The world would be a better place if we were all a little more like Derek Noakes, the titular character of Netflix's British import Derek.
That may be a surprising notion, given that Derek — a simple-minded man who works in an old-age home in Britain — is the creation of Ricky Gervais, whose stand-up comedy and past work on shows like The Office and Extras can be biting, to say the least. Even Gervais admits thatDerek, which he describes plainly (and accurately) as "a show about kindness," is less a departure from his previous projects and more a complete rejection of them.
"In recent years — and I'm culpable; I may even be one of the major driving forces in it — there's been a comedy of embarrassment, of excruciating social faux pas, the minutiae of human behavior, and usually the bad side," Gervais, who plays the lead role of Derek in addition to writing and directing the series, told TVGuide.com last week. "What's slightly different about [Derek] is, all those comedies and all the characters I've created before were sort of laughing at the blind spot, laughing at the difference between how the characters see themselves and how we see them. And with this, I've closed that blind spot. People are more sincere and more honest. ... The big theme is that kindness trumps everything."
British actor Richard Briers, who enjoyed a prolific TV career in his home country, died Sunday, BBC News reports. He was 79.
Briers' agent told the BBC that he died "peacefully" at his home in London. He had been battling a serious lung condition for several years. In interviews, Briers blamed years of smoking for...
Ricky Gervais may have enjoyed being the "most feared man in Hollywood" when he notoriously offended many as a the host of the Golden Globes, but he insists that his new sitcom Derek, set in a nursing home, is "sweeter" than his usual fare.
Derek, an original series to premiere on Netflix sometime this year, won't target the elderly with Gervais' sardonic wit. The show's humor doesn't lie in mocking them, but rather in taking jabs at the callous outside world and its marginalization of the elderly. It's certainly not an obvious topic for humor, but Gervais hopes that viewers will give the show a chance.
"I think there's risk of people not watching it because of assumptions that it was cruel," he said at Netflix's winter TV previews on Wednesday. "There's risk that they don't get it. Or that they get it and don't like it. ... I haven't felt this excited and proud of a project since The Office. That's the truth of it."
Where would TV be without The Simpsons? Thankfully, it will still be a while before we'll ever have to find out. With no end in sight, Fox's landmark animated hit celebrates "the most meaningless milestone of all!" — their words — with Sunday's 500th episode (8/7c), a remarkable run by anyone's measure. Even if you've been taking this show for granted the last few years, or possibly decade, you don't want to miss — though you might want to record — the dazzling opening sequence, a kaleidoscopic montage showing the Simpsons' evolution from no-def to Hi-Def, with more couch gags than the eye and brain can process.
Ricky Gervais is hoping to bring another television series to life — or rather, the Afterlife.
The creator of The Office has joined forces with Clyde Phillips, previously the showrunner on Dexter, to write a pilot about...