Another week, another Netflix series. (Thanks Kristina…) This week it’s Derek, the new show (new to Canada at least) written by and starring Ricky Gervais. Gervais is a comic genius (or an incredible misanthrope, or a man with exquisite timing and equally exquisite bad taste) and not one to shy away from controversy. Whether hosting the Golden Globes and insulting both Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at the same time, or riffing on the potential to make serious money at casinos by befriending the autistic youth in his neighbourhood, he’s not afraid to laugh at himself. And everybody else.
Liberation and dignity made me think of independence… independence made me think of this poster… (There really is a link here, however tenuous it might seem. TO me, it makes perfect sense!)
His latest endeavor is no less controversial than most of the other work he has done. Derek is about a group home for the elderly where the main character (yes, you guessed it – Derek) is a dim-witted but kind man who never stops talking and seems (as slate.com put it in their recent review of the show) “a little confused by complex social interactions. ..His lower jaw juts out, he walks in a lurch, and he doesn’t make eye contact. There may be nothing wrong with Derek, but people who don’t know him—including us, at the start—suspect that there might be …A comedy by Gervais, the reigning expert in playing guys you’re meant to laugh at, about a man who seems a little off has the potential to be an uncomfortable, odious disaster. But Derek is a fascinating, well-meaning mess, without being a particularly offensive one.”
I don’t know why exactly, but this poster reminded me of something we have in the gallery: can you imagine Gervais a clairvoyant? (or a pseudo-clairvoyant)
In a recent GQ article the magazine noted that “Gervais’s public career did not begin to germinate until he was 37, when an unlikely series of events led to the chance to create The Office, his very first attempt at anything like this. If fame comes only in the middle of life, and there have been no desperate compromises made to achieve it, perhaps it sits differently. His achievements since have been remarkable, and Gervais fights his corner and defends the integrity of what he does with verve and passion: He is fierce, funny company, all the time tiptoeing forward and backward along an impossible tightrope, trying to convey how deeply he cares about all he does while doing his very best to suggest he couldn’t care less.” (here’s the whole article)
This still (shot on the Derek set) reminded me of a poster we call the Zombie lottery… why, I’m not precisely sure.
Although I think that a man who spends as much time as he does talking about animals, would unquestionably have something good to say about our favourite Bayonne poster
Possibly the funniest (and certainly one of the least correct politically) videos from Monsieur Gervais can be found here…
He’s been panned, he’s been booed, and he makes more money than most mortals. I happen to think that Derek is a kind-hearted (mostly) look at folks that are often forgotten and overlooked, and I liked it. Quite a bit. So there.