Monday, September 22, 2008

The Ricky Gervais Show - Series 5

The Ricky Gervais Show, involving Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, creators of The Office and Extras and Karl Pilkingon who does nothing, slides into it's last series of shows with the energy of a woman waking up for a ten hour shift at Denny's with three hours of sleep and a hangover.

For those who don't know, the show (once podcast, now audiobook) centers almost entirely around the off-the-cuff discussions between Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington. While this may not sound like much it is - Karl is a very strange, stupid human being and Stephen and Ricky are two intelligent human beings with sharp senses of humor. Put them together and you have comedy gold. Usually, Ricky and Stephen find some aspect of Karl to look into and examine, like his diary entries, and then marvel at how Karl can write about things like doing absolutely nothing on his vacation and saving bugs from certain drowning. Ricky and Stephen then ask the questions that everyone wants to ask, like "WHY?!?!"

However while the previous podcasts were great, this one feels thrown out there. The Fifth Series, (named so because they are counting the various specials as the Fourth Series) is only an hour and a half compared to the four to six hours you would get with the previous series, yet costs the same. Sure, seven dollars is pretty good for an hour and a half worth of material, but seems like somewhat cheapened in comparison to the amount of material you got in the previous series.

Also, the material in this series just isn't as good. While previous series had "Monkey News" (Where Karl would make up absolute bullshit stories about monkeys) and mor readings from Karl's Diary. The only memorable discussions tha stick out in my mind about this podcast are where Karl is asked what would he banish from existence and he says "slugs" and a discussion about Nazi Germany and how Karl would casually tell Jews hiding in his attic to take off if they were up there too long.

Other disucssions just seem tired. They talk about the chairs they are sitting in and spend a good deal of time talking about how long they have been doing the podcast. They at least seem to realize that as they are doing it, the show has sputtered to and end and this being the last series seems to confirm that. It's somewhat sad to see such a terrific show end with a somewhat lame encore, but at least it was good while it was around.

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