Review of "Derek" on Netflix From The TV MegaSite

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"Derek" review by Sundi 5/22/14
Season 2 begins 5/30 on Netflix

The second season of the critically acclaimed comedy drama Derek premieres later this month on Netflix, and I had the chance to watch the first few episodes, and I was surprised at how moved I was by this show and the relationships among the characters.

Having little experience with Derek before now, but having followed Ricky Gervais’ career outside of it, I didn’t really expect this show to be so bittersweet and genuine. Gervais is known for a particular brand of comedy, and sentimental is not usually an adjective used to describe his craft, but this show is just that: sweet and earnest and completely captivating.

The show follows a group of misfits that have been marginalized by the outside world, but find a sense of family working at Broad Hill nursing home. Gervais plays Derek Noakes, an innocent young man that has found a place to belong in a group of friends that accept and love one another like a real family would.  Gervais’ comedy and writing partner, Karl Pilkington, plays the handyman Dougie, who feels conflicted about moving on to better things and leaving his friends behind. David Earl plays the interminably drunk Kev, that is a train wreck in every sort of way, and Kerry Godliman plays Hannah, Derek’s best friend and the most maternal and trustworthy of the bunch.

Even though this show grapples with some issues that can be hard to laugh at, the show works hard to temper it with irreverent humor and shockingly frank language. One of the running plotlines in season 2 is Hannah and Tom’s attempt to conceive a baby, and the ensuing meddling is hilarious. There is a lot of talk about the direction sperm travels, and cool testicles, and the duration of their intercourse, and it gives the show an edgy humor that makes it weird and hard to get – but in a good way.

If you like the British version of The Office, or HBO’s show Getting on, you will love this show; however, if you squirm over talk of anal sex and dying old people, then you shouldn’t bother. 

Tweet me when it premieres and let me know what you think about Ricky Gervais as Derek – he’s almost unrecognizable, yes?


DEREK season two, starring Ricky Gervais, premieres Friday, May 30 and the first trailer for the show is now live here:
An Award-winning bittersweet comedy-drama about a group of outsiders living on society’s margins, “Derek” centers around Derek Noakes (Gervais), a tender, innocent man whose love for his job at a retirement home shines through.  Derek cares deeply for the home’s residents, because they are kind and funny and tell him stories of what life used to be like.  Working alongside Derek is Dougie (Karl Pilkington), his landlord who is one of life’s unlucky individuals; Kev (David Earl), a loveable train wreck; and Hannah (Kerry Godliman), a care worker in the home and Derek’s best friend. She is smart, witty and hard-working, but unlucky in love, and, like Derek, always puts other people first.

In the second season, Derek’s kindness has truly extended to those around him as he forges new friendships. The retirement home’s residents and employees have built a familial community and Derek’s positive outlook and good natured spirit allows them to persevere through the difficult times that they sometimes face.
The original series starring, written, directed and executive-produced by Emmy® and Golden Globe winner Ricky Gervais premieres on Friday, May 30, 2014 at 12:01 AM PT only on Netflix.

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