I must admit I had become a little disillusioned with the career of Ricky Gervais. Since the conclusion of The Office, and with the exception of projects that focus on his curio-oddball buddy Karl Pilkington, little that he has put out has really grabbed me.
His movies have been enjoyable enough, but Extras left me cold and his stand-up output has decreased in quality. Even so, I’ve always liked Ricky (I’ve enjoyed recent cameo performances in Curb your enthusiasm and Louis) and have been quietly waiting for a suitable vehicle for his particular talents to come along.
Now it would appear that vehicle might be here in the form of Derek, a single-camera comedy about a care home worker who might not be the sharpest tool in the box, but whose heart is in the right place.
The pilot episode in April was well-received and established an unusual focus – such a character in such a setting is an unexpected study for a prime-time television show.
I hope that Derek is successful. It seems to me the ideal vehicle for Ricky’s particular talents and I’m interested to see where he takes this simple, well-meaning character that is so unlike anyone usually seen on our screens.