For some reason, critics haven’t been that keen on this new venture from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. I think that’s due to this being Gervais’ year, every year the media seem to pick a celebrity they’ve always liked, then tarnish them. Quite why this is happening is still a mystery to me and that’s probably why I’ll never be taken seriously as a critic.
This series is really starting to take shape, Warwick again puts in an amazing comic performance, everyone involved is perfectly suited for comedy.
My personal highlight happened when Warwick and his assistant, Cheryl (Rosamund Hanson) are discussing ways to expand and bring in new business, she suggests he should dress up as a little girl and wait in the woods, as paedophile bait. In fact, the best parts of this episode were the parts that just featured Warwick and Cheryl. The convention scene was genuinely funny. You felt sympathy for the young boy with the brain tumour, but also for Warwick as everyone in the line then used the tumour excuse to avoid paying the £25 for his autograph.
The only criticism I have about Life’s Too Short is the celebrity cameos, with Warwick and Cheryl I don’t think you need them. It’s almost as if they’re making extras, without making extras. The post-credit scene made me realise, how much I miss extras.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved Johnny Depp’s part in this episode, the confrontation between him and Gervais felt authentic, but if you had taken Depp out, it wouldn’t have affected the episode.
Another time you feel for Warwick is when he turns up at the couples, Star Wars-themed wedding and they expect him to be dressed as Wickett the Ewok. This reflects a real-life experience Warwick had when he was asked to open a garden centre at Christmas and told by the owner “bring your elf costume”. The speech Warwick gave at the wedding was the brilliant cringe-worthy comedy that Gervais writes so well.
Overall I’m enjoying this series and I look forward to episode 3
Life’s Too Short airs on Thursdays, at 9:30 pm on BBC2