The Ricky Gervais Show: Complete First Season

The Ricky Gervais Show

On DVD: 
Tuesday, January 4, 2011

For the past few years Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington have been meeting regularly for a series of pointless conversations. This is all of them. Um, or at least all of them from the complete first season.

So why would you be interested in the ramblings of three men, funny as they are, taken from their Guinness Book of World Records for most downloaded podcasts show? Well for one the show isn’t just an empty black screen with subtitles and audio only. Andy Bialk, who won an Outstanding Achievement in Animation Emmy Award, transforms Gervais, Merchant and Pilkington into some nostalgic looking characters. Gervais is illustrated like a generic Fred Flinstone, Merchant a throwback from the old School House Rock days, and Pilkington as a sad illustration from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books for young readers. With this endless canvass of room the podcasts become enormously hilarious visuals adding a new depth of comedy to the already interesting array of conversations these three men have.

The premise of the show is basically Gervais and Merchant lambasting Pilkington. Not sure if its an act or if this is a clever clever design thought up by Gervais and Merchant who have worked together on the Gervais projects such as The Office and Extras but for Pilkington’s sake I hope it is. Of course, Pilkington walks into some pretty easy to duck set ups such as:

Merchant: This email is from Kent from Nova Scotia, Canada. He says, uh, Karl, um, he’s wondering if you have any personal mantra’s that you could pass along? Uh, for instance he reminds us of Ben Franklin’s famous mantra “Waste Not, Want Not.”

Karl: Who, who said that?

Merchant: Ben Franklin.

Karl: What was he? What did he do?

*Merchant and Gervais snicker

Karl: What was his job?

Its moments like this that you have to hope that this is all a cleverly laid display for the fans. I do admit that maybe their not so familiar with American history across the pond but this, it’s a bit of a stretch. Hilarious, but a stretch. So, yeah, its basically all Pilkington being led to say some pretty crazy things and then Merchant and Gervais knocking his idea’s and thoughts down, some of which need to be silenced. Other topics include Monkey News where the trio find news related to monkeys and a bit where they read out of Pilkington’s diary. Sometimes its to much and other times just not enough which can be said to happen when you record three guys just sitting around talking about random things.

Bonus features are pretty weak. Comedy Gala Animation is less then two minutes of a skit and Episode Storyboard is one whole episode done with a storyboard look. Not a whole lot to see there but for what it is you could get a good laugh out of it and ignore it for awhile until your ready for this brand of comedic formula. As always final judgment is yours. Enjoy.

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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