Ricky Gervais and Netflix are Bringing the ‘Derek Special’ to the Streaming Service

GameStop, Inc.

It’s safe to say that I have a love/hate relationship with Ricky Gervais. The UK version of The Office, Extras, and The Invention of Lying are unique comedic ventures worthy of praise, even if Invention falls apart in its third act. Also, he’s responsible for bringing Karl Pilkington to the masses, and his misadventures on An Idiot Abroad are truly hilarious. But I can’t help feel that success has undermined Gervais’ comedic talents, as evidenced by Derek. For die hard Gervais fans, though, there’s good news as Netflix is gearing up to debut the Derek Special, which will be available to stream next Friday, April 3rd at 12:01 PST.

The synopsis courtesy of Netflix:

Derek, for which Gervais was nominated for an Emmy® for Outstanding Actor and a Golden Globe® for Best Actor In A Comedy Series for his leading role, centers around Derek Noakes (Gervais), a tender, innocent man whose love for his job at a retirement home shines through. Derek cares deeply for the home’s residents, because they are kind and funny and tell him stories of what life used to be like. Among those in his life are Kev (David Earl), a lovable train wreck who lives with Derek and spends most of​ his time lazing around the home; and Hannah (Kerry Godliman), a care worker in the home and Derek’s best friend. She is smart, witty and hard-working, and, like Derek, always puts other people first.

In the Derek Special, Tom (Brett Goldstein) has a new job, which allows him to spend more time with Hannah. Will this allow their relationship to flourish? Derek is upset with Hannah for upsetting Kevin, who goes missing, whilst Vicky takes on more responsibilities.

Personally, I tried to get into the show, but its overbearing sentimentality and lack of humor repelled me. This is the kind of project that a younger Gervais would’ve gleefully mocked. Like a recent Eddie Murphy movie, Derek is an example of a comedian who lost his edge. If you’re a fan of Gervais, though, don’t let my thoughts dissuade you — feel free to dive in on April 3rd when the Derek Special goes live.

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