I was recently made aware that Ricky Gervais is finally starring in a new show. It’s called Derek, and it’s unlike anything the man has done before. Gervais has specialized in characters we loathe from The Office to Extras, but it appears that he’s tired of being hated and wants to now star in a show where you’re actually…rooting for him for a change.
The should would be Derek, which is about a “simple” man who works in an old folks home with his friend (Karl Pilkington) and crush (Kerry Godliman). By “simple” we mean that Derek actually has some sort of unnamed mental deficiency, and of course Gervais runs the risk of being offensive with such a portrayal. But it turns out that isn’t is goal for once, and he’s playing Derek as quite lovable. The comedy is much closer to a drama than anything we’ve seen from him, and even at the end of the pilot, you’ll have your heartstrings pulled a bit. It might be a bit too manipulative, but it’s an interesting change from Gervais.
You can watch the full pilot above, which apparently has been online for some time now. The show has in fact been picked up for a full series by Channel 4, and Netflix bought the rights for America I believe. I’m not sure how you turn a show with a concept this simple into a full blown series, but I’m curious to see him try. Take twenty minutes and watch above.