Are You Havin' A Laugh?

Extra Orlando

Orlando Bloom Having a Laugh

There’s something quite comfortable about Ricky Gervais these days.  His outlook seems to be one whereby he doesn’t want to join in with the common or garden celeb culture of the day.  He never turns up on adverts, rarely makes cameo appearances, only goes to red-carpet events when he’s been nominated for something and by all accounts turns down work by the bucketload if he’s not 100% bought into the art of it.  Following a career that went from zero to stratospheric in almost no time at all, this is hugely commendable and may be one of the reasons why I respect him so much.  The main reason though, is that he is simply so good at what he does.  The new series of Extras has hit our screens and started off where the last one left with a few well aimed potshots at the celebrity lifestyle he resists so much himself.   Add into the mix a range of A- and B- listers only too happy to poke fun at themselves and you’re onto a winner.  However, the style of humour doesn’t quite have that level of cringeworthiness of The Office (but then, what does?).  Occasionally, the laughs are crowbarred in with little subtelty and seem designed to shock rather than be funny but may be that’s a bit of prudishness on my part.  In the end, it is Gervais’ character of Andy Millman that makes this so great, his quiet desparation and sarcasm is a joy to behold and, I may stand alone here, is just as funny a character as David Brent.

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