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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

It Grows on You

9/10
Author: davey79 from Finland
23 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I, like many others, was very disappointed after watching the first episode of Life's Too Short. It simply didn't live up to expectations. Very high expectations I must admit. As a fan of The Office and Extras, I had been regularly checking Ricky Gervais's blog for news about his new comedy featuring Warwick Davis. The clips were funny and combining elements of The Office with Extras, as Gervais had warned, made sense to me.

However, as I sat down to watch the first episode, excited like a little boy on Christmas Day, I simply didn't laugh as much as I had hoped. Reading scathing reviews by The Guardian, The Independent and The Metro didn't help. They brought to my attention the fact that Warwick was doing a Brent impression, Gervais was massaging his ego by showing-off his cool celebrity friends and that the jokes were cruel and simply not funny. Watching episode 2 wasn't much better. It was better, just not much better. Then I decided to do something. I decided that I wasn't going to read any more reviews or comments by people who were claiming that Gervais is a nasty bully who has only done one good thing. I decided to watch Life's Too Short in the same way as I watched The Office and Extras. I decided to watch it simply as a new comedy on TV. I didn't know anything about Gervais back then. There was no hype. I didn't even find The Office funny first time round, if truth be told.

It worked. Relaxing in front of the TV for Episode 3 had me laughing out loud regularly. A scene in Episode 4 had me crying with laughter. I don't remember the last time that happened! Life's Too Short had won me over. I thoroughly enjoyed Episodes 5 and 6 and I will sit down and watch the last episode tonight. Can't wait.

Finally, here are my views on some of the common discussion points on Life's Too Short:

1) Warwick is simply doing a Brent impression

Warwick is 20% Brent, 15% Gervais, 5% Gareth Keenan and 60% Warwick Davis. Good combination in my opinion. Brents exist, especially in Gervais's world.

2) The jokes are cruel and not funny.

I honestly believe The Office touched on taboo topics in a stronger way than LTS, especially regarding disability and race. The media, and most of the UK, have gone on PC overdrive since "mong-gate". How would they react if The Office only hit our screens now? Yes, many of the jokes in LTS rely on visual humor, but why is that a problem?. I laughed at Warwick climbing a bookshelf because it was so absurd, so crazy, yet somewhat believable. His expressions and body language were fantastic. You felt his pain. It reminded me a little bit of Steve Martin carrying an overweight Kathleen Turner up a flight of stairs in The Man With Two Brains. Oops. Does that mean I am laughing at fat people?

3) Gervais is showing off his cool celebrity friends.

Episodes 1, 2 and 3 had A-listers. This was a nice way to carry on from Extras, which this show is kind of related to. After that, however, the show takes on a life of it's own, unless you consider Keith Chegwin, Les Dennis, Shaun Williamson and Cat Deeley as cool celebrities you want to show off to the world.

You can drink a nice cup of hot tea when watching Rev. I wouldn't recommend that when watching Life's Too Short.

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7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Poor at best

Author: angusmcc from Uk
9 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was expecting so much more. Ricky's previous fly on wall Extras was great, now introduce the small person, who played his part well. It was a sad sitcom, God Bless them for trying, The whole idea was flawed, see a cynical look into the hidden camera jokes were stale. I watched for the stars, Not a good start. Just poor in all ways, is a an allegory of all xxx-ism and bias? No, just a badly acted out script. 0/10 for writing and direction, 10/10 for Warwick doing his best. You can better than this. and I watched it with my mum (74) and the C<>t word was used. And I cringed. Never watched a TV comedy with that particular word. In It's context, did even work, just gratuitous . My God, if this if the future of comedy, I despair. I love swearing, don't get me wrong, but c<>t was not needed, i guess Gervais has a right now...he's a Brit export. "Shut up, Ricky and call your' mum a c<>t to her face". and he probably would. Oh my bah is over Ricky get back to why you made us laugh. and don't buy the box set of "Life is too short"

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8 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

The funniest show on TV

10/10
Author: Matt1567 from United States
12 March 2012

I have to admit when I first started watching coming attractions of this show I wasn't sure what to make of it but after four episodes I am now convinced this is the funniest show on television. I was out one night with a group of friends and we had gone out for a fun time and we all came back at about 2:00am and we decided to watch something on "HBO on demand." We decided to check out "Life's Too Short." We watched one episode after another after another. I have never laughed so hard in my life! We were all dying!! It turned out to be the best night of the weekend. Warwick Davis (star of Willow, Leprechaun, and Ray) turned out to be a great comic actor. I couldn't believe how funny the show was and the situations Davis had got himself into. His secretary is equally funny. His secretary talks very slowly and in an episode after she (his secretary) explained something to him, Davis replied, "Well that took longer than an episode of Columbo." ROFL! Ricky Gervais is a comic genius as he makes fun of dwarfs, the mentally challenged, and just about everyone else in this TV series! It isn't in some people's taste but it really is all in good fun. I give the series ten stars out of ten. It is the best thing on television. Thank you Ricky Gervais!

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8 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

i am disappoint

4/10
Author: soevik1983 from Norway
25 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

( my first language isn't English )

First i have to say that extras and the office are my all time favourite comedy shows and i also like Ricky's stand-ups , the podcasts etc.

but I've read some of the reviews and i cant help to agree with the general sentiment.

- It lacks a story, thats my main complaint. Yes Warrick is loosing money and his wife is leaving but somehow i just don't get emotionally involved in any way shape or form and think that is because ( as many have stated ) Warrick'scharacter as Warrick seems fake.

- The scenes with Ricky&Steve are by far the funniest of the show , not including Warrick in the bin LOL , but are just forced into the show and storyline in a way that gets annoying and makes me think " why didn't they just do extras season 3 " .

- The midget jokes , oh good god the midget jokes. There's a billion of them in each episode.

- it seems to be to shows at once , ricky&steve's celeb chat and Warricks life. And the stories are forced together

- Warricks accountant is the worst character in the show. A bad copy of Darren Lamb. Hes so bad its near slapstick

positive things :

- its better than most out there - Warricks assistant is brilliant

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Reach for the stars

7/10
Author: Prismark10 from United Kingdom
3 October 2013

With Extras finished Gervais and Merchant wanted to mine the same path. This time Gervais & Merchant play a version of themselves as some sort of comedy producers/agents with Warwick Davis as a showbiz dwarf, rather egoistical and selfish but also fallen on hard times.

It is a mockumentary and rather absurdist. Davis is not likable and we think his heart is in the right place although as a talent agent for other dwarfs he takes the best acting parts for himself. Its hard to sympathise for him but easier to cringe although Davis does offer a lot of physical comedy.

There is also the sidebar of Gervais and Merchant with his usual team of Les Dennis, Keith Chegwin and Barry from Eastenders who are joined by a star cameo each week such as Liam Neeson popping up wanting more comedy parts which is a throwback to their previous series 'Extras.'

Still like Extras there is enough to make it work, the cameos are amusing, Davis is entertaining as he bravely soldiers on and his hapless accountant provides the laughs.

The show only lasted one series and was wrapped up in a special one off episode where Val Kilmer turned up as Batman and Davis is softened up slightly and understands the need to be less selfish.

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5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Life's Too Short

7/10
Author: Jackson Booth-Millard from United Kingdom
20 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have created some of the most influential and fantastic comedy in the 2000's, including The Office, Extras and The Ricky Gervais Show, and I was really intrigued to see that they would be doing another Mockumentary style show, and I was definitely up for it. Basically this fake observational documentary sitcom series delves into the life of famous dwarf actor Warwick Davis, star of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, Willow and Leprechaun, and his attempts at reviving his career, carrying on with his business ventures, and some of his personal life. This includes trying to end his marriage with wife Sue (Jo Enright) with as little hassle as possible, trying to run his dwarf actors' company, trying to help out at the dwarf support group he is a patron of, and trying to keep stable financially, and throughout the series we see that with his attitude, his lack of enthusiasm for everything, and sometimes his size don't always work to his advantage. Throughout the series he often visits his showbiz friends, that he met in Extras, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant for help and advice on stuff, he gets help in the office and sometimes personally from his not always intelligent assistant Cheryl Wilkins (This Is England's Rosamund Hanson), and with his divorce in proceedings he also tries his hand at a new relationship, unknowingly at first with another dwarf, Amy (Kiruna Stamell). Celebrities appearing in the series as themselves included Liam Neeson, Shaun Williamson, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Steve Carell, Right Said Fred's Richard and Fred Fairbrass, Les Dennis, Keith Chegwin, Cat Deeley, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Sting. Davis gives a really good performance playing the complete opposite to what he is like in real life, the script written by Gervais and Merchant are punchy in many moments, especially in the way they make Davis out to be a bit of a bastard, the celebrity appearances are all fun to watch, and the dialogue and slapstick style visual jokes work well too, I will admit it is not as funny and original as previous works the makers have done, but it is a comedy series worth seeing. Very good!

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Wicket-ly Funny Stuff

7/10
Author: James Clarke from United States
20 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

From Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant (The Office, Extras) comes Life's Too Short, a "mockumentary" series starring Warwick Davis, best known for his work in the Star Wars franchise, particularly as both beloved and hated Wicket the Ewok. (And although Life makes no mention of it, I personally can't forget the image of Davis as the Leprechaun in the movie series of the same name, so bad that it's somehow fantastic.)

The joke of the series is Davis' ego is big as all outdoors despite his being unknown to the public at large. One very funny scene has Davis arguing with a passerby about his celebrity, with the man saying "Now if you say Verne Troyer, I know exactly who you mean!" Clearly, this is not a real documentary. Davis obviously has the courage and great humor to portray himself this way, and it works well, with his entire life falling apart around him while he continues to brag about his exploring new frontiers in his acting and agency "empire".

Davis has surrounded himself with a group of people with no clue what they are doing. His accountant (Steve Brody) can't do math, and hates to "argue with the tax people", and his administrative assistant (Rosamund Hanson) says her dream is to prove that the people who went to the moon really went there. But it's Gervais and Merchant who provide the hook for the show, as Davis drops by their office to constantly bother them for work, only to wind up in the middle of scenes with other celebrities pitching comedy. In the pilot episode, it's Liam Neeson who strong-arms them into doing improv with him, only to fail miserably at it. (And if you've seen the headline today "Liam Neeson tries and fails to do comedy", that headline is misleading. The idea of the scene is that Neeson is unfunny, but the scene itself is laugh out loud hilarious. Neeson proves once again that he can do anything.)

I thought the pilot was very funny, and I was glad to see an actor like Warwick Davis get a chance to show a new side of himself. Here's hoping Life's Too Short sticks around for a long while.

Rating: 3.5/5 Recommendation: Check it out! (And check out my other reviews at clarketaculargeek.wordpress.com!)

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Works only really well when stars appear.

6/10
Author: badoli from Vienna, Austria
27 December 2012

This first season shows the typical handwriting of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. You've got loads of awkward social situations, a protagonist that slowly but surely drifts toward self destruction and famous people popping in once in a while. Honestly it's "Extras" all over again, just with a different flavor.

What surprised me is the speed at which the series looses ideas. While the first two episodes are hilarious (thanks to another great performance by Johnny Depp), later ones loose themselves in the monotony of repetition: Same jokes, same ideas, same plot twists. Worse is that the celebrity actors don't keep their quality. While Liam Neeson, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter satire the public view of their persons pretty hilariously, Cat Deeley only puts a visual highlight on her episode and Sting just plays Sting, which honestly works better in a Guy Ritchy movie.

If you liked everything about "Extras", you still might be a bit disappointed by the slight quality drop in direct comparison. It's still worth a watch though. I personally still have a hard time sympathizing with the prevailing idea in Gervais' stories of the arrogant and ignorant protagonist that ruins his life the fullest. It just makes watching the whole thing quite painful once in a while.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Excruciatingly funny, or just excruciating then funny

10/10
Author: oayche from Cairo
27 January 2012

I used to detest Ricky Gervais, but I've grown to like his stuff. Sure his humour is all one style, but then Frank Sinatra only sang one style, and both are masters of their styles.

Warwick is a revelation, his character is like a mix between David Brent and Alan Partridge. Warwick adds a lot of physical humour, and his performance is on a par with Coogan's and Gervais', I can't give him higher praise than that.

As for the jokes, if you like political correctness then steer clear, everyone here is taking the mickey out of themselves in the greatest traditions of British humour.

There's actually a touching and heartfelt theme in the background of the gags and awkwardness, and the best comedy always contains this, it's funny because it comes from a real place, and the characters are saying things we're too afraid to say but think nevertheless.

My wife's not as big a comedy devotee as me, but we were both laughing out loud at least 3 times an episode, and then giggling for minutes after. We haven't laughed this much since Four Lions. And the quest stars are brilliant too, sending themselves up.

It's great to see rich/famous people not take themselves seriously.

A+

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Disappointing

5/10
Author: André Silva from Portugal
3 February 2013

I had high hopes before starting to watch it, but i'm just disappointed. Actors performed really well throughout, but there's a difference between non-sense humor and non-sense work. This series include amazing non-sense humor, but the whole thing seems too non-sensical. Especially the screenplay. Basically Merchant and Gervais got some series to make, and decided to be lazy and just said to themselves "Let's make a mockumentary about the most famous British dwarf (so far so good), let's make him seek us for professional reasons, let's treat him bad, let's shove some celebrities there and cash in BBC checks". And that's exactly what this series is about. It has its funny moments, wonderful performances by guest celebrities, but the overall feeling is "meh". Just a big "meh".

Directing: 5/10 (competent, nothing else);

Screenplay: 2/10 (if this series was written by amateur writers, i would give it a 4); Acting: 7/10 (the only thing that makes this series worthy of watching); Bonus: 1, for amazing sketches, especially by Liam Neeson and Johnny Depp (these sketches are really well written, and that shows Merchant and Gervais only spent sufficient time on this sketches, probably more time on these than the rest of the series); Overall: 5/10

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