I have yet to be disappointed by anything Ricky Gervais does. That is, until this Christmas Special. I was so looking forward to this episode too!
I think a bit of Andy Millman started to leak into Ricky's brain (aaaahhhhh Riiiicky), as it felt like the very Hollywood movie Mr. Millman was whining about getting into all this time. The emotional cliches, the incidental music, the oh my gosh look at what fame does to you and how it affects the people you love! it was all there. Part of what made Extras and The Office such amazing series was their lack of background music (or very sparse, if any). It added a level of realism, like you were suffering right along with the characters. Very Ernest Hemingway! And there was just the right amount of emotion, believable emotion, not the kind that every other movie would have you feel. What am I trying to say... it felt like the emotions were forced on us, rather than us feeling them right along with the characters, in this special. But what about the jokes?! You didn't make any jokes, Andy... any new ones anyway! They all felt very forced and/or recycled. Also, are we just supposed to forget about that whole thing with Robert DiNiro?! I was under the impression that this special existed to tie up loose ends such as The Office specials did for that series.
Nitpicking aside, it wasn't all bad! I mean, I wasn't completely bored out of my mind watching it or anything. Like a lot of fellow viewers, I loved Andy's huge speech at the end about the film/tv industry. It made me cry. It made me cry a lot! I was bawling like a little girl. Very, very good speech, one of the best I've heard in a christmas special! It wasn't enough to make me forget the rest of the episode, however it was nice to end on a high note. And flying into the sea is such a cute idea! Penguins or flying fish, I love it!
Aaaanyway, you should definately watch it if you've seen the series. Just don't get your hopes up too much!