Last year, HBO’s The Ricky Gervais Show was probably one my favorite series to watch on TV. Every week I looked forward to another half hour of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant making fun of Karl Pilkington’s perfectly round head. What’s more, they examined what thoughts were thought up in Karl’s perfectly round head, and it made for great entertainment.
Although the humor seems to be at Karl’s expense, somehow Ricky and Stephen do not come across as cruel. Having seen, heard, and read interviews with Gervais on the subject of Karl, he simply seems fascinated by the man. I share his wonder. Karl Pilkington is one of the most unique individuals on the planet. He clearly does not think the way most of us do. For instance, when Karl told Ricky about a watch you could wear that counts down until your death, and Ricky asked how such a watch would work, Karl responded by saying (I’m paraphrasing here), ‘well, you just put it on your wrist…’
The laughs do not stop for each of the thirteen episodes in the first season. Karl talks about his theories on all sorts of topics, from giving goats to poor Africans, to aging backwards, to animals. A recurring bit is Monkey News, where Karl discusses some piece of ‘news’ he read involving a monkey. Please keep in mind that for Karl, everything you read on the internet is fact.
Karl isn’t dumb, though. He is not traditionally educated all the far, but he has an intense curiosity and childlike wonderment. Part of the reason Karl can talk for so long on any given topic is because he frequently self-educates, though his sources aren’t always the most reliable. It doesn’t matter. You can’t keep a good man down, and Karl is a good man. He never takes the smirks to heart, and genuinely tries to fully participate in the conversation. The show should really be called The Karl Pilkington Show, as he is certainly the main focus.
The episodes are animated versions of Ricky Gervais’s podcast from a few years ago. The main set is the three men in a studio, but there are frequent sequences bringing to life their ideas and musings. If you have heard those podcasts, than you already know everything contained in the series. However, the animation is cute, fun, and lively. As much as I enjoy listening to the trio on my iPod, I find it even better to watch the cartoon versions of them and see what they are talking about.
Sadly, the DVD is very weak on extras. Episode three (the reverse aging one) is presented in full in storyboard format, but it’s more fun to watch the finished animation. There is also a minute and a half new animation for a charity event. It could have easily fit into any episode, but is just a short. And that’s it.
To buy this DVD, which I highly recommend because of the episodes, despite the scarce features, please check out your favorite store, or visit the official site. Visit the Warner Bros. official site to get the inside scoop on all Warner movie and DVD releases.
And after you watch the DVD, fear not! More content is on the way. The Ricky Gervais Show Season Two premieres Friday January 14th on HBO, and the premiere episode will be available for free all this week on HBO.com. Beginning January 22nd, Ricky Gervais presents An Idiot Abroad on the Science Channel, a series following Karl as he (reluctantly) visits the Seven Wonders of the World. This winter and spring will be rich with Karl Pilkington.
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