With the scathingly negative reviews that have greeted their first feature film collaboration, Cemetery Junction, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant are at something of a crucial stage in their careers, with some wondering whether Gervais’ comic persona has already passed the point of “diminishing returns.” So it will be something of a make-or-break experiment when Gervais and Merchant launch their new BBC series Life’s Too Short, another single-camera observational comedy about diminutive actor Warwick Davis and his “day-to-day life in a small world where big things happen” (which sounds as though it was lifted wholesale from a TLC promo, doesn’t it?). On the one hand, it’s another satirical look at the behind-the-scenes realities of showbiz, which is something they’ve already explored quite well in Extras—and both the description and that pun in the title seem to hint that there will be an awful, awful lot of “short” jokes standing in for the usual “fat and pug-nosed” jabs at Gervais. On the other hand, as The Ricky Gervais Show proves, Gervais and Merchant are still capable of being really, really fucking funny. So we’ll stick with cautious optimism on this one (even though we suspect they should have just pitched this as a show about a day in the life of Karl Pilkington).
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