Ricky Gervais is back at it, and by "it" I mean creating awkward mockumentary comedy. His latest series, Derek, has already aired in the U.K., but will be available to stream on Netflix beginning September 12 at 12:01am. Gervais is credited as the creator, writer, director, and executive producer on the series, in addition to starring in it. The show has already been picked up for a second season across the pond.
Derek follows the life of Gervais's character, Derek Noakes, who is described as kind, tender, and innocent—three words that would never be used to describe the comedian's typical brand of humor.
Derek is a 49-year-old bloke who works in a modest nursing home and obviously genuinely enjoys his job, often putting it before anything else. He's joined by his friends: Hannah (Kerry Godliman); Dougie (frequent Gervais collaborator/whipping-boy Karl Pilkington, in what might be his first attempt at actual acting), who's also a colleague and his roommate; and Kev (David Earl), a friend of Derek's who actually doesn't work at the nursing home.
One thing the trailer doesn't make clear—and purposely so—is whether Derek is a "special needs" individual. I only bring it up because the series drew some ire during its U.K. airing, with some viewers alleging that the show makes light of the mentally handicapped—a complaint Gervais responded to with the claim that Derek is not intended to have a "specific and defined disability " It's clearly a touchy subject—especially now that various mental conditions and illnesses, both diagnosed and alluded to, are practically a trend among TV characters—but if you have any thoughts on the matter, I'd love to hear them in the comments!
Do you plan to check out Derek? U.K. pals: If you've already seen it, what'd you think?
AIRED ON 5/30/2014
Season 2 : Episode 6