It barely feels like Derek has been on our screens and he is already bidding us adieu. A story chronicling the life of a simple man living and working in an old folk’s home doesn’t scream great TV show, but with the mighty weight of Ricky Gervais behind it you always felt it was going to be worth watching.
This review will contain spoilers to Derek series 2 so I’d recommend avoiding reading this if you don’t want to know what sort of happens.
When Derek was announced two years ago there was a lot of hype about it because it could be taken as Ricky Gervais going out and slagging off people with special needs and people who are old and blah blah blah same old Daily Mail sort of rubbish. In the end it turned out to be nothing of the sort and Gervais as Derek was endearing rather than offensive. Derek had potential after the first series and usually a second series of a show builds on that potential, Derek series 2 did the opposite.
That’s the thing with Derek if you sat and told me it was a thirty minute drama series I would talk about how it’s pretty damn good, the problem is that Derek is supposed to be a thirty minute comedy series. To put it simply Derek isn’t actually a funny show, instead the laughs are replaced with really soppy and self-righteous moments.
You could accept the self-righteous moments if they were accompanied by some laughs, but it is annoying to think that Gervais has went out his way to put these heart felt moments in just to prove the doubters wrong that were slagging the show off and calling for his head before it had even aired. I mean I don’t disagree with the stuff Derek is saying, go ahead and call your mum if you don’t, be nice to old people and drunkards and who the hell eats snails? I watch comedies to laugh not to cry, someone should remind Gervais that.
As far as the lack of laughs thing goes it is clear that the loss of Karl Pilkington hurt the show incredibly. Yes Karl was just playing himself but he was still the best character in the show and without him it felt empty and desperately lacked laughs. Pilkington was missed so much that the best scene in the show was actually his only scene where he electrocutes himself and quits. I was hoping he’d show up again later in the series but it never happened and bye went the laughs along with that lovely monk haircut.
Not only did the laughs go when Pilkington exited but it also required his big shoes to be filled, which led to the increase in role for Kev. The problem with Kev is that he isn’t that funny, and when he is it’s in a gross manner rather than a genuinely funny way. Kev should be at best a bit part who you don’t have to sympathise with but with Pilkington gone they had to make Kev a much more sympathetic character and because of the type of guy he is it doesn’t really work. Kev’s spot was filled with Geoff who was essentially a shit Pilkington, it didn’t really work.
Ricky Gervais is actually really good as Derek and it is hard to not like the character, but I thought that he would’ve been above jokes about going to a French restaurant. If a lesser comedian came out with stuff like that you would be rolling your eyes and questioning why you are watching this? Derek as a show deserved a second series; it doesn’t deserve a third one, if it gets one it will be solely down to the fact that it is written by and stars Ricky Gervais.
So what did you think of Derek series 2? Are you also wondering where you can get a nice haircut like Dougie or where Kev gets all his Tennant’s Special? Leave a comment and share your feelings!