Do you like laughing at overweight people? And sexism, if it’s supposedly ironic, do you find that funny too? And being horrible to people in general, does that make you laugh hard? If you can answer yes to all of these questions then you’ll love Ricky Gervais’s latest sitcom, but it also means you’re as tedious as he is. Lacking in anything even approaching funny, not a single joke in the entire first episode hits home and it actively left me in a bad mood after watching it as it’s so hateful and pathetic.
There’s always been a mean streak in Gervais’s work, but it’s previously been coming out of the mouths of those we’re supposed to think are idiots. Unfortunately that’s not the case this time around though, we’re supposed to sympathise with his character Tony because he’s lost his wife Lisa (Kerry Godliman), who in a video message keeps on telling us how great he is, though there’s no evidence of this elsewhere whatsoever. Indeed the opposite applies, he’s the sort of twat who thinks he’s only “Telling it like it is” and “Saying what everyone else is too afraid to say”, like a child who’s throwing a constant tantrum at the world without ever realising how irritating and annoying he is.
At one point Gervais spells out the concept of the show when he says “If I become an arsehole and do and say what the fuck for as long as I want and then when it all gets too much I can always kill myself, it’s like a super power” and my only regret is that it doesn’t start with Gervais’s character putting a gun in his mouth and blowing his brains out, with all of the rest of the footage just a still shot of his slowly rotting dead body. Now that might seem harsh but it would be far funnier than anything found within this episode which is self-indulgent dreary tosh of the worst order, if Netflix had given Jim Davidson a series it would probably have been less offensive.
Presumably because he’s finally realised that his trite brand of “ironic” racism is not funny in the fucking slightest, here Gervais turns his attention to overweight people, seemingly the last group who he feels it is okay to take the piss out of. So during the episode Gervais says the following: “What? He is not a fat hairy nosey cocksucker”, “I’m not a paedo but if I was you’d be safe you tubby little ginger cunt”, “Fucking fat cunt eating like a fucking slug”, “Don’t come out this fat cunt’s shat himself” and insults Tony Way’s character by calling him “fat boy” and “You fucking pig”, while Godliman says it’s “Not good to be a fat lazy self pitying lump” and calls him a “fat twat”. Gervais has clearly got a real issue with anyone who’s overweight and it’s ugly and horrible to witness, there’s simply no need for such cruelty and mean spirited behaviour but Gervais seems to find all of the above hilarious.
It’s not all fat jokes though, Gervais also mocks those suffering with dementia commenting about his father “If it was a dog you’d put it down”, but even worse than this is that he uses the condition to make David Bradley say offensive, sexist things in a tiresome manner. Gervais’s character also visits a rubbish therapist (Paul Kaye) who tells a story about another patient of his to Tony to reassure him that “You’re not the only one, not the only mental case out there”, as if any professional in the industry would say such a thing, unless they wanted to be struck off at least. And then we’re supposed to laugh at Tony being cruel to random people he comes across, because being shitty to another human being is purportedly funny.
So is there anything good about the series? Well, as mentioned at least it doesn’t have any “ironic” racism for the first time in far too long in Gervais’s work (though I’d be amazed if he manages to last the series without some), and apart from Gervais it has a great cast, Tony Way, Diane Morgan, Mandeep Dhillon, Paul Kaye, David Bradley and Tom Basden all are on top form and deserve material far better material than this. And, erm, well I guess it’s competently filmed, but yeah, that’s about it, and the negatives outweigh the positives so much that they’d break the scale within seconds.
Right now in the UK there’s some stunning comedy on television in the form of This Time With Alan Partridge, Fleabag, Jerk, Derry Girls, Tourist Trap and Home, all of which highlight what an embarrassment this is. It’s obnoxious, miserable, pitiful tosh written by a man with a clear superiority complex who in all actuality is just an arrogant cunt. To call Ricky Gervais a one trick pony is an insult to our equine friends, and this is one of the worst episodes of a comedy show I’ve ever seen, it didn’t make me laugh once, and I only hope that it’s such a flop that no one ever gives Gervais money to make a series ever again, the world would truly be better off without his attempts at humour.