Saturday, February 18, 2012

Preview: Life's Too Short - the New Jawn from Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant

I'm so happy there's no Housewives currently airing on Sunday nights.

For the last week or so, I've been walking around with a 35-foot boner in anticipation of Sundee night's season premiere of Life's Too Short, the new show by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.

Gervais and Merchant co-created the greatest show of all time, The Office (UK), so everything they do from here on out is must-see TV. They could read from the phone book and I'd listen to them. That is, if they could find a phone book. So sad that people no longer use phone books.

So the other day, because I wanted to share my excitement with another human, I asked my co-worker RJ if he too was looking forward to Gervais's new show.

RJ:  Ehhh, I like Gervais okay. I mean, he's funny, I like his podcasts, but I'm not reallllly into him.

Me:  You've seen The Office, right?

RJ:  I've seen the American Office.

Me:  But never the British one?

RJ:  Correct.

Me:  This conversation's over.

Now, it must be made clear that I already knew that RJ was a total idiot. It's not like I needed to hear him admit that he'd never seen The Office to verify this. The guy never wears socks. Ever. He comes to work every day, sometimes wearing sneakers, sometimes shoes, sometimes these sorta moccasin-looking things, AND HE NEVER WEARS SOCKS.

You might be thinking, "Ohhhhh, well, sometimes I don't wear socks with certain shoes and I never wear socks at home, especially when it's warm ..." BUT RJ NEVER EVER WEARS SOCKS.

IT WAS 30 DEGREES THE OTHER DAY AND THE GUY STILL WASN'T WEARING SOCKS. That means RJ doesn't know the feeling of coming home from a long day of work AND TAKING OFF HIS SOCKS!!!

That's like going through your entire life as a stupid, lame, weirdo V-word. 

So serious!

The bottom line is, even though Ricky Gervais is everywhere at the moment -- doing stand-up, hosting the Golden Globes, recording podcasts, writing children's books, making movies, doing chat shows -- his bread and butter is television. And if you haven't seen The Office or Extras, then YOU DON'T REALLY KNOW RICKY GERVAIS!!! ... OR STEPHEN MERCHANT!!! ... and if you don't know Stephen Merch, you need to recognize!!!!

Gervais (and Stephen Merch) have managed to create a boner-popping fan base despite the fact (or maybe because of the fact) that they've only made SIXTEEN HOURS of television programming. The Office and Extras were both only two seasons long -- six 1/2-hr episodes each and a 2hr special to wrap things up. You can watch the entirety of either one of these shows on one couch-riddened Saturday. Last weekend I spent sixteen hours at Marshall's looking for socks.

I don't know too much about Life's Too Short -- because I'm one of those lunatics who has to stay away from coming attractions and previews and articles, and get fired up when my friends don't wear socks -- but I do know that it's a mockumentary where Gervais and Merchant and a bunch of their famous Hollywood friends play themselves / caricatures of themselves.

I also know that the show stars Warwick Davis, the midget who played that ewok from Return of the Jedi, as himself. Apparently, people have been trying to get Warwick to do a documentary about being a midget for a while now, and Warwick always declined, unsure how best to tell his story of being a midget. So he brought the idea to Gervais and Merchant who understood the obvious comedic potential of writing about a midget.

Midgets are also really easy to feel sorry for, and Gervais and Merchant have proved to be masters at making their audience empathize with their lead characters. David Brent (The Office) and Andy Millman (Extras) were both attention-craving, fame-seeking, pathetic saps, but they were also just a couple of guys who wanted to be liked.

But David Brent and Andy Millman were also assholes. And the fact is: assholes make for hilarious lead characters ... Larry David, Kenny Powers, Louie, Seinfeld (kinda a prick), Sammy Malone (narcissist), Al Bundy, Homer Simpson, Royal Tenenbaum, Wesley from Mr. Belvedere, Alex Trebek, Charles Barkley, Cookie Monster (he always ate EVERYONE'S cookies!) ... all assholes.

This midget is gonna be a total asshole.

Just like RJ.

Life's Too Short premieres this Sunday at 10:30 on HBO. Eastbound and Down season 3 also starts that night, at 10. You can follow Kenny Powers on Twitter (@KFuckingP) and also Stevie Janowski (@SFuckingJ), Ashley Schaeffer (@ASBMW69) and also Jason Sudekis's character (@RealShaneDog) who plays Kenny's new best friend. You can also follow me (@TVMWW) or Jane Fonda (@JaneFonda) who's the dirtiest B alive. Or you can check out this 16 year old's self portraits that are pretty cool.


  1. I like Marshall's. Cookie Monst eats VEGGIES these days. Too PC for me. And you should be famous. Not b/c of your 35 ft schlong, but b/c you're THAT funny. AND an ASSHOLE!

  2. I don't believe it's actually a new show. The entire first season ran on BBC last year.


      It's a new show in AMERICA ... it ran this winter in the UK.