Tag Archives: Series 1

Life’s Too Short

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have done it again, this time exploiting the little people. Or as they like to be called, dwarfs. The dwarven kind in this mockumentary are represented by Warwick Davis, dwarf star extraordinaire. In a fake and awkward version of his true life, Warwick Davis explores what it’s like to have no work, a divorce, and unending amount so debt. And I laughed through every second of it.

Thanks to HBO, this show and Ricky Gervais’ Animated Podcast were brought to my

Let the awkwardness ensue.

attention at the same time. I love both of them and this show was just quicker to finish (other review coming shortly). Life’s Too Short follows Warwick Davis, the person and the character, around for 7 episodes seeing just what kind of mischief he gets into in his typical life. But this isn’t your average Warwick Davis, the lovable Wicket Ewok we see when he was 11 in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. This is something more horrendous.

Now that’s a great pic.

Warwick in this show is a selfish, deceitful, and overall poor sport actor down on his luck. He feels his fame should be giving him more than it is right now and he won’t let anyone get in his way. He has small man syndrome (and appropriately so) and is always offended by midget. I have a fear of midgets usually (saw Chucky too early and connected the two) but when it’s Warwick Davis, you have to love him.

I mean, look at his career. There’s Star Wars, The BBC specials of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series, and the amazing Leprechaun series (I love it and always will. Too funny and classic.) The 10th Kingdom, my favorite, and the Harry Potter series as Flitwick, the Charms Professor. He has a better and more lucrative career than a lot of little people, and people love him for that. I haven’t seen Willow yet (a running joke in the

The creators shunning the little guy. Classic.

show) but I damn well plan on watching it now.

This show highlights everything that Gervais and Merchant wanted to do in The Office. After meeting Warwick in Gervais’ Extras, they started talking about this project. With my hopes up for more than a Christmas Special (come on Season 2…) I really enjoyed this awkward social situational comedy from the masters.

Rosamund Hanson. She’s got nothin goin on… upstairs.

Every episode hits you harder than the last, with some great star appearances thrown in. I must say, I don’t like Johnny Depp, but in this show he really knows how to make fun of himself. Liam Neeson was hilarious (although unintentionally), and Sting was just a dick. I loved Warwick’s dimwitted assistant, Cheryl (Rosamund Hanson) and everything she said and how she said it was pure comic gold. I know it’s wrong to think that when Warwick falls over during the show is the funniest part, but it’s one of those old gags you never get tired of seeing. Warwick himself was funny, but he knows how funny it is for a little person to struggle in normal everyday things.

Critics said this show was too awkward and similar to The Office that Gervais and Merchant were just getting lazy. Sure they were lazy. But they were lazy with a formula that was going to work from the

The toilet troll emerges!

beginning no matter what. I sincerely relish awkward moments in TV and movies (especially real life) and seeing a show that focuses on it to the point of painful, that’s spot on comedy. The drier and darker the better. Although I did at some points want Warwick to win some of the moments in life, it just wasn’t in the cards. Oh well, you win some, you lose most.

So with an awkward show like this and a dwarf who can poke fun at themselves, it’s fun to watch a car wreck comedy. Don’t wanna look, but can’t stop. Oh, and here’s the real Warwick for ya, just so you know where he’s coming from. Enjoy just like I enjoyed Series 1. 8.6 out of 10.

 

 

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An Idiot Abroad Series 1

… Or as Karl Pilkington would’ve liked to call it, “Karl Pilkington and the Seven Wonders”. Either way, executive producers Ricky Gervais (star and creator of UK’s The Office) and Stephen Merchant (co-creator of The Office), along with Sky1 programming, made this an experience that Karl would never forget. In 7 episodes (and a hindsight 8th episode), Karl Pilkington visits the seven wonders of the ancient world. What happens in the meanwhile makes all the comedy.

I love Ricky Gervais’s idea for this show. He calls it “the most expensive prank on national television”. He wants to throw Karl out of his comfort zone and make him do

This… is Karl Pilkington.

terribly uncomfortable and wacky things he would never do. If Karl brings something up (like rather living in a cave than in a nice house so he can see the nice house) they do that. His sometimes backwards and small minded opinions on the world come out constantly and he must deal with those consequences.

Unimpressed.

That’s what I loved about this travel documentary. Karl is constantly talking. (He says he hates noise, but a lot of it is coming from him.) He complains, in a very comedic way, although he may not know it, and has this constant set of stand up comedian like scenarios and jokes when he talks about native cultures. He won’t try any foods (sensitive gag reflex, he says) and his three favorite phrases are:

1. I’m completely knackered.

2. This is doing me head in.

3. Insert ethnically racial stereotype here.

A little bit jealous of the Shaolin Wushu…

He is unabashedly forward with people and, for some, that may come off as insensitive and stupid. For me, it was comedic timing and forward humor at its best. He has this insane amount of diction in his head that he can apply to any situation in order to describe it to another layperson such as himself. He is thoroughly unimpressed by every wonder (“It’s alright…”) and finds any way to use Sky1’s money in order to relax when he can.

But that’s where that stops. Gervais and Merchant are constantly calling Karl up in order to get him to do funny things for the camera. He awkwardly rides a camel, wrestles with pro wrestlers in Mexico, is unwittingly asked to stay with a gay crossdresser in Brazil, and is

Like a needle in a haystack…. (Preview of Series 2…)

always being pushed to live in terrible hotels and hostels. Seeing Karl as “the kid crying in the corner getting poked with the stick,” really is enjoyable television. I do feel bad for him sometimes though…

Is he truly an idiot? That face kinda says so…

Either way, Karl Pilkington gets to do some incredible things and see some incredible sights. He showed me, and all the other thousands of viewers who have watched him, how to rough it in other countries and where/what to steer clear of. Karl goes well beyond my own comfort zone and travels and does things I would never enjoy doing. If I had the opportunities he had, there would still be no show. So I salute you, Mr. Pilkington, for doing what Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant made fun of you for. Now, on to Series 2: The Bucket List of Karl Pilkington! 8 out of 10.


Misifits: Series 1

I would like to start off with a special thanks to my girlfriend’s sister Dana for making me aware of this wonderful show simply titled Misfits. I know she’s just paying me back for telling her about Foxy Shazam, and so it’s all good now. I would also like to thank Hulu for showing this in the U.S. for free. It is not small wonder this is one of the most watched shows that you have in your archive.

Hailing from the wonderful little island of Britain, Misfits is a series about, well, a group of misfits. Being as vague as I can about the series, I’m not going to tell you what they did or just exactly what happens, but I will tell you one thing. Freak electrical storm. These five Misfits gain bizarre superpowers that get them into some pretty strange situations (and sometimes gets them out of them). With a culture different from our American teenagers, a whole new kind of token characters are created.

A great cast of heroes has been assembled here.

And what a wildly awesome bunch they are. It’s not to say they are completely different from us, but, I swear, if MTV tires to touch this show I will burn their headquarters to the ground. This is a show that, in its context, can only be done amazingly by those who originally did it. Any bastardizing of this show will be seen as blasphemy. Anyways, back to the characters. There’s Simon (Iwan Rheon). He’s the quiet outcast of the group that never really had any friends, and, at first, it appears to be plausible. We gain an emotionally connected insight into his life as the series progresses and, if you don’t like him as much as I think everyone should/does, then you might wanna stop watching. Being one of the key characters, it’s sad to see that he’s leaving after Series 3.

This is why she's hot.

Next is Alisha (Antonia Thomas). This smokin’ hot and fiery young black woman is beautiful and knows it. She uses every man she can for what she wants (usually sex) and then throws them to the gutter. As with almost all the characters, she doesn’t give a shit what people think of her. Typical of a delinquent. After Alisha comes Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), the athlete gone bad on that one mistake. With his track days over, Curtis has given up on life and wishes anything to have things back to the way they used to be. It does my heart good to see more than one minority in a “superhero show” like this and Curtis and Alisha are good representations.

You better recognize.

Next is Kelly (Lauren Socha), the spitfire “slag” of the group. Representing the “lower class of Britain” in this show, she jumps on everyone’s case with her unique way of speaking. As one of my favorite characters, I love that she’s always the one dishing out the hits on all the guys. And not flirting. And then we come to Nathan (Robert Sheehan). I recognized him from Cage’s Season of the Witch and was surprised that HE IS ONE OF THE BEST ACTORS IN THIS SHOW. I was constantly laughing and believing that the young choir boy I saw from Cage’s disaster was a completely different person. In looking forward to watching everything this kid ever does, Sheehan does an amazing representation of the smartass class clown.

True. And funny.

So there we have all the characters. In the first episode, you begin to discover just who they are and how their powers relate to their lives. Seen as punishments that accurately fit the crime, these five must deal with a series of horrific events and the consequences of their actions. Set in an imagined suburb of London named Wertham, this is one of the best British shows I’ve ever watched, and I’ve seen all of The Mighty Boosh and Little Britain. (Just roll Nathan into both those shows and he’s just as funny.)

Word.

I can’t reveal too much about the plot because its just too good to discover what happens. The series is fantastic and I really can’t say more than that. I encourage any superhero/anti-superhero, nerdy, British loving, dramatically inclined, film lovers to check out this show on Hulu. At least watch the first series. All the characters develop into these amazing people that you wish were your friends and you care deeply for them and the relationships they form with each other. (And there are some steamy relationships you won’t see coming.) Coming from a guy who’s not that into the gossip/Skins style focus on love and sex, it was a bit over the top for me in this show, but it gave an adult quality to the 20 year olds acting on screen. Focused solely around their time in their community service building, a lot more is going on than meets the eye.

Discover all the mystery. And what's going on here.

I can’t say enough how wonderful this show is. If you watch it/are currently watching it, there will be an update for how good Series 2 is in comparison. (I don’t know about Series 3, Nathan has left…) So keep up on it and discover all you need to know about Misfits. And I’m going to post the show opening song because of how perfectly it fits and how catchy it is. Get some of these Misfits, they’re 10 out of 10.

I also forgot how amazing the score to the show is. Enjoy!