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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!
Unfortunately this is a great show that went under the radar. Im very
happy to see they are doing a series finale but I would have loved a
second season. I really hope they wrote the finale answering all the
questions we have about what happens with Warrick. I found myself
rooting for him even though at times he can be a real ass lol.
I would love to see the lawyer/boyfriend of the ex-wife and the ex-wife fall on hard times themselves. Haha, I know that sounds terrible but I had a legitimate hatred for the both of them (especially the lawyer) by seasons end. And hopefully they is plenty of Rosamund Hanson's character she was brilliant on the show!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
(A minor spoiler foots this review.)
There are enough comments on here that do the series fair credit but this is a review of the special that aired in March 2013.
It's the best episode so far and is an hour long. Warwick Davis, a brief appearance by Gervais and Merchant, a splendid performance by Val Kilmer and the trio of England's supposed heroes of a past era of TV entertainment (Shaun Williamson, Les Dennis and Keith Chegwin) join forces with the brain dead secretary and dreadful accountant to deliver a laugh out loud treat...
...but the real screaming genius of this episode is Keith Chegwin. Why on earth he isn't signed up for more acting performances and comedy roles is anyone's guess, but in this episode of Life's Too Short he owns the whole show. His face can convey more laughs when it isn't even moving than probably any other actor working today. If he doesn't get some kind of a nod during the awards season then there is an injustice going on.
His teaming and timing with Williamson and Dennis is masterly and the three of them provide a showcasing of talent. There's more comedic genius in these three than there is in the entire casts of the all the dreadful situation comedies that have been churned out on TV in the last five years. I can think of no exceptions.
Also - Gervais and Merchant show that they have lost none of their ingeniousness when they are writing together... long may they run.
My only quibble was the way that our three heroes turned their backs on Warwick at the end... however it was a move that propelled the whole wrap up so I suppose I can't complain.
*** 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
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.
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
*** 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
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!)
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.
*** 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!
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.
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.
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