Friday, April 13, 2012

DEREK: The Review

@RickyGervais #Derek #KarlPilkington

Listen, the writers here at Castle Awesome appreciate the work of Ricky Gervais and what he has done to shape modern media. Last year I personally wrote an article about The Office that was, and still is, featured on Ricky Gervais' personal website. Up until that point, almost everything Ricky Gervais touched, turned to gold.

What wasn't properly documented on this website, were the few failings that occurred after I wrote the aforementioned article. Personally, I apologise for that. We are not "Ricky Gervais" fanboys, we aren't going to write a glowing article about a TV show or Golden Globe presentation that we didn't like, a la Star Wars fans surrounding Episode I: The Phantom Menace. I will admit some fault though, which simply was, we turned a blind eye.

Life's Too Short had all the implications of being an amazing TV series, but it wasn't. Ricky Gervais' third appearance at the Golden Globes was meant to be a blood bath, but it wasn't. And An Idiot Abroad: The Bucket List, was supposed to irritate Karl Pilkington twice as much as the first season, but it didn't.

And now there is Derek. Written, Directed and Starring Ricky Gervais.

The first time we saw the character Derek was during Gervais' live stand up show "Science". The character was portrayed as a very sad "autograph hunter" who had greasy hair slicked forward, sporting a speech impediment and waddled like a penguin. Obviously, Gervais was poking fun at this character.

Not too long afterwards, I read somewhere that Gervais was considering turning that character into a TV series. Needless to say, after being somewhat disappointed with "Life's Too Short", I simply shrugged off his comments and went on my way.

Today, the pilot episode of Derek premiered in the UK. 

Below is my review.

Karl Pilkington: The Actor

Before I get to my thoughts about the episode, whether I liked it or not, there was one individual that kept me watching.

Is he stupid? Is he an idiot? Does he have a head like a fucking orange? No, he is an actor. A fucking fantastic one at that. Sure, Karl Pilkington still emulates himself during this show. He still talks funny, mumbles, and gets worked up over nonsensical things, but the fact he is able to act someone else's thoughts, and not his own ramblings that spill out of his mouth, is proof that Karl Pilkington is talented. He was perfect, as himself, playing someone else.

Derek: The Verdict

As I sat down to watch this show, the only thing going through my mind was the past failings I mentioned at the start of this review, and for the first 15 minutes, those thoughts haunted me. I felt awkward, uncomfortable and I feared the worst. I made grunts and groans.... and not once did I laugh.

Then something happened.... and that was it, I was sucked in.

Don't have any predetermined thoughts about this show, or do, it doesn't matter because it will take you by surprise, and by the end of the show, you will know what makes it different to "Life's Too Short, An Idiot Abroad and The Golden Globes" and why it is very similar to "The Office and Extras".

This show has a heart. A living, beating heart. Derek is a beautiful story about the best love anyone could have in their lives. Unconditional love. Unconditional love from friends, who never judge you because of the way you talk, walk or look. True friends. Derek is the richest man in the world because he is loved by his friends and he loves his friends just as much.

I wasn't happy with the first 15 minutes, only because I had dismissed it in my mind, but by the final minutes of this first episode, I had been reduced to tears.

I don't want to say to much about this show, simply because it speaks for itself, but it is definitely one to put on your radar. Whether you like it or not, this show leans in the right direction of Gervais-esque comedy drama....


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