• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Feb 19, 2010
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jan 14, 2011
    60
    The show's only visual, literally, is cartoon animation of Gervais, Merchant and Pilkington talking. That's a bold gamble because if the words aren't grabbing the viewer, there's nothing else to hold the fort until the words get good again....So as with radio, you ignore the lulls and focus on the keepers.
  2. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Jan 14, 2011
    70
    The cartoon show is the least of his series, but it is generally amusing and pretty to watch, and I like the way it rambles.
  3. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Jan 14, 2011
    40
    Alas, HBO has come up with a dull, unimaginative interpretation of the podcast, essentially giving us animated versions of the three men sitting in a sound booth talking into microphones.
  4. Reviewed by: Randee Dawn
    Jan 14, 2011
    30
    The static nature of three talking heads (even in cartoon form) is dull, and the intermittent non-studio interstitials used to illustrate the discussion fail to provide enough of a change. Watching cartoon characters laugh at one another feels recursively silly, and not in a good way.
  5. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jan 14, 2011
    67
    Oh, you'll laugh. But you probably won't remember much of it the next day.
  6. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Jan 14, 2011
    75
    Not only did I enjoy the upcoming The Ricky Gervais Show, which is an insane animated version of his equally insane podcasts, but I laughed so loud that I practically had to be restrained in the office.
  7. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jan 14, 2011
    75
    Media Rights Capital, an independent production company, took an offbeat idea and made it work surprisingly well.
  8. Reviewed by: Michael Murray
    Jan 14, 2011
    50
    To reduce talents as large as Gervais and Merchant to caricatures seems absurd. The vitality and enthusiasm that passes between them, and the unfettered joy implicit in that, demands a human face, and without that, HBO is missing the point, creating a show that's easy to listen to, but actually hard to watch.
  9. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Jan 14, 2011
    80
    Using the audio from the radio episodes and then supplying a sort of 1960s-style Hanna-Barbera wash of cheap animation to more fully illustrate the inanity of their conversations, Gervais has landed on something quite special that can be scorchingly funny.
  10. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Jan 14, 2011
    70
    Given that the show largely consists of the animated Gervais and Merchant sitting around a table with the notoriously round-headed Pilkington, disabusing him of one oddball notion after another, it's strange that Gervais would've chosen this show to carry his name. But true believers--or fans of "The Life & Times of Tim," whose second-season premiere follows at 9:30--may well have a yabba-dabba-do time.
  11. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jan 14, 2011
    60
    Animation would seem to be an ideal vehicle for this, but there's only so much it can do--in part because there's no adhesive to the episodes. The three guys sit and bullshit for 20-some-odd minutes--at times entertainingly--until the program simply ends.
  12. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jan 14, 2011
    60
    I'm still not sold on watching the show. I still think I might prefer to listen to the podcasts instead. The animation adds some humor but probably not enough to justify adding this series to my already overbooked TV viewing schedule.
  13. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jan 14, 2011
    63
    That a premise so slight yields as much amusement as it does is a tribute to Gervais and Merchant's quick wits and to Pilkington's blend of extreme gullibility and offbeat quirkiness....The purposely retro animation, which turns Gervais into a more cheerful Fred Flintstone, not only adds nothing to the mix--it subtracts.
  14. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jan 14, 2011
    42
    Pilkington's musings are sometimes amusing and always pointless, but the animation almost totally nullifies the first and intensifies the second.
  15. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jan 14, 2011
    60
    The chats are amusing, quirky and strangely obsessed with monkeys (which, granted, is always a funny topic), but the illustrations tend to overemphasize the throwaway moments, draining them of spontaneity and often of their original humor.
  16. Reviewed by: Aubry D\'Arminio
    Jan 14, 2011
    75
    This '60s-style animated edition of their record-breaking podcast, featuring cartoon versions of the duo and idiot savant sidekick Karl Pilkington, magnifies everything venal and childish about the original (jokes about dildos on sticks and monkeys on benders) while masking its incredible wit.
  17. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Jan 14, 2011
    80
    Gervais serves as a bullying sidekick to Mr. Pilkington and steps out of the way, letting his strange and funny collaborator take the lead. The series is not a full-blown comedy show; it's a collection of Web-styled sketches and proof that big laughs can come in small doses.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Apr 3, 2011
    10
    Very, very funny. Karl Pilkington is an idiot. See through skin, SERIOUSLY!!! You know what, he may be the funniest, but without Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant setting up the jokes then he wouldn't be funny at all. But luckily, it is a hilarious show! 10/10 Full Review »
  2. Dec 19, 2013
    9
    Those of you that listened to the podcasts on-line will quickly realise that much of the material in this first series is repeated but when it is as funny as this who really cares?

    The only thing added by the TV show are the animations to go along with Karl Pilkington's crazy stories and ideas but these really do add the entertainment often making it even more funny. If you've never listened to Karl Pilkington you are really missing out and I would definitely recommend you pick up this animated comedy gem.
    Full Review »
  3. Mar 3, 2013
    8
    This is great, very funny the animation does really add a lot to the podcasts and even tho i have listened to the podcasts i had no problem watching this in parts the animation made it even funnier. Full Review »