A Ricky Gervais Netflix series has been announced for this September, but before North American subscribers start feeling all special about it, it’s worth noting that this isn’t exactly new ground for those familiar with the show in the U.K., where it airs on Channel 4 and will soon premiere its second season.
Netflix will release all seven episodes in the first series at the same time following the format they’ve used for Hemlock Grove and House of Cards, according to The Wrap.
Called simply Derek, the show will focus on the titular character (Gervais), who is described as a “sweet, selfless but meek man” working in a retirement home with his friends Dougie (Karl Pilkington) and Hannah (Kerry Godliman).
Unlike bawdy, in-your-face Gervais, whom you may remember from when he hosted the Golden Globes, this project drops the shock value in favor of laughs and poignancy.
Gervais is also known as the creator and star of the British version of The Office, which inspired the highly successful American release that ran for nine seasons. To a lesser degree, you may also remember his work on Extras.
In a press release, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos had this to say about the Ricky Gervais Netflix pairing. “Ricky Gervais is one of the most distinctive comedy voices of his generation … With Derek, Ricky takes on new territory and mixes comedy with drama that is sometimes touching and sometimes heartbreaking.”
While it may seem odd for Gervais to tackle this type of material, we still remember him from Ghost Town, which hit all those buttons (successfully) several years ago. In the film, Gervais was a finicky dentist, who found himself with the ability to communicate with the spirit world. The gift pushed his character beyond his comfort zone and resulted in some moments that were both funny and touching.
Hopefully, Derek will hit the right emotional buttons as well. What do you think about the Ricky Gervais Netflix pairing — perfect for each other or a mismatch?