Watch the trailer for Ricky Gervais' new series 'Derek'
It's hard to imagine how Ricky Gervais could be any busier. The prolific comedian just finished the third and final series of An Idiot Abroad, nabbed the lead role for The Muppets 2, is planning the Christmas special for his BBC Two/HBO series Life's Too Short, and now is about to air his new series, Derek, on the UK's Channel 4.
The series stars Gervais as the dimwitted Derek, an attendant at a nursing home. He's kindhearted but really quite slow, though his friends -- including the strange-haired Dougie (Karl Pilkington) and the slacker Kev (David Earl) -- don't seem to mind. Derek loves his job, and particularly admires the nursing home's supervisor, Hannah (Kerry Godliman), whose niceness he cherishes most of all.
Without frequent collaborator Stephen Merchant, with whom he worked on shows like The Office, Extras, and Life's Too Short (Merchant's working on his own HBO series, Hello Ladies), Gervais appears to have gone rather soft. I don't mean in terms of cleverness -- Derek looks like it's got plenty of laughs to go around. But it certainly appears to wear on its sleeve the sentimentality that was kept under the surface of his previous shows. Despite his controversial tendencies, it's clear that Gervais places a high value on traits such as kindness and compassion, and it looks like Derek is going to be the show in which he clearly expresses that.
Don't believe me? See for yourself in this newly released trailer, which serves as an introduction for the series and also features a brief blooper real.
For American fans who want to see Derek, Netflix has picked up distribution rights for the series (man, they're getting themselves a better and better reputation).