• Network: ,
  • Series Premiere Date: Nov 10, 2011
  • Season #: 1
Life's Too Short Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 31 Ratings

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  • Summary: Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant return to HBO with yet another British comedy series. Warwick Davis, best known for his role in Willow, plays a fictionalized version of himself.
  • Genre(s): Comedy, Reality
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Feb 21, 2012
    Life may be short, but this comedy is not long enough.
  2. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Feb 16, 2012
    That uncomfortable flash of shame even as we smile at his antics is what makes Life's Too Short so oddly engaging.
  3. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Feb 17, 2012
    The real Messrs. Gervais and Merchant haven't lost their touch with self-humiliating characters.
  4. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Feb 16, 2012
    What's different about Life's Too Short, and what makes it watchable, is that Mr. Davis--who portrayed Filius Flitwick in the "Harry Potter" films, as well as multiple "Star Wars" Ewoks--is so good at playing Mr. Gervais's stock character.
  5. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Feb 17, 2012
    Though there are some good jokes here and there about the humiliations a little person actor has to endure on your average movie set, for the most part, the biggest laughs have little to do with Davis and everything to do with the celebrity guests.
  6. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Feb 16, 2012
    Measured against the yardstick of their own lofty standards, the show comes up a little short.
  7. Reviewed by: Phillip Maciak
    Feb 21, 2012
    Life's Too Short is occupied with nonsensical and barely developed sketch ideas as well as Extras-style celebrity cameos, Gervais and Merchant among them.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 12
  2. Negative: 2 out of 12
  1. Nov 28, 2012
    Very funny series and hilarious plots. People who critic negatively this show must have personal issues and don't need to share their comments. Well written, and the cast is great! Keep the show on for more years, as your fan base will continue with their support. Expand
  2. Jul 21, 2014
    Very funny and although probably rehashing some ideas from their previous works still good writing and definately one of my top 10 comedy moments when Warwick is in the office with the guys and Liam Neeson. The Special episode that came two years later was sadly very boring and only slightly funny. Expand
  3. Feb 22, 2012
    Firstly, it would be wise to ignore the ridiculous and misguided reviews of "Long time Gervais fans" who seem to be disappointed that Gervais and Merchant haven't again been able to create an entire new genre of comedy (surely once in a decade is enough?) Yes, the humour is the same as Extras and the Office, but what were you expecting? This was by far the best comedy released in 2011. I feel this is the type of comedy Gervais / Merchant have always wanted to do - the comedy is harsh and unforgiving, it's also a lot edgier than what we have seen in the past. They have slowed down on the pathos and amped up the absurdist comedy. Warwick Davis' performance will impress over repeat viewings and Rosamund Hanson is brilliant. Johnny Depp and Liam Neeson are some of the highlights, but there are also some excellent guest spots from lesser known English comedians.

    The criticisms: Those who hate Gervais for his smug character, will only hate him more after this show. Gervais and Merchant are clearly playing Curb style exaggerations of their public personas. However, this nuance is suprisingly missed as Gervais' online profile seemingly blurs the lines between persona and his real self . The other fault that was distracting was the mockumentary format, which was obviously not given as much thought and OCD like detailing as The Office, resulting in some unrealistic multiple camera angles and unlikely or unconvincing scenes.

    No, the show is not as good as The Office or Extras, but neither has any other comedy since Seinfeld. As a stand alone creation, LTS is still miles ahead of the competition.
  4. Feb 22, 2012
    I thought the show was OK but nothing special having seen the English version. It's very very similar to Extras and that's one thing that really makes me dislike the show. With The Office, Gervais had a new sort of idea with the whole mockumentary thing, with Extras it was a critique on celebrity culture and the cameos by stars were really neat. This show combines both and relies solely on Warwick's size to differentiate itself. A few smirks are to be had from this show but nothing great. I agree that the Liam Neeson scene was the best in the series.

    With that said, Gervais/Merchant generally make shows that start off as light comedies and then evolve them into almost a drama. Time will tell if they can salvage this one but I am worried by how little new I see here.
  5. Feb 6, 2013
    With The Office and Extras on their CV Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have been responsible for two of the best British sit-coms of the modern era and their influence is again very much evident in Life's Too Short.

    As with The Office their latest series is shot in fake documentary style but this time around it focuses on a fictional version of actor Warwick Davis as he struggles to come to terms with his fading career. Throughout this series Davis shows himself to be an excellent comic actor even if he does play things a little too similar to David Brent on occasions. The majority of the celebrity cameos are also well written (particularly Liam Neeson) and the ongoing jokes involving the likes of Les Dennis and Shaun Williamson are very funny indeed.

    However the reason The Office and Extras were so well received, aside from the fact they were very funny, was their originality and it is in this department that Life's Too Short fails. When watching it is hard not to be constantly reminded of scenes from Gervais and Merchants earlier, usually superior, work. Everytime Warwick Davis gives a knowing look to the camera one can't help but picture David Brent sat behind his desk.

    Existing fans of the comedy duo will there are laughs to be had just don’t be expecting another ground breaking television show.
  6. May 2, 2013
    Life's Too Short was extremely disappointing to me, having been a huge fan of The Office and Extras, I had high hopes for their third outing. What I was left with was weird mixture of the two shows which didn't have the hilarious scenes from The Office and didn't have the fascinating commentary of the obsession with fame from Extras. Warwick Davis does deliver a good performance but, its the whole package that left a bitter, disappointing taste in my mouth. Expand
  7. Feb 20, 2012
    In the brilliant Office, Brent quipped that Alton Towers was his biggest disappointment. Watching this show I felt like I knew exactly what he meant. Boring, predictable, self plagurisation (so many scenes from the Office re-hashed), far fetched, ridiculous are just some of the words to describe this effort of a show. I'm huge fans of Gervais and Merchant. The Office is perfect, Extras not so but still very good. Life's Too Short is an insult to the fans and viewers. Lazy and moronic. Most of the actors acting like Gervais. If you found Maggie's unbelievable stupidity irritating in Extras then Warricks assistant sinks to even lower levels, not to mention his accountant. Where are the real 3 dimensional characters, Tim and Dawn, everyone in this is a wanker. Each episode needs to be saved by a cameo appearance or by Merchant & Gervais popping up who are undoubtedly funny. I really hope its not the case but this might be the start of the decline of Gervais and to a lesser extent Merchant who has taken off in Hollywood recently Expand

See all 12 User Reviews