• Network: Netflix
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 12, 2013
  • Season #: 1 , 2
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 75 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 75
  2. Negative: 4 out of 75

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  1. Sep 18, 2013
    9
    Derek is a hidden gem. Ricky Gervaise is a brilliant actor and director, Too bad many critics want to lock him into a narrow "in your face" kind of comedy. If you are watching this in the USA I recommend you turn on the subtitles. It is easier to pick up on the nuances of this very British comedy/ drama set in a nursing home. There are many surprisngly touching and heartwarming moments.
  2. Sep 21, 2013
    9
    First half of the show I thought it was going to be the office done with a premise in bad taste. I was then hooked by the end of the first episode. Its a thought provoking show with humour mixed in.

    With the touchy subject of how we treat our aging population and those with mental Gervais walked balanced the show perfectly without being offensive.

    A must watch!
  3. Nov 9, 2013
    10
    I've read several "professional" reviews calling Derek overly sentimental, even "mushy" at times. I could not disagree more. This is a perfectly human story- funny, heartbreaking, strange, touching, and everything else that makes life exactly what it is for us all; using a micro-environment to capture and contain the macrocosm of human behavior and emotion. Above all, Ricky Gervais givesI've read several "professional" reviews calling Derek overly sentimental, even "mushy" at times. I could not disagree more. This is a perfectly human story- funny, heartbreaking, strange, touching, and everything else that makes life exactly what it is for us all; using a micro-environment to capture and contain the macrocosm of human behavior and emotion. Above all, Ricky Gervais gives the performance of a lifetime. This is his Forrest Gump. Absolutely brilliant and beautiful. Expand
  4. Jex
    Nov 30, 2013
    9
    Derek is one of the most underrated shows out there. My initial thoughts were that it was going to be typical Gervais comedy, but this was proved wrong within the first 10 minutes.

    It covers the delicate topic of the elderly part of our community, but by the Queen's corgis, does it do it well. It can be quite witty, humorous, but it's main appeal is in how touching it is. There are
    Derek is one of the most underrated shows out there. My initial thoughts were that it was going to be typical Gervais comedy, but this was proved wrong within the first 10 minutes.

    It covers the delicate topic of the elderly part of our community, but by the Queen's corgis, does it do it well.
    It can be quite witty, humorous, but it's main appeal is in how touching it is. There are some parts where it is just sentimental, and other where your eyes start to water and you can't help smiling.

    The acting is brilliant and the characters very convincing. The story, while not overly exciting, was incredibly realistic and very touching. This would be a very worthwhile gift to anyone.

    While not being as universally adored as Breaking Bad, it offers a much different style. I couldn't have been more pleased after finishing Derek.

    Thank you, Ricky, for this masterpiece. It deserves a special place on the 'Universal Acclaim' list, even though it's been outvoted by rubbish like Game of Thrones (The books are SO much better).
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  5. Jan 6, 2014
    9
    Absolutley brilliant! I only watched it cus Karl Pilkingtons in it and i love that guy. But this is so much more than i expected. I recommend doing as i did and watch the whole series in one go, it took me just over 2 hours. Awesome, i really hope they do another series!
  6. Dec 9, 2013
    10
    One of the most refreshingly new comedies in a long time…..don't pay any attention to the newspaper critics, they are an odd bunch…if you love something other than the Hollywood standard sitcom fare, then add this to your list of favorites. Rick Gervais is brilliant in his portrayal of Derek. Just to look at his expressions starring face on into the camera is funny. It has brought tearsOne of the most refreshingly new comedies in a long time…..don't pay any attention to the newspaper critics, they are an odd bunch…if you love something other than the Hollywood standard sitcom fare, then add this to your list of favorites. Rick Gervais is brilliant in his portrayal of Derek. Just to look at his expressions starring face on into the camera is funny. It has brought tears to my eyes in laughter and compassion. Again I have to say that I love British humor the best! I can only hope for series 2 and 3. Thanks Netflix for taking the chance. Expand
  7. Feb 5, 2014
    10
    The rating here is completely misleading. This show is incredibly cleverly written and beautifully acted.
    The performances are tender, nuanced, layered and very considered.
    The photography is reminiscent of The Office for obvious reasons. It's the subtleties which make this a truly great piece of work, like the little glances to camera. The soundtracks chosen for some of the episodes
    The rating here is completely misleading. This show is incredibly cleverly written and beautifully acted.
    The performances are tender, nuanced, layered and very considered.
    The photography is reminiscent of The Office for obvious reasons.
    It's the subtleties which make this a truly great piece of work, like the little glances to camera.
    The soundtracks chosen for some of the episodes is almost inspired. Some of the actors performances are incredible, main characters and bit parters alike. It's so clever you very easily begin to sympathise with the characters plights, it takes a great deal of effort to remember they're actors!
    Overall, a fabulous endeavour, absolutely not to missed, and a real credit to all concerned.
    I laughed and cried. Thanks.
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  8. Nov 27, 2013
    10
    In short, Derek is one of the most accessible and decidedly raw expressions of humanist values to be found in modern television.

    The greatest achievement of the series is the delivery of a simple moral message without an ounce of self-righteousness or pretension. One might argue that this is only possible due to Gervais' portrayal of a purportedly disabled protagonist, Derek. The
    In short, Derek is one of the most accessible and decidedly raw expressions of humanist values to be found in modern television.

    The greatest achievement of the series is the delivery of a simple moral message without an ounce of self-righteousness or pretension. One might argue that this is only possible due to Gervais' portrayal of a purportedly disabled protagonist, Derek. The series clearly argues that the presumption of disability is ill-founded instead suggesting that we only face negative consequences of our differences in a society that champions and elevates certain "successful" archetypes above others. The characters in Derek are in many ways foils of these personality/professional/physical archetypes, calling into question our own unrecognized senses of vanity and the roots of our personal aspirations. The episodes all offer critiques that deconstruct our increasingly-reinforced social castes, asking us to consider why we are so intent upon differentiating ourselves through the pursuit of various external metrics of success.

    Instead, why not embrace the shared characteristics that we tend to bury in our daily lives our needs for compassion, love/companionship, kindness, and purpose? Derek seems to content to do so, and has a qualitatively greater impact on those in his life because of it. His companions and colleagues also tacitly realize this, but through brilliantly-delivered monologues they reveal a compromise between accepting this truth and achieving externally-defined "success." The series invites us to consider our own stations in life, what we want to achieve, why we make the choices we do, and what we might be missing along the way.

    We need the values embodied in Derek, yet we've somehow constructed a society that fosters the complete opposite. This series strives to encourage introspection among viewers, and in my opinion does so masterfully.
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  9. Jan 15, 2014
    10
    Derek had possibly the best pilot episode I've ever seen, for any series. I loved the show immediately for its wit, impeccable acting, and genuine emotion.

    Like the other reviewers said, there is not one ounce of pretension in this show - it's a down-to-earth work of art from Gervais that thematically suggests there's more to life than being clever and good-looking. People who loved the
    Derek had possibly the best pilot episode I've ever seen, for any series. I loved the show immediately for its wit, impeccable acting, and genuine emotion.

    Like the other reviewers said, there is not one ounce of pretension in this show - it's a down-to-earth work of art from Gervais that thematically suggests there's more to life than being clever and good-looking. People who loved the realism and profundity of Extras will love this show, but will be happy to find that it's funnier and more tightly written. This is Gervais's most mature work to date and shows his astonishing talent when he's in control of every aspect of a project. The economy of his writing and editing is razor sharp, and there's not one line or one scene in Derek that I would take out. Everything about Derek is perfection - well done Ricky!

    The critics reviews are disappointing. I disagree with their claims that the show is heavy-handed with sentimentality and that the mockumentary style is getting old. The emotions in Derek are real, and Gervais tries to say something honest about humanity without shoving it down our throats - he inspires us to ask questions within ourselves. The fake documentary style feels like a natural way to tell Derek's story - a style Gervais has done before, but nonetheless incredibly fresh in its execution here.
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  10. Jan 2, 2014
    4
    10/10 for some people? that would mean it's among the best tv shows ever made. just thinking about RG's work both The Office & Extras are incomparably better, those would score around 20/10 according to your ridiculous scoring system. Either that or most folks have everything between 8-10, but then why do we have 1-10 scale?
  11. Oct 7, 2013
    7
    I watched most of Derek when it was on tv in the UK. Very sweet and it's not really a comedy. It is very touching and heartwarming. Even if you don't like Gervais you should watch it anyway because it's good.
  12. BKM
    Sep 16, 2013
    8
    It takes a couple of episodes to get a handle on Ricky Gervais' latest creation. It's surprising to see something this kind, honest and touching from a man best known for his cynical and scathing sense of humor. Yet Derek never ridicules its subjects. Instead it finds dignity and purpose in seemingly ordinary lives and serves up plenty of laughs in the process.
  13. Feb 27, 2014
    3
    It's weak, basic, obvious and middlling. The show contains a 'cheap-gag' character that basically drinks onsite and offends everyone, reducing the level of realism that Gervais is striving desperately for.

    The 'Derek is kind, real people are bad' ethos that plagues the show (not enhances it) is rammed down your throat with force, not the subtlety we used to be able to expect from
    It's weak, basic, obvious and middlling. The show contains a 'cheap-gag' character that basically drinks onsite and offends everyone, reducing the level of realism that Gervais is striving desperately for.

    The 'Derek is kind, real people are bad' ethos that plagues the show (not enhances it) is rammed down your throat with force, not the subtlety we used to be able to expect from Gervais.

    Similarly to M.Night Shyamalan, Gervais appears to be running on the 'law of diminishing returns'. The Office is my all-time favourite comedy, Extras was brilliant, Life's Too Short didn't amuse me half as often (and was a shameless 'look at my celebrity friends' schtick, whereas in Extras the celebs at least had cause to exist within the show) and this is just poor.

    All of Brent's subtleties (the snarky looks at the camera, the fiddling with the tie, the undercurrent of tragedy and sadness that shapes his every move) have been launched out of the window.

    That Derek is actually the character that Gervais used (right down to the name and accent) in his earlier works on radio (using Derek in a negative, doesn't he sound retarded way) should have sounded alarms to those who are actually familiar with Ricky Gervais' works.

    He also used the exact same physical appearance and voice in his standup in a negative capacity, summing up autograph hunters.

    So I am not someone who simply doesn't 'get it' - I listen to the XFM shows, Guides to..., The Ricky Gervais Show and all his other radio works on a constant loop every day. I have watched and/or listened to everything he has ever done 100's of times and loved every minute of most of it.

    But the sad fact remains that he is a one-trick pony, and his latest works (released to his widest audience yet) have been weak, basic, obvious and unrealistic. Unrealistic can be good, sure, but that is not what he strives for or intends to do.

    This is simply weak, lacks subtlety or realism, and crams the message down your throat constantly.

    It breaks my heart to write this review, and I will always love Gervais and his works before Life's Too Short, but until he pulls his head out of his 'twitter-raging', arrogant and delusional ar$e he'll never reproduce the quality that he was initially renowned for.

    I am not offended by Derek or his character traits (though I am offended at how he thought he could seamlessly go from poking fun at people like Derek in his stand-up routines for cheap laughs to portraying them as heroes and portraying himself as someone who respects people like Derek), I am not amused by Kev crapping his pants or saying boring and predictably horrible sexual things, but I am alarmed that the best actor in the show is Karl Pilkington.

    The female lead is a retread of Dawn, Derek is as subtle as a sledgehammer, Kev is a ridiculous character that belongs on 'When The Whistle Blows' (which parodied basic comedy to perfection) and the entire message of the show is generic, boring and self-congratulatory.

    Gervais should stop lunching with Zuckerberg or tweeting to Ellen and get back to basics. Woody Allen concedes unto himself that he's a one-trick pony, and in earlier years when Gervais wasn't so defensive and arrogant, he too admitted this of himself. And there's nothing wrong with that if you are aware of it and do it well.

    Gervais thinks that his portrayal of Derek (a character he built in the early 00's to ridicule simple-minded people) is quality, that's the worst part. Gervais is and will only ever be a one-trick pony, and one of the best at it.

    This middling, idiotic and frankly crappy show lacks the subtlety that Gervais is renowned for, the humour that made him a household name, and the genuine and heartfelt moments that were captured in The Office with fleeting glances and quick 'cut-to's' from the camera, replacing that with sledgehammer tactics.

    I make no apology for the score, the length of this tirade nor the content within. Gervais used to represent a bunch of quality things, and now it seems that he's (permanently) sold out to the very aspects of fame and fortune that he used to rightly ridicule.

    He used to whale on Lenny Henry and his pathetic comedy, and parodied rubbish, generic comedies in Extras ('When The Whistle Blows') and now, due to money, Hollywood fame and Twitter-infection, he's become exactly what he used to hate and stand against.

    Terrible show, if this show amuses you then you need to try harder and search further for all the BETTER comedy out there. I'd start with his earlier works.
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  14. Jun 2, 2014
    9
    Don't pay attention to the critics, just watch the first episode. This funny, deeply touching and heartwarming take on a British nursing home completely caught me off guard and I was chuckling and even crying, because to some extent I can relate to Derek: I'm not smart, certainly not good looking, but kind, and unfortunately this doesn't get you far anymore in life. This show is worthDon't pay attention to the critics, just watch the first episode. This funny, deeply touching and heartwarming take on a British nursing home completely caught me off guard and I was chuckling and even crying, because to some extent I can relate to Derek: I'm not smart, certainly not good looking, but kind, and unfortunately this doesn't get you far anymore in life. This show is worth watching, too bad that not many people can identify with it I'm afraid. Expand
  15. May 13, 2014
    9
    It may take an episode or two to really get and appreciate the show, but get and appreciate it you will. With the right touch of wit and humor, not to mention a lot of heart, this show has become one of my favorites. The world is a wonderful when you see through the eyes of Derek. Watch and enjoy!
  16. Oct 5, 2013
    10
    Do not expect a comedy in the same vain as his previous work, Derek is so much deeper.

    Derek is a touching story about humanity and how we view and treat the elderly and mentally handicapped, it shows the best and worst of people and does it all in such a way that one minute you will be laughing and the next you might be shedding a tear.

    This is a show not to be missed.
  17. Oct 11, 2013
    10
    Watch at least 3. One of the best new shows, Netflix continues to hit home runs. Derek is hilarious, and the drama and emotion that Gervais snuck into other efforts (The Office, Extras), is worn on Derek's sleeve. Really heartwarming and laugh out loud funny
  18. Dec 13, 2013
    9
    Funny, sad and smart. The humor is similar to The Office but what makes Derek such a good show is that it doesn't rely only on humor. Derek is a comedy with substance. I cannot recommend it enough. Brilliant.
  19. Jan 10, 2014
    9
    Probably his most personal work, and certainly his bravest - Ricky Gervais shows us he still still willing to take big risks; it's the only way to get the big rewards and there are plenty here for the open minded viewer.
  20. Jan 23, 2014
    10
    One of the funniest loveliest programmes I have ever seen. The elderly actors are so natural and endearing. I have cried laughing and with tears of pure emotion.
  21. Jan 26, 2014
    9
    Wonderful tragicomedy if you invest the time. Critics won't understand it but this is a show that appeals to real adults rather than just the cool people like most tv. Is it perfect? No. But it's so much better than anything I've seen in 2013 that it's not funny. And I loved House of Cards.
  22. Feb 3, 2014
    9
    Pay no attention to the critics. The clear gap between critic and user reviews is, I believe, an indication that real people (i.e. users) are ready and even looking for something different. Derek is most definitely that; as a show that reinforces kindness to others with no regard for their station in life. The value that can be found in our aging population is rarely showcased in popularPay no attention to the critics. The clear gap between critic and user reviews is, I believe, an indication that real people (i.e. users) are ready and even looking for something different. Derek is most definitely that; as a show that reinforces kindness to others with no regard for their station in life. The value that can be found in our aging population is rarely showcased in popular film and television. How refreshing to see it done, and done so well; it is indeed a gem. Expand
  23. Mar 14, 2014
    10
    This show was definitely hart warming and hilarious. The settlement of the characters goes perfect with the nature of the show. This was really different for Ricky Gervais, and he did a great job
  24. Apr 24, 2014
    4
    The second people heard Rick Gervais would be playing a character with a learning disability they were pretty quick to describe ‘Derek’ as cruel or sick. Those people obviously haven’t watched the show as within 5 minutes it is pretty clear that’s not the case with Derek being arguably Gervais’ most sympathetic character to date.

    Unfortunately however despite a decent enough pilot, it
    The second people heard Rick Gervais would be playing a character with a learning disability they were pretty quick to describe ‘Derek’ as cruel or sick. Those people obviously haven’t watched the show as within 5 minutes it is pretty clear that’s not the case with Derek being arguably Gervais’ most sympathetic character to date.

    Unfortunately however despite a decent enough pilot, it does continue the comedian’s run of diminishing returns. In terms of characters Derek’s so called friend Kevin is just totally irritating and unfunny whilst many of the others are fairly unmemorable, especially when compared to David Brent or Gareth from The Office. The always brilliant Karl Pikington, as care taker Dougie, is perhaps the one saving grace managing to make his lines sound as if they are his own and producing the majority of the laughs (Although you'd be better off just listening to his podcasts to hear him at his best).

    The biggest disappointment however is the complete lack of subtlety when it comes to storylines. The second episode in this series for example sees an apparently disaffected teenager come to work at the home as part of her community service. We see her complain for five minutes and then one conversation about her painted nails later she suddenly realises that see actually just needed someone to be nice to her in order to completely change her ways. By the episodes end she’s volunteering to stay on after her community service finishes.

    After the far from perfect but interesting pilot that aired in 2012 this first season of Derek gets far more wrong than it does right and, while there are some funny moments, you’re better off just re-watching The Office or Extras.
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  25. Feb 9, 2014
    9
    Sat down last night hit netflix...did not realise DEREK was Ricki Gervais....ended up watching SERIES 1 back to back and thoroughly enjoyed it even if it made me sad. Well done RG CP et al very thought provoking..
  26. May 30, 2014
    10
    This show is heart warming, funny and touching. A must for any Gervais fans, his performance (and that of all the main cast) are superb. How this hasnt won awards I will never know!
  27. Apr 24, 2014
    0
    There is literally nothing to like about Ricky Gervaris's 'Derek'. It's mawkish rubbish from beginning to end, stopping only for crass, playground humour lacking in any wit or sophistication. The nauseatingly twee sentiments extend Gervais's own condescending Twitter presence with clumsy poignancy wrapped up in implausibly naivety. Haters gonna hate? No. In this case, lovers are gonnaThere is literally nothing to like about Ricky Gervaris's 'Derek'. It's mawkish rubbish from beginning to end, stopping only for crass, playground humour lacking in any wit or sophistication. The nauseatingly twee sentiments extend Gervais's own condescending Twitter presence with clumsy poignancy wrapped up in implausibly naivety. Haters gonna hate? No. In this case, lovers are gonna love. Those convinced by Gervais seem to inexhaustibly excuse his increasingly diminishing returns, sometimes to the point one wonders if they employ any critical analysis at all. This is embarrassing from the man who co-wrote The Office, and evidence once more - as if it was needed - that the nuance and subtlety so wonderfully evident in his earlier work was perhaps not attributable to him. Expand
  28. May 17, 2014
    5
    After watching Derek, I'm inclined to think Ricky Gervais works best when he's partnered with Stephen Merchant. It's almost as though he needs someone to reign him in, but when left to his own devices his output leans towards the overly sentimental. Derek is a crowd pleaser, essentially doing what he so studiously tried to avoid with The Office -- become a broad comedy. The foreshadowingAfter watching Derek, I'm inclined to think Ricky Gervais works best when he's partnered with Stephen Merchant. It's almost as though he needs someone to reign him in, but when left to his own devices his output leans towards the overly sentimental. Derek is a crowd pleaser, essentially doing what he so studiously tried to avoid with The Office -- become a broad comedy. The foreshadowing of jokes and plot developments is so obvious as to leave nothing to the imagination. I'm a huge Gervais fan, but Derek is just a little too on the nose for my taste. If he wants to make a show that is both funny and have some emotional resonance, he should take some pointers from Louie. Expand
  29. Jul 12, 2014
    10
    This show. It's different than anything that has ever been done before. I read a lot of critics that said it was "gooey"... maybe it is. But it's honest and genuine and a true homage to the human spirit. And on top of it all, it's surprisingly funny.
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Michael Starr
    Oct 3, 2013
    50
    It [the (pseudo-documentary) cameras] was effective in The Office; here it’s just repetitive and annoying.
  2. Reviewed by: Chuck Bowen
    Sep 16, 2013
    50
    Gervais's efforts to adhere to a coming-of-age formula with a bit of regard for life as it's actually lived are admirable, but his vision is incomplete and often borders on smug.
  3. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Sep 15, 2013
    58
    It's more of a character sketch than a fully realized story.