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4.6 out of 5 stars281
4.6 out of 5 stars
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 2013
I'm writing from Australia and the last episode just screened last Thursday.
Derek is brilliant. Each episode is a statement on the value of life, respect for people, and the potential for kindness. You see annoyance between characters, but also the deeper commitment of acceptance. I have read the negative reviews-and I suppose this review is a response and I have to disagree. In my mind, the show isn't about all Derek and whatever his disability might be. To take issue with his representation misses the point. He's neutral foil for everybody else, without vices, vulnerable and he reflects everybody else's foibles. Frankly, you have to focus on the show as a piece, not TV entertainment. Ricky Gervais has used the medium as a venue for his feelings, especially about the elderly and those who can't speak for themselves. It's not the Office and it's not Extras and certainly not a feature film. More than one episode-especially that last one, has lurched at my insides and I'm crying. Talking about hard human issues without apology, Gervais has outdone himself. Thanks Ricky.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 9 June 2013
Brilliantly acted and scripted from start to finish, I'm only disappointed there weren't more episodes. One of the best things I've seen on tv in a really long time. Loved it.
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61 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on 10 March 2013
Im not a huge fan of Ricky Gervais but watched the pilot for this last year when my dad was in pallative care in local care home just to see what it was like and I quite enjoyed it. So I waited eagerly to see what the series was going to be like - probably not as good. How wrong I was. This is an absolutely brilliant piece of work. Every episode I laughed out loud and sobbed whilst I was laughing too. The observations of what its like to see elderly residents in a care home were spot on - and the final episode was the most emotional Ive been since dad died, it bought it all home. I cant wait for series 2 - and the dvd is a must !!!!! I wish every care home had a Derek x
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2015
Utter crap. I'm normally a fan of Ricky Gervais, but this was just embarrassing and not even slightly funny.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2013
I will start this by saying how I totally 'get' Derek. I completely understand the position of kindness this character takes and that nothing about this show is aimed to pick a fight with any disability. Furthermore, I am fully supportive of Derek as a character and consider any medical ailment associated with this man to be utterly arbitrary and those who choose to point judgmental fingers towards what they perceive is the pursuit of an easy laugh at the expense of the lesser abled have clearly missed the point.

So now that I have that out of the way, I can judge this show on it's comedic and dramatic merits, with it being most associated with these genres. Now I have loved everything Ricky Gervais has done but, like with any body of work, I have waited for it to collapse under the weight of expectation. I had approached Derek with a slight unease, concerned that this incredible comedy writer may have finally hit a creative impasse. I saw old youtube clips of this character from decades ago and felt it could offer little as an actual series. Derek's mannerisms didn't discomfort me at all but I felt the capacity for humor would be a little deprived with such a character. Also, this is a Gervais infused television series without the aide of Stephen Merchant whom I feel has made an incredible contribution to their shared work. Finally there was Karl. A man who has made me laugh above most others. I have loved him for his unpredictability and his utter genuine approach to everything he sees. So having such a raw talent scripted scared me a little.

But It turned out I had no need to worry. Derek is an absolute gem. Forged somewhere between drama and comedy, the show constantly pulls and pushes you between bouts of laughter, heart-wrenching sorrow and the brilliant moments of redemption (usually thanks to Mr. Pilkington). The acting, particularly by Gervais and Pilkington, are surprisingly excellent but it's Hannah, the 'mother goose' so to speak, who shoulders most. The performance of this character is remarkable. She is likeable, funny at times and most importantly, relatable. We all know and love a 'Hannah'!

Ricky Gervais has created something very special here. I am so incredibly pleased for his contribution to British programming in what is otherwise a baron environment. Cheers Rick!
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on 28 February 2013
Ricky Gervais strikes gold yet again with this perfectly crafted and brilliantly acted sitcom, managing to weave his unique style of laughs with a drama that always manages to lift my spirits - and given that I've been likened to Karl Pilkington in terms of being a down-in-the-mouth whinger, that's no mean feat!

Karl Pilkington, while essentially playing himself, demonstrates that he is quite an actor, and his character 'Dougie' is as hilarious as the unscripted Karl is in both 'An Idiot Abroad' and 'The Ricky Gervais Show'. David Earl is so convincingly creepy as 'Kev' that he makes your skin crawl as well as making you laugh, while 'Derek' himself, loveable and endearing, and the linchpin of the show, is played by Gervais with all the skill and sensitivity of the accomplished actor that he has become. Kerry Godliman's 'Hannah', as caring as Derek but without his childlike naivety, is far more than just 'the sensible one', and she delivers one of the finest lines in the entire series - which, unfortunately, cannot be repeated here! And let's not forget the cast of supporting actors and actresses, including the oldies themselves, some of whom also have their moments.

And, of course, there is ... baby monkey on a pig! Cue the song! (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you'll have to watch it to find out ... )

As well as being just as funny as anything that Gervais has done previously, perhaps even funnier, what really stands out about his latest project is that it manages to blend laugh-out-loud comedy with sometimes quite moving and uplifting drama (matched, of course, by a suitably stirring soundtrack). In this respect, not only will it appeal to those who are not necessarily fans of his (such as my set-in-their ways parents), but it also very much reminded me of what the late John Sullivan managed to achieve with 'Only Fools and Horses'. And while Gervais's humour is very different from that of Sullivan, when something is so good that you start comparing it to one of the finest and most popular sitcoms of all time, you know that you're onto a winner.

In short, this is a moving, heart-warming, life-affirming and utterly hilarious comedy, which I would highly recommend. Oh, and the 'Making Of' is also well worth watching, if for nothing more than the spectacle of Gervais, one of our most gifted and innovative comedy writers and now a transatlantic superstar, reduced to rolling around on the floor in hysterics after letting one go on Karl Pilkington's head! Make's you proud to be British!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2013
Ricky Gervais as the 'handicapped' Derek emerges as a truly gifted actor in this series. Throughout, I had a hard job convincing myself that Derek was being portrayed by the same man who wowed us with 'The office'.
Derek is a 'special' person, and as the series gradually reveals, you have to conclude that he is 'special' in a very good way indeed. He lacks the guile of the sophisticate and returns slanted, snide or fatuous remarks from the pompous, overbearing or self-obsessed with oh so direct frankness and simple honesty. This is delightful stuff - the joke is always on the other person; never on Derek.
essentially, Derek wants to be friends with everyone around him and gets rather anxious if anyone in his circle is the least bit upset.
The way that Derek challenges prevailing perceptions about the handicapped makes this an important social commentary. It also says so much about the relative shortcomings of so-called 'normal' people.
To sum up, brilliant, charming and touching. Only a complete oaf could fail to be moved.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 11 April 2013
If you haven't seen Derek yet, I would definitely urge you to buy this DVD. I am a huge fan of Ricky Gervais and all of his work, but I'd like to say to those who are not... don't let this discourage you from watching Derek!! It is relevant, unique, humbling, and highlights true kindness and beauty in people (especially the character Derek). It is beautifully written, directed and acted. Despite being a fan of Ricky's previous roles, I was greatly impressed with his quality of acting in Derek, (and the same can be said for Karl Pilkington, who plays Dougie!) It is clear from Ricky's heartfelt, powerful and emotional performances as Derek, that the character holds a special place in his heart. You forget who the actors are outside of the show and believe the messages the characters convincingly portray. It will have you laughing and crying from scene to scene, and above all else.. it is simply enjoyable to watch! It's an excellent show, where audiences can relate and identify with the many themes. Looking forward to Series two!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 September 2013
Ageism dies in this new venture from the man who brought you all that awkward and hilarious comedy. Mr. Gervais slows down the pace at the Broadhill rest home for seniors with "Derek". Playing the namesake role, Mr. Gervais finds that the magic of kindness can be generated with laughs AND sentimentality that is not "mental" or cartoon or formula in any fashion like the typical sitcom dreck. Maudlin it may be but that's a good thing in the case of Derek.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2013
Derek is a real treasure.

Set in an almost depressing environment, alongside people who have simply found themselves at the carehome, Derek is happy, kind and thoughtful. With all the characters having their own problems and questioning life generally, Derek is kind to people because that is what makes him happy. Each episode shows a different side to each character and by the end of the series you feel attached to all the characters, even Kev, a disgusting, alcoholic who is obsessed with sex.

Although The Office, Extras and other 'sitcoms' are brilliant in their own way, everybody can learn from Derek and aspire to be like him which is unlike Brent and Millman and other characters in previous Gervais programmes. That is what makes it such a memorable and meaningful watch.

A mention must also go to the music - some incredible choices.
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