Just in case the teaser trailer for Muppets Most Wanted didn’t give you your daily Ricky Gervais requirement, fear not. Netflix just released the domestic trailer for Gervais’ latest series, the mockumentary Derek. Yes, it’s pretty funny, and yes it looks like it’ll be a great series, but let’s get something out of the way right quick.
Somebody needs to explain to Netflix what the phrase “original series” means. While they wisely don’t say this within the actual trailer itself, it’s in the title of the YouTube video. As a series created for the British network Channel 4, Derek was picked up by Netflix months after the pilot aired in April 2012. While series like Orange is the New Black and Arrested Development were actually exclusive to the streaming service, you can find episodes of Derek on the Channel 4 website. So essentially, this is just like any other non-exclusive Netflix release. Okay, okay. Rant over.
In the series, Gervais stars as the titular Derek Noakes, a helper in an old folks’ home full of residents and workers for whom the outside world seems to have stopped paying attention. Derek, which his thicker-than-bricks accent, is either annoyingly overzealous or he’s extremely helpful to those around him. I can’t quite tell. He loves the celebrity culture and is both childishly naïve and socially awkward. It’s surprisingly they didn’t make him an American.
Gervais looks to be in proper form, going just slightly below-the-top in terms of comedy, while somehow remaining sympathetic and charming. I think a lot of what makes this possible is the doc-style that Gervais perfected with The Office; in comparison, his Andy Millman character in HBO’s Extraswas hilarious, but he never really drew sympathy. It’s a technique I’ve grown tired of, but at least the workplace in this comedy is exceedingly different from a paper company or Parks and Rec’s city government.
Perhaps the greatest achievement Derek has to offer is in getting a fictional performance out of Karl Pilkington and his orange-shaped head. He’ll be playing Dougie, who is both the home’s caretaker as well as Derek’s landlord. Kerry Godliman plays Derek’s smart, witty and loveless best friend Hannah, while David Earl (Cemetery Junction) plays Derek’s aimless friend Kev.
All seven episodes of Derek are set to hit Netflix just after midnight on September 12. You can check out the series pilot below. Will you guys be watching next month?