I’ll watch anything with Ricky Gervais’ name on it, so naturally I was pretty excited about The Ricky Gervais Show: The Complete First Season. I had no prior knowledge of his podcasts, just an appreciation for his work on The Office… which made the viewing experience rather interesting for me.
My initial thought was, ‘This is really weird.’ But the series and the characters grew on me once I gave them a chance. Laying the animation over the podcasts was a brilliant way of illustrating the content for the fans. Though, I think it’s safe to say that most fans of this series were content with just listening to the audio. The animation isn’t what sells it – it’s the banter between Ricky Gervais, Karl Pilkington, and Stephen Merchant that makes the series comical and occasionally insightful.
What I found really surprising was that Gervais didn’t shine as the lead character. This show is truly the Karl Pilkington Show. While Gervais and Merchant play off each other and Pilkington quite well – without Pilkington you’d have no show. His odd and unconventional musings inspire many conversations where Gervais and Merchant essentially imply that he’s crazy over and over. Yet Pilkington is seemingly unaware of the taunting. You almost feel sorry for him, but he takes the harassment quite well and just runs with it.
These original podcasts are the most downloaded podcasts in history. With that kind of viewership, you know you have to check it out – especially if you’re a fan of British comedy and/or Gervais. Give it a couple episodes, because it is a bit of an acquired taste. But once the characters grow on you – babies hatching from the stomachs of dying women won’t seem so usual to you…. and hopefully with that I’ve confused you enough to check it out!
Review By: Emma Loggins