Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Watchable, but not his best, 26 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Ricky Gervais Live IV - Science [DVD] (DVD)
When I saw him perform this live (during the same week that it was recorded for DVD) I thought it was hilarious and laughed my ass off - mostly because you're there, caught up in the moment and, in my case, buzzing from the pleasure of seeing one of my favourite comedians of recent history perform live.

However, having watched it on DVD, its flaws become far more apparent. I'd noticed when I saw it live that, unlike his past three shows and the title would suggest, it had no real central theme (despite a rather forced sentence or two explaining it near the end). That didn't particularly bother me though, since as long as the jokes were funny, that was all that really mattered. Upon rewatching it though, I realise that along with not having a running theme, it's also structured quite poorly in general and seems to just be a jumble of different ideas with not much to connect them. And having since listened to the podcasts, I caught on to the fact that a lot of the jokes are recycled from there, and were sometimes things Karl Pilkington said rather than Gervais himself (especially the goat routine).

Despite its flaws in comparison to his earlier shows, it's still solid entertainment and is far from boring. A fair few negative reviews seem to be from disgruntled fat people, or people who watched it with fat people, who felt uncomfortable with the routine about obesity, which I don't think is a valid reason to dislike it. When I saw him live, I was with an overweight girl (and a Japanese guy), and neither of them were offended by anything he said - it's just comedy, and like he says (as a former fat person himself), it's not mocking a disease that can't be cured. This is a man who has poked fun at race, religion, disability and everything else throughout his career (including obesity), so I'm not sure why it's suddenly so alarming.

Anyway, if you're a fan of his work, this is a worthy addition to the collection - just don't expect to be blown away.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Jun 2011 11:23:42 BDT
Last edited by the author on 14 Jun 2011 11:24:18 BDT
You don't have to be fat to be disappointed by Ricky on this one. Just like you don't have to be black to be offended by Bernard Manning. Also, if a black person said that Bernard Manning was ok - that doesn't make Bernard Manning ok. This is by necessity a subjective judgement on his work, but I don't like nasty humour. I don't like the use of the word Mong. Let me repeat very simply, I just don't like nasty humour returning back to British comedy with an 'irony' or 'subversive' twist, if you like it fair enough but I don't have to be directly injured by his comments to not like it. In fact I hate it, the man is rich and very successful, his targets leave a very nasty taste in the mouth. This anti-Daily Mail rubbish of being hip and cool etc is nonsense, the daily mail is a nonsense paper, but is a convenient "straw-man" to excuse modern comedians excesses. I hated spending £10 on this bullying stuff - I wish I didn't, and I thought he was better than that.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jun 2011 17:44:41 BDT
Last edited by the author on 14 Jun 2011 17:45:35 BDT
What I don't understand is that 90% of Ricky's material spanning his entire career has poked fun at fat people (mostly himself back when he was fatter), and I don't understand why people are suddenly complaining about it now. I'd actually say his previous show, Fame, had more scathing attacks on obese people anyway. And on that subject, poking fun at obesity is not the same as poking fun at race like you suggested (the idea being that, more often than not, obesity is caused by bad, unhealthy lifestyle choices). I didn't think this show was particularly good, but my complaints are that it wasn't very funny and the jokes were recycled/poor quality. But it was no more "bullying" than anything else he's done, really.

But I suggest you avoid George Carlin, Jerry Sadowitz, Louis CK and Doug Stanhope if you don't like that kind of thing, I'm just surprised you never noticed that it comprises most of Ricky Gervais's career before now.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jun 2011 18:04:04 BDT
You think he's cool and lump him in with a 'stand-up' legend such as Carlin to strengthen your argument. That's great, but it's nonsense.

You can "quote" all you want you lessen the integrity of my use of the word "bullying" but it doesn't change the facts.

Also Ricky is well known for a lot cleverer things than this DVD (if you ignore his 11'o'clock show and meet ricky gervais stuff - and boy did we!)

But whatever, if you think it's good that's fine.

Just wanted to say, human beings don't have to be directly affected by mocking humour to not like it.
Seems sad that in this day and age we have to make point explicitly.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jun 2011 18:40:55 BDT
I don't think Ricky's particularly cool. In fact, I haven't liked anything he's done since Extras/Fame, really, and find him intensely annoying in interviews and that dreadful Talking Funny thing he did recently. The reason I mentioned Carlin is because he's another (although far better) example of a comedian who pokes fun at controversial topics or "victims", fat people included, and if you're not a fan of that kind of thing, probably best avoiding. I'd say he does it more intelligently, but it's still the same thing. If you're okay with Carlin doing it but not Ricky, then I'm keen to know why.

And where did I say it was good? I've made it pretty clear that I thought this show was disappointing, and the more I watch it, the worse it becomes.

And no, you don't have to be directly affected by mocking humour to dislike it, thanks for stating the obvious. But it seems odd that a fan of at least some of Ricky's work would suddenly be offended by him making jibes at fat people (which he has been doing since the beginning of his career). And again, the whole point of his mocking is that fat people, more often than not, are fat as a result of their own bad lifestyles and shouldn't be treated as "victims". The only difference I can see between his anti-fat rant in Science and the one in Fame is that, when Fame was recorded, he was certifiably fat himself.

But yes, it's pretty simple - don't watch it. And certainly don't act as though you're above people who do like it, it doesn't aid whatever point you're trying to make.
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