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Customer Review

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Take a closer look, 20 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Derek - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Ricky Gervais's work tends to fall into two categories - love it or hate it. Because most of his other output tends to be comedy, many people may see this as such an attempt. Warning - it is not a comedy. This show has been slated in various sections of the media for various reasons, and it' easy to see why. If you take the time to watch it closely however, and without any preconceived notions of what it might be about, you might be surprised. Being a fan of Ricky Gervais's work in the past, I found it a bit confusing to start with. But perservering, I found it be a very clever, and often gentle and touching portayal of a man who, despite his obvious akwardness, is kind, caring, and just really an uncomplicated decent human being. Instead of being gushingly sentimental, I found it quite a hard hitting challenge to the way that we all, wether we like to admit it or not, view other people. The only thing I couldn't get used to however, was Karl Pilkington in a "serious" role. He's just too much like himself! In conclusion this won't be to everyone's taste, but before watching it try and keep an open mind first.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Feb 2013 13:04:42 GMT
To say it's not a comedy is doing the show a bit of a disservice. There are very obvious elements of typical Gervais comedy, similar to The Office & Extras. However Derek is arguably better than either of those as it highlights some important facets of the human condition, which you mentioned.

To be fair to Karl Pilkington, he's not an actor. I'm sure Gervais told him before they started filming, as most Directors tend to tell celebrities who have never acted before, not to act & just be himself. Had Karl tried to play a character, his lack of acting expertise would have been apparent to all & it would have been embarrassing watching him trying to act.

Posted on 28 Feb 2013 18:49:59 GMT
Ben Fox says:
A nicely written review that I wish I could agree with. I've adored all of Gervais' work - except perhaps Life's Too Short - and looked forward to this eagerly, especially given the promising promo he did years ago. Unfortunately, I do find it "gushingly sentimental", that is, in fact, the perfect way to describe it. The characters are universally paper-thin, and crudely observed. There's simply no nuance in the writing, divorcing it of any real sense of reality or poignancy. Quite how anybody can regard "Is he handicapped?" "Yes, he's too nice for his own good" as convincing storytelling, genuinely escapes me. It's like being raped by a lobotomised Stephen Spielberg.
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