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."