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Review: 'Life's Too Short' Gives A Bittersweet Ending To An Overlooked Series

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 5, 2013 11:40 AM
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  • 2 Comments
After Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's groundbreaking "The Office," followed by the equally well received "Extras," it seemed that audiences began to cool on that particular brand of comedy. Rooted in vain, unlikeable, ambitious and curiously sympathetic characters, it's not clear where public opinion went, but "Life's Too Short" certainly deserved a better reception than it got.

Ricky Gervais' 'Life's Too Short' Will Wrap Up With A Final Special

  • By Joe Cunningham
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  • January 7, 2013 6:18 PM
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  • 0 Comments
On the small screen at least, Ricky Gervais has seldom encountered anything short of enormous success since “The Office” (in this writer’s opinion the finest sitcom of the last two decades) first aired in July 2001. That show went on for two seasons (plus a Christmas special), as did the inferior but still undeniably brilliant “Extras.” The animated version of his podcast with Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington, “The Ricky Gervais Show,” went on for three seasons and found far more success than the format reasonably had any right to, and similarly “An Idiot Abroad” (in which he sends Karl Pilkington around the globe) has been a huge success in the UK, and has just concluded after adding Warwick Davis to the mix for its final run this Christmas.

Review: 'Life's Too Short' Gets Darker, Grows More Incisive As It Heads Toward The Season Finale

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 18, 2012 12:58 PM
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  • 7 Comments
While Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have been rightly celebrated for creating some of the best, most observant comedy of the last few years in "The Office" and "Extras," the success and brilliance of those shows have been possible due to their willingness to eviscerate the main characters. David Brent and Andy Millman both have their ego and hubris splashed heavily with buckets of cold water throughout both series. What has made both of those shows rise beyond their seeming sitcom trappings, has been the greater character truths that arrive as their grand ambitions face hard and harsh reality.

Review: 'Life's Too Short' Another Comedic Look At Ego, Hubris & Humiliation From Ricky Gervais

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 19, 2012 12:12 PM
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  • 2 Comments
"I heard Ricky Gervais quit Twitter recently because it only has 140 characters. Well that's 139 more characters than he's ever come up with," zings an insulted Johnny Depp in the second episode of "Life's Too Short." And while the gag is hilarious (as is Depp), there is a small ring of truth of it. The multitasking actor, writer, producer and director (he takes on every job in this new series) has mined a very specific comedic niche, with characters like David Brent and Andy Millman, that finds the lives of ordinary middle-aged men at the mercy of their ego and hubris, with humiliation often following their thwarted schemes to move up the ladder or follow their dreams. And while Gervais is a bit player (along with longtime collaborator Stephen Merchant) in "Life's Too Short," the familiar traits and themes of his celebrated previous series is here in ample supply. That it still works to uproarious effect with a laser sharp wit and keen eye for observation, is a credit to Gervais' skill in perfectly capturing the anxieties and insecurities of men of a certain age.

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