If you are not entirely offended by the humor of Ricky Gervais, then you must check out his latest creation, “Derek”, which is now streaming on Netflix Instant.
The mockumentary premiered in April 2012 on the British network Channel 4, and stars Ricky Gervais as an awkward nursing home employee who enjoys YouTube, animals and lifting the spirits of others. When one looks at Derek Noakes they may see a child in grown man’s clothing, horrific clothing, with a slicked down wet head of hair.
The strange smile of Derek Noakes will remind one of Jim Carrey’s Chip Douglas in “The Cable Guy”. Gervais employs a nifty jaw technique to give the character of Derek an endearing smile. Perhaps the most hilarious moment of the Pilot takes place when Derek points out the comedic brilliance of the YouTube video “Hamster on a Piano”. Watch it HERE.
Fans of “An Idiot Abroad” will be pleased to see Karl Pilkington as Dougie, Derek’s co-worker/bus driver. Dougie is a cynical man who questions everything, not unlike Pilkinton himself, and wears a horrible wig that is distracting and devastating to look at. You’re better than that, Pilkington. You too, Gervais? Maybe that is the joke, though?
If Ricky Gervais and Karl Pilkton are the Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute of “Derek”, then Kerri Godliman is Pam Beasley. Kerri has worked in the nursing home for fifteen years and has a conservative-but-sexy vibe.
The most hilarious part of “Derek” (at least in the Pilot) are the facial expressions and overall appearance of Derek. His creepy grin may be offensive to some, however it can quickly change to an all-out teethy smile when discussing celebrities or YouTube. The deadpan humor of “Derek” is on point, the set design is amazing (see Derek’s portrait on wall) and the dialogue is absolutely hilarious.
“Derek” is a pleasure to watch because it offers a bit more than awkward personalities and strange humor to laugh at. The setting is a nursing home, and the characters obviously show a great deal of heart for their residents (right?), perhaps none moreso than the lead character.
“Derek” embraces the unique characteristics of people, and may remind some that they are not so perfect themselves. At the very center, however, is a story about helping each other out and laughing at the smaller things in life that may not necessarily appeal to you, but are of a major importance to others.