Support CaB

Subscribers don't see this.

Recent

Welcome to Cook'd and Bomb'd. Please login or sign up.

July 07, 2022, 09:03:36 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Tip jar

If you like CaB and wish to support it, you can use PayPal or KoFi. Thank you, and I hope you continue to enjoy the site - Neil.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Ricky Gervais's After Life series 3 [split topic]

Started by Cursus, July 23, 2020, 09:33:21 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

BritishHobo

Talking of repeating material, his teary "Definitely." when cancer kid asked if he believed in heaven was just a repeat of the whole thing in The Invention of Lying where he lies to his dying mum to comfort her by telling her there's a heaven.

The trailer sort of made it seem that Notorious Atheist Ricky Gervais might be doing something a little more nuanced regarding religion (him slagging off Cancer Wife's beliefs, and then blubbering about it after she's gone), but it just ended up being reheated material from over a decade ago.

Blue Jam

Quote from: chip on January 19, 2022, 08:37:26 AMThe Chubby Funster has his tropes, such as the laugh, doing that thing where he starts sentences but doesn't finish them ("that's.... "), or just using words like 'mental' or whatever. Like that laugh may be grating, but hearing it instantly takes me back to a simpler comedy landscape, which he was undoubtedly one of the fat little lords of.

So it's ultimately even more insane that this latest effort (not to mention Derek before it) doesn't even feature any of those, and they still lap it up. They're not mainlining any pure Gervais. The One Trick Pony isn't even doing his Trick!

Good observation, and now you mention it he isn't even doing The Chubby Funster trope anymore. Now he's The Man In Better Shape who gets to make other people his chubby funsters.

The Ombudsman

So is he laughing at everyone phoning in rehashed tripe, or is this an earnest effort on his part to deliver a masterpiece? Is he clever enough to get tv made, but not talented enough to make something truly great?

I've never seen him act as well as Merchant did in Four Lives either. Far less dimensional in his abilities.

olliebean

I think Derek is the only thing in which I've seen him not essentially playing himself.

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

Quote from: olliebean on January 20, 2022, 08:28:10 AMI think Derek is the only thing in which I've seen him not essentially playing himself.

Even then, he lapses into himself on occasion.

frajer

Quote from: Lisa Jesusandmarychain on January 20, 2022, 08:39:39 AMEven then, he lapses into himself on occasion.

It also strangely goes the other way too. I've only watched the first episode of this new After Life (it was shite) but I noticed Gervais lapses into that weird breathless staccato Derek voice a few times.

In particular, that terrible opening bit about Batman and Spiderman was delivered exactly like a Derek nursing home speech. All it was missing was a jutting jaw and fringe swipe at the end.

petril

is it that he's aware of it? or does he genuinely believe he's doing something good?

probably thinks he's entertaining absolutely everyone third

dead-ced-dead

I kept thinking that someone would smack or punch Tony in season 3. And I thought that was going to part of the arc. Because all the people he insulted or called a cunt in seasons 1 and 2 were strawmen boogiemen, there was the shield that, "Yes, Tony's horrible, but THEY'RE WORSE. So they deserve it!"

None of the people Tony insulted in season 3 deserved it, least of all his brother-in-law. I kept waiting for the moment when the brother-in-law would punch Tony in the face, especially during the squash scenes.

Logically this works for both of their arcs. The brother-in-law constantly talks about how looked down upon he is and needs to stand up for himself and Tony realises his "superpower" is false.

neveragain


neveragain

I feel really sorry for Tom Basden. Gives a great performance with such a nothingy character.

dead-ced-dead

Quote from: neveragain on January 20, 2022, 11:46:47 AMI feel really sorry for Tom Basden. Gives a great performance with such a nothingy character.

He really is very good, and was really good in Plebs. If they remake Hitch-Hiker's Guide, he'd make a good Arthur Dent.

A good comparison to After Life would be Loudermilk, where the lead character has a similar, "fuck it all, I tell it like it is, me," attitude. The difference is, Loudermilk gets called out on his shit ALL THE TIME and it fucks up every good relationship he has going.

paruses

If you threw a brick or a very lightweight potted cactus through the rear window of a Range Rover* - would you expect that owner to ring where you work and get your boss to sort it out? Or would you expect a visit from the police and a few hours spent in the custody suite before being bailed to appear?

The research and believability really is on the level of the self published author he mocks. Given his status and the way this has been cobbled together for 3 series it's self publishing by any other name. 


* I'm overlooking Tony's dad-bod lapsed athlete status, aren't I?

paruses

Quote from: dead-ced-dead on January 20, 2022, 11:51:28 AMHe really is very good, and was really good in Plebs. If they remake Hitch-Hiker's Guide, he'd make a good Arthur Dent.

A good comparison to After Life would be Loudermilk, where the lead character has a similar, "fuck it all, I tell it like it is, me," attitude. The difference is, Loudermilk gets called out on his shit ALL THE TIME and it fucks up every good relationship he has going.

I thought Tom Basden did really well with the material. I found him funny. Have been listening to the Tim Key's Late Night Poetry thing off Fourble and it's a similar performance - low key, put upon, exasperated, and very funny for it.

I really liked Loudermilk. Have only seen the first series when it popped up on Prime but that's a great comparison. Different premise but that's how you do a No Fuck's Given character - you show that it might seem to work for you and get you through the day, but it's just destructive anger and it affects and influences the real people around you.  I seem to remember he also rightly gets punched a few times.

frajer

Yeah that's just it. While it doesn't help that the execution is often lazy and unfunny, the real problem with After Life is that the entire premise is built on such rotten foundations. None of the supporting character dynamics work because the absurd fantasy character of moody-loner-with-(supposed)-heart-of-gold Tony being in almost every scene makes them hollow.

I dimly remember a bit from the first series where Basden is chatting with Tony Way or Diane Morgan in his office, and suddenly thinking "oh this would work." It might not be an amazing show, but a newspaper-based sitcom with those characters and actors would be watchable and enjoyable.

And then it cuts to Gervais clobbering a chav with a tin of dog food or coaxing a junkie to kill himself or verbally abusing a child or being an arsehole to Ashley Jensen for the fourteenth time, all with zero consequences and endorsement from everyone around him. And not in a comedy way either, in a sulking teenager thinking he's Dirty Harry way and dishing out "justice" way. Gervais is such an odd duck.

Ferris

Quote from: paruses on January 20, 2022, 11:51:38 AMIf you threw a brick or a very lightweight potted cactus through the rear window of a Range Rover* - would you expect that owner to ring where you work and get your boss to sort it out? Or would you expect a visit from the police and a few hours spent in the custody suite before being bailed to appear?

I said it before, but if the thrower was a short overweight man in his 60s I expect the driver wouldn't bother with police and may exit the vehicle and resolve matters themselves.

Blue Jam

Quote from: BritishHobo on January 19, 2022, 05:59:44 PMTalking of repeating material, his teary "Definitely." when cancer kid asked if he believed in heaven was just a repeat of the whole thing in The Invention of Lying where he lies to his dying mum to comfort her by telling her there's a heaven.

Did he actually write The Invention Of Lying or have any input into the script? I thought it was someone else but the premise does sound very Gervaisian.

Tried watching it once, lasted ten minutes before it pissed me off too much to continue.

Blue Jam

Quote from: olliebean on January 20, 2022, 08:28:10 AMI think Derek is the only thing in which I've seen him not essentially playing himself.

Only being able to play versions of one's self isn't necessarily a bad thing- it never did Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David any harm. I used to wonder if Gervais may have been able to do a Curb/Lead Balloon/Grandma's House-type show playing an exaggerated version of himself just after the original run of The Office, but reading this thread, and the comments about how he didn't like being compared to Brent even then, I now wonder if he would ever have been capable of such a thing even before his success went to his head. Tony is a version of himself who, unlike the semi-fictionalised Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, never loses, never gets made a fool of, and always has the last laugh.

To make yet another Coogan comparison, both he and Rob Brydon were still able to laugh at themselves in The Trip. Imagine something like that show with Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington touring branches of Nando's or something... I'd like to think it would have been great but it would probably never have worked back in the day.

Having a limited range as an actor isn't necessarily a bad thing for a comic either. While the comedians who have proved to be good dramatic actors are too numerous to count, to the point where a comedian being good at drama is almost expected, there are a fair few who can perform comedy but can't act for toffee, and as they include Bob Mortimer and Peter Cook that's not a shameful club to be in. Doing what you're good at is a good idea whatever line of work you're in. What should Ricky be doing though? I can't imagine where he could go from here and be happy. He could be great if he had a co-writer to reign him in but I doubt he'd want to go back to that.

Rich Uncle Skeleton

could always do another series of Ricky Gervais Meets, provided the guests were positively vetted and guaranteed to kiss his arse for an hour.

Ferris

Quote from: Rich Uncle Skeleton on January 20, 2022, 01:33:01 PMcould always do another series of Ricky Gervais Meets, provided the guests were positively vetted and guaranteed to kiss his arse for an hour.

And Garry Shandling is dead now so no chance of Rick being shown up again.

TommyTurnips

Quote from: Blue Jam on January 20, 2022, 01:27:24 PMOnly being able to play versions of one's self isn't necessarily a bad thing- it never did Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David any harm. I used to wonder if Gervais may have been able to do a Curb/Lead Balloon/Grandma's House-type show playing an exaggerated version of himself just after the original run of The Office

Just had an idea for a Seinfeld clone called "Gervais". Starring Ricky Gervais as "Ricky", Ashley Jensen as an Elaine type character and Stephen Merchant as a Kramer type character. The show plays exactly the same as Seinfeld but with different characters. Written by Graham Linehan.

Blue Jam

Quote from: TommyTurnips on January 20, 2022, 03:19:07 PMJust had an idea for a Seinfeld clone called "Gervais". Starring Ricky Gervais as "Ricky", Ashley Jensen as an Elaine type character and Stephen Merchant as a Kramer type character. The show plays exactly the same as Seinfeld but with different characters. Written by Graham Linehan.

...of course, if Ricky had any self-awareness he'd be Costanza.

BritishHobo

I always found it very telling when they did Life's Too Short that there was absolutely no sense of fun about Gervais' portrayal of himself, no self-deprecation or anything. Quite the opposite, it was full of quite cringeworthy moments where the script just blew smoke up his arse, with no punchline. Clips of Gervais killing it at an awards gigs, or bits where he humourlessly showed off his awards, or other characters wondering aloud how he was so good at getting away with such dangerous, cutting-edge comedy. Every other celebrity played themselves as silly, or stupid, or rude, but he was the winner in every scene he was in. Very demonstrative.

dead-ced-dead

Quote from: BritishHobo on January 20, 2022, 04:33:47 PMI always found it very telling when they did Life's Too Short that there was absolutely no sense of fun about Gervais' portrayal of himself, no self-deprecation or anything. Quite the opposite, it was full of quite cringeworthy moments where the script just blew smoke up his arse, with no punchline. Clips of Gervais killing it at an awards gigs, or bits where he humourlessly showed off his awards, or other characters wondering aloud how he was so good at getting away with such dangerous, cutting-edge comedy. Every other celebrity played themselves as silly, or stupid, or rude, but he was the winner in every scene he was in. Very demonstrative.

I think it was at this point that Merchant quietly thought, "How do I shake this man off me?"

Much like Greg Sestero showing up to awards ceremonies with Tommy Wiseau, forcing a smile, thinking, "I wrote this book to get rid of this loser. How am I still attached to him? How did the adaptation become all about him... AGAIN!?"

Rich Uncle Skeleton

comparing After Life to Tommy Wiseau has always been the most accurate way of describing it, I thought.

Jumblegraws

Quote from: dead-ced-dead on January 20, 2022, 11:32:45 AMI kept thinking that someone would smack or punch Tony in season 3. And I thought that was going to part of the arc. Because all the people he insulted or called a cunt in seasons 1 and 2 were strawmen boogiemen, there was the shield that, "Yes, Tony's horrible, but THEY'RE WORSE. So they deserve it!"

None of the people Tony insulted in season 3 deserved it, least of all his brother-in-law. I kept waiting for the moment when the brother-in-law would punch Tony in the face, especially during the squash scenes.

Logically this works for both of their arcs. The brother-in-law constantly talks about how looked down upon he is and needs to stand up for himself and Tony realises his "superpower" is false.
I thought this whilst watching a single episode of series 1, so I'd probably put my fist through the screen if I tried to make it through the whole run.

Does Tony Way's character ever point out that Gervais's character is lobbing stones around an extremely fragile glass house with all his fat-shaming? That stuff really annoyed me too. So glad this guy's wife died.

In a moment of weakness I ended up watching the whole bloody thing.

Actually more interesting than S2 in the sense that it was so fucking bizarre.

He seems to have abandoned any rules of story telling to the point where it almost felt experimental. In a really shit way.

Easily the worst thing he has ever done. Hard to single out the most awful bits as it was just one long awful bit. Watching performers as good as Tim Key and Diane Morgan trying and almost succeeding in spite of Gervais' piss poor dialogue and paper thin characters was particularly sad.

What annoyed me most was the soundtrack. That's where the budget went. So many good songs wasted soundtracking material that doesn't deserve it.


I keep remembering bits that were so lazy and bad they had me howling with laughter.

The scene where Ashley Jensen's Nurse just bumps into an old flame for instance. How the fuck did that even make the first draft let alone end up being performed by actual people and then filmed and put on screen?

paruses

Quote from: TheQueensboroBridge on January 20, 2022, 06:16:27 PMI keep remembering bits that were so lazy and bad they had me howling with laughter.

The scene where Ashley Jensen's Nurse just bumps into an old flame for instance. How the fuck did that even make the first draft let alone end up being performed by actual people and then filmed and put on screen?

His treatment of the nurse one is just terrible - just remembered how she was one rung worse than Beverley Allitt because she didn't find the lemon with eyes drawn on one of the funniest things ever. No matter that we see in yet more recorded footage that it was a big in-joke about things with faces on. But then at the end Kind Tony does release  her so the old flame can have a go on her. The nods of acceptance where Alpha Tony gives his blessing to Beta Flame is very funny. No matter that their entire relationship seemed to consist of him saying he was going for a round-shouldered waddle to the pub if she wanted to come along.

When his dead wife was alive he must have gone round like Lee Evans in that film where he records his every moment with a bodycam to insure against being falsely accused of a crime again.

dead-ced-dead

Quote from: paruses on January 20, 2022, 06:57:31 PMWhen his dead wife was alive he must have gone round like Lee Evans in that film where he records his every moment with a bodycam to insure against being falsely accused of a crime again.

Award for the most obscure but well observed reference goes to you.

phosphoresce

Quote from: Blue Jam on January 20, 2022, 01:27:24 PMTo make yet another Coogan comparison, both he and Rob Brydon were still able to laugh at themselves in The Trip. Imagine something like that show with Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington touring branches of Nando's or something... I'd like to think it would have been great but it would probably never have worked back in the day.

I think the Gervais version of that is in Life's Too Short: him and Merchant in their swish office like comedy Godfathers, giving sage advice to the great and good.

I imagine Gervais might be better suited to something like the Coogan situation with his current Alan writers. Coogan's role is largely performance, and one third writing (or something). There is an idea there in After Life – a narrative comedy about grief and depression. But it's unfortunately filtered through Gervais' fractured mind. Having co-writers, script editors etc. there to check his narcissism and self-indulgence might have salvaged it. Though yeah, begging the question there.