This vehicle for Gervais/Merchant is great taken on its own terms. A slice of 70s life, shot through with their characteristic humour. All the humour that IS in it (and there is a lot, I think some of these viewers have had their funny bones removed)is borne of real life getting in the way of the protagonists' plans.
It's largely the humour of awkwardness (check out the Winner's ball scene, and the appearance, twice, of the 'C' word) rather than fine characterisation - but the drive here is all about the narrative, not the characters' development.
It's not perfect, but it's certainly not bad or rubbish, either. I laughed out loud quite a few times - not least at the fashion, the wallpaper, the hairdos.
It's an affectionate boy's-own tale, really - all raging hormones and aspirant 70s living - all Peter Stuyvesant and cabin crew chic. You can see the story resolution coming a mile off, but I still wanted to watch it unfold.
A diverting hour and a half. And boasting an hilarious 1 minute cameo from Stephen Merchant. Gervais is fine, too - business as usual for him, though.