TV Review: LIFE'S TOO SHORT 1.1, Another Gervais/Merchant Hit

A promising start with an interesting and unlikable character at the centre that is fascinating to see someone as likeable as Warwick Davis portray.

rating: 4

I have always been a fan of uncomfortable comedy and the champions of this genre are obvious; Larry David€™s perfectly written Curb Your Enthusiasm, Gervais and Merchant€™s breakthrough hit The Office and their much-underrated follow-up Extras. All three iconic shows create funny situations out of social conventions that at times can be almost too excruciating to watch; David Brent€™s famous dance from The Office and Larry David€™s numerous social faux pas that you can symapthise with but are still observations shouldn't be shared. Considering my own tastes when I first heard the initial premise for Life€™s Too Short, the third sitcom from Gervais & Merchant, I knew we were in for another treat. The first episode of the new show debuted tonight on BBC 2 and it certainly didn't disappoint. Life€™s Too short is an observational sitcom based around a fictionalised version of actor Warwick Davis€™s life. This version of Warwick is manipulative, arrogant and quite conceited which is a good thing because this enables Gervais and Merchant to really exploit the strange case of a sitcom led by a dwarf whose character has small man complex! (did you see the car he was driving?!) In this the pilot episode we are introduced to Warwick in a semi documentary fashion reminiscent of The Office. Warwick€™s voice over throughout the episode reinforces the impression of an incredibly arrogant and ignorant prick who can€™t help but rub people the wrong way and yet most of the time he appears totally oblivious to this. He is living in something of a delusional bubble where because he starred in some famous films his phone should be forever ringing with work, when the life of a dwarf actor isn't so easy. The show carries on at a good pace with interesting characters thrown in; his soon to be ex wife, his barely conscious secretary and his incompetent accountant. Along with these we are introduced to two dwarfs that work at Warwick€™s agency and this makes for one of he funniest and most offensive scenes in the whole episode. In fact the only scene funnier and more offensive is the scene with Liam Neeson trying to sell himself as a comedian to Ricky and Stephen. This scene is genius and Liam plays it so straight it works so well on number of levels. The show picks up where Extras left off in turns of pushing the comedy envelope and not being afraid to offend. However for some people this may be too much but by now you either know if you like Gervais/Merchant's sitcoms or you don't. Did the pilot do enough to ensure that I will check out the rest of the season? Yes definitely, but will it be enough to expand the audience further than the Office and Extras? I doubt it. A promising start with an interesting and unlikable character at the centre of it that is fascinating to see someone as likeable as Warwick Davis portray. I look forward too the upcoming celebrity cameos including Johnny Depp, Steve Carell, Sting, Helena Bonham Carter and of course Barry from Eastenders and wonder if this fictional version of Warwick will ever get redeemed.
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Major Hip Hop fan with a taste for all good music. Comic fan with a taste for DareDevil, 100 Bullets, Sin City and Chew not to mention Movies like Godfather, Goodfellas, Lord of the Rings and most of the Marvel and DC movies or at least the good ones.