Following follows the first season.
Gervais is on it, again. This time he is angry or you’d think before beaming onto his world. Once again, a concept so vivid and illuminating that it not only shines as a thought provoking drama but also a whole new dimension on Ricky Gervais- the actor. First of all, one may need to get things straight, straight ahead, this is not a comedy, it is a gritty dark drama that breathes- or exhales- as much mourning sensations in your head as the character Tony played by Gervais himself does. Gervais has always had his selective audience but this might even narrow down that crowd. It is not people pleasing or has some make-believe attitude to any context here, Gervais speaks honestly, nay, blatantly to a degree that you will leave the room with utmost respect for him as he pulls out this unanticipated avant-garde cat out of the bag. What works primarily is how much aware Gervais is, of how his product comes off. If you think you have caught him making a mistake, look again, and he will fool you. And as the series explores this pathos world of Tony, Gervais is smartly criticizing and questioning his own premise, a brilliant move. The negative points are not to be lopped off, this is where the series loses the unfiltered touch. As much as innovative the writing is, the writing itself aggravates the content. Since, the series explores the lifestyle of Tony, the narration has to have multiple elements to jump on, now this is where the series feels short handed as the conversations at times grow chalky and cheesy. Another major itching crisis is how loud the series grows, since Gervais has mostly written with a mockumentary format, he can always express the thoughts verbally, but now, it is a single camera drama series, and he feels obliged or necessary to speak out that current moment verbally in order to be expressive. Also, at times the vision grows into more of a “preaching” that can undermine the quality easily. As a performer, Gervais is still not a match, primarily because this time he is playing not-so-likable guy. His body language is all lazy and his posture oozing depression around him, from his exhales to constant winging, he somehow gets into your head and melts you down within a snap. There is no unnecessary big emotional drama weaved out to manipulate the viewers (something that at times, Derek leaned towards), it keeps it short with light humor- or so to speak- and more importantly pragmatic. The other supporting cast too has done a good work, where Ashley Jensen as the nurse in her overprotective cloak and Tony Way as Lenny supporting Tony (Gervais) unbiasedly and innocently swallowing all the mockery, stands out easily.