will see another side to him at some point you assume, otherwise there will be no dramatic interest, but not without some kind of resolution. He has to be presented as basically a good person.

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Just watched it, didn't think it was very funny, didn't think it was awful.

That's pretty much what I think of most of his work if I'm honest. I definitely didn't think he was sneering or being exploitative. I don't think Karl's role works for me, putting him in the same role he's been playing in public for years doesn't help but it's impossible to see him as anything but Karl saying Karl things and not actually acting or playing a role in the service of the show. A bit like divorcing Sid James from a million Carry On film appearances. If they'd got someone else in to play his character would you have recognised Karl there and thought it funny? Does it have to be Karl to be funny? I think it's a distraction.

Agree that it seems Gervais seems to have tried to shoehorn an entire series of plot points into a one off. I'm not sure how easy it'll be to sustain the setting and make it interesting. Good to see a show from him that's not about celebrity cameos though, even if it's not going to set the world on fire.

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Very surprised by how much I enjoyed this. Pilots must but a nightmare to write as you're trying to do so much at once, but this in the main succeeded. I did find Gervais' take on Derek's physicality a little awkward and unnecessary, but I don't mind the character being a kind, good person. If he was a bastard everyone would complain he's trotting out the same sort of character as in the past. I didn't even mind the head butt. Unrealistic sure, and I can see why it didn't float everyone's boat, but incongruity is often funny.

Karl's fantastic, but doesn't it make you think that although he's basically playing himself, given how good his performance and comic timing is, has he been playing a part all along? I hope not, because if it's the real him he's one of the most naturally funny people I've ever seen!

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Just watched it on 4oD, I've never really been too bothered by Gervais, I cant dislike his work but I dont particularly enjoy it either. I've not seen An Idiot Abroad so that may sway my opinion somewhat but I felt it would have been better if they were following Douglas around the carehome with Gervais as a secondary character.

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I'm not sure I agree with that. So many people in this country are 'terrified' of the disabled, especially people with mental disabilities. Mental healthcare in this country is shockingly underfunded and is so often swept under the carpet. A show that portrays someone with a mental disability as a nice and friendly character might actually help to erode some of that fear.

Maybe. It does feel to me though that they made him nice because of the subject matter. Will he have any unlikeable traits like 99% of the population?

Dunno if its me but Gervais *STILL* has Brent in this character. Or perhaps thats just Gervais. All the little nods and eye movements to the camera were very much like The Office though.

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Is this worth a watch then? All I've seen of it is that advert where Pilkington is driving a minibus, and I figured that if the best bit was that god awful 'what would win out of a suicide bomber and a shark bit', then it wasn't worth even recording.

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Is this worth a watch then? All I've seen of it is that advert where Pilkington is driving a minibus, and I figured that if the best bit was that god awful 'what would win out of a suicide bomber and a shark bit', then it wasn't worth even recording.

How valuable is your time? I mean, it's hard to answer if you're not saying what you'd be doing otherwise

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This was just breathtakingly awful. I was embarrassed for everyone associated with it.

Hardly. The fact that the Chuck Lorre comedies (Two and a Half Men, Big Bang Theory, Mike and Molly) are the most popular and watched on the planet, is where the embarrassment lies. Makes me ashamed to be part of the human race. Thank fuck people like Gervais/ Merchant are around.

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Just watched the first 10 minutes, will have to watch the rest later. So far, so much better than Life’s Too Short – though in fairness it is a completely different show.

I used to visit my nan at a home and the atmosphere in Derek feels eerily familiar. The quiet, the calm, the confusion, the frustration, the sweetness, the smiling, the sadness... all happening at a snail’s pace. So far I like it.

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Hardly. The fact that the Chuck Lorre comedies (Two and a Half Men, Big Bang Theory, Mike and Molly) are the most popular and watched on the planet, is where the embarrassment lies. Makes me ashamed to be part of the human race. Thank fuck people like Gervais/ Merchant are around.

I would say that all three of those shows (well, two, I've not seen Mike and Molly) are significantly better than Derek. And just to clarify: I think they're fucking awful. But at least they largely deliver what little they promise. I might chuckle at the odd one-liner in one of those shows; there was literally not a single moment of Derek that I thought was funny. Despite there being protracted sequences that were obviously supposed to be hilarious. Instead I suppose I was supposed to find it moving - perhaps if Gervais hadn't outrageously overacted his incredibly thin character it might have been? I'm seriously having trouble thinking of a bigger cliche than a mentally disabled character being the true emotional heart of the story. Ricky seems to think he's invented it.

I'm not a hater on Gervais. I'm one of the biggest fans of The Office there is. I genuinely think that at the time (and probably still) it was the best sitcom ever made. There had never been a comedy that was so precisely well-observed, and yet simultaneously sharp and actually touching as well. But each show he's made since has been progressively worse, and it's getting more and more painful to see someone fall so far from greatness. Every time I see him now I just think of Dennis Pennis talking to Steve Martin. "Hey man, why aren't you funny anymore?"

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Well I've seen the whole thing now. I thought it was great. A few moments needed a lighter touch, but it was so so much better than Life's Too Short.

I didn't laugh much, but I smiled a lot. Looking forward to seeing the full series.

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I would say that all three of those shows (well, two, I've not seen Mike and Molly) are significantly better than Derek. And just to clarify: I think they're fucking awful. But at least they largely deliver what little they promise. I might chuckle at the odd one-liner in one of those shows; there was literally not a single moment of Derek that I thought was funny. Despite there being protracted sequences that were obviously supposed to be hilarious. Instead I suppose I was supposed to find it moving - perhaps if Gervais hadn't outrageously overacted his incredibly thin character it might have been? I'm seriously having trouble thinking of a bigger cliche than a mentally disabled character being the true emotional heart of the story. Ricky seems to think he's invented it.

I'm not a hater on Gervais. I'm one of the biggest fans of The Office there is. I genuinely think that at the time (and probably still) it was the best sitcom ever made. There had never been a comedy that was so precisely well-observed, and yet simultaneously sharp and actually touching as well. But each show he's made since has been progressively worse, and it's getting more and more painful to see someone fall so far from greatness. Every time I see him now I just think of Dennis Pennis talking to Steve Martin. "Hey man, why aren't you funny anymore?"

I'm sure Gervais would be pretty happy that you don't like it seeing as you find chuckles in the nauseatingly grotesque Chuck Lorre comedies.

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I always like my comedy to have sentimental moments (e.g. scrubs), but in this the sentimentality to comedy ratio was right up the sentimentality end of the scale. The stuff that was "just for laughs" like the pond were the weakest bits, but I enjoyed the emotional aspect of the show - my wife was an absolute mess by the end of it! (She wouldn't necessarily have been so bad normally, but she was having "one of those days").

I think it'll work well as a series, given more time to develop ideas and characters etc.

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