Derek : Season 1

  • Network: Netflix
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 12, 2013
Season #: 1, 2
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 88 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 78 out of 88
  2. Negative: 6 out of 88

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User Reviews

  1. 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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  2. Jan 2, 2014
    0
    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?
  3. 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
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.