Unimpressed by Derek

I hated the finale of Derek. It made me angry. I was so angry that I fumed around my apartment for several minutes cursing Ricky Gervais. TV shows don’t usually inflict me with anger, but after I had a chance to calm myself down I realized what made me so mad: after watching the first three episodes of Derek (which I had been heartily impressed by), I had expected the conclusion of the show to be so much better. It easily could have been, but Ricky Gervais made some poor choices. Continue reading

Impressed by Derek

Derek is a television show on Channel 4 about Derek Noakes, a man who works at a residential care home. The show was written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Ricky stars as Derek. As of writing this, 3 episodes of series 1 have aired.

Derek is compelling television. Before watching any of the episodes, I had a lot of expectations. For one thing, Ricky Gervais has been tweeting about the program daily, saying that it is his best work yet. For another, it stars Gervais as a man with a mental disability and Karl Pilkington as his best friend and janitor at the care home. Honestly, the premise sounds like someone is taking the piss (to use one of my favourite English phrases.) The promo photos all have Gervais with a greasy haircut and an underbite. Karl, too, looked ridiculous in the photos. Gervais has him dressed up in this long janitor-dress with the “ugliest haircut on the face of the planet” (to quote the character Derek).  To me, the show just looked silly and borderline offensive. It looked like a Ricky Gervais star vehicle and a good excuse to make Karl Pilkington look stupid.

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