After watching the first episode of Ricky Gervais' latest series Derek -- which makes its U.S. debut today on Netflix after having originally aired on the U.K.'s Channel 4 -- you'll be overwhelmed with a lot of feelings. Among others, you'll feel rather depressed, mildly uplifted and conflicted as to whether Gervais just pulled off his most sincere, stripped-down show yet, or a just a very emotionally manipulative one. (I happen to think there's a little bit of both going on here).
If you're a fan of Ricky Gervais, either because of his witty stand-up routines or the original (and superior) Office or the clever, cameo-ridden Extras, then you are probably chomping at the bit for any new material he produces (aside from some of his misguided movies --can we just pretend that The Invention of Lying never happened?). The folks at HBO know about his rabid fans (and I'm one of them, too) and wisely greenlit this new show as part of their attempt to expand their Friday night lineup. However, the simply titled The Ricky Gervais Show isn't exactly offering up any new or ground-breaking material. In fact, it's just his legendary podcasts (which made the Guinness Book of World Records for being the most downloaded podcasts ever) in animated form. But while you might be inclined to write them off if you've already heard them, as I initially was, I found them totally worth watching.
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