While I never got into The Office, I have always been a fan of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s other work, like their X-FM radio show, their podcast and Cemetery Junction. So, when they returned to their mockumentary-style sitcom format with Life’s Too Short, I was excited to see what they had in store.
Unlike the ordinary people who got their 15 minutes of fame in the late ’90s, the show focuses on a Z-list celebrity, Warwick Davis, playing a fictionalized version of himself. Davis is in a financial mess, with debts amounting to £250,000 and a divorce that’s taken its toll. He begs Gervais and Merchant to cast him in a new project, but they try to shake him off.
While the first episode didn’t make me laugh out loud, it was still enjoyable and funny. I think comedy is a challenging genre to get right, which is why I prefer to write reviews instead of sitcoms. Nevertheless, the show had its moments, like Liam Neeson trying out improv comedy about AIDS, with his quip about being cast in Schindler’s List because he always makes lists being a particular highlight. Davis also showed some impressive comic timing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he won a few awards in 2012.
Overall, while the premiere was a bit shaky, Gervais and Merchant on an off day are still better than most of what’s on TV. I’m going to stick with Life’s Too Short and see where it goes.