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Why I like Netflix’s new Ricky Gervais’ Show “Derek”
While what I'm about to share isn't exactly drenched in a "retro" vibe, there's a show that truly caught my attention – a show I thought I'd lay out for you. As a fervent television enthusiast, I'm always on the lookout for that one series that rekindles my excitement for the medium. Surprisingly, "Derek" managed to do just that, and more. This show stands out with its heartwarming sentimental touch, a quality that seems to have slipped through the cracks in a lot of today's television offerings. So, if you'd humor me for a bit, let me elaborate...
I'd heard whispers that Ricky Gervais had a new show in the works, set to make its home on Netflix. Given my familiarity with his work, it was a no-brainer that I'd be giving it a watch. However, the catch was, I had next to zero information about the show itself. I had a hunch it would carry some comedic flair, but beyond that, it was all up in the air. Then, one day, as I was sifting through my emails during lunch, I stumbled upon a message that dished out the scoop on this new show.
The description I found in that email went something like this:
Ricky Gervais, creator of the original British version of “The Office,” produces and stars in this heartwarming comedy-drama as Derek Noakes, a loyal English nursing home caretaker who sees only the good in everyone. Derek’s sunny outlook comes in handy with his quirky coworkers and friends as they struggle against prejudice, government bureaucracy, and constantly shrinking budgets to care for the elderly residents who depend on them.
"Derek" didn't exactly follow the path I had envisioned. While labeled as a comedy-drama, it's got a hearty dose of drama that's hard to overlook. I'll admit, tears welled up in my eyes more often than I expected while watching. And before I knew it, I'd unintentionally embarked on a marathon, watching the entire series in a single evening. It was spontaneous, but I was completely engrossed in the world that Gervais had crafted – a world I wasn't keen on leaving anytime soon.
True, the show's tone occasionally ventures into broader territory, thanks in part to its vivid characters. But don't be fooled, there's an abundance of talent and charm here. Quickly, I found myself emotionally invested in Derek and his companions, rooting for their successes even as I was aware that shadows were lurking just around the corner. Remember, the show is centered in a nursing home – not exactly a setting typically associated with humor. Yet, that's what makes the humorous moments resonate even more profoundly. They blossom in the midst of this otherwise somber backdrop, a warmth brought forth by the presence of these characters.
Expect to be moved by this show. I know that for some folks, the mere notion of a show designed to evoke tears is a red flag, enough to send them in the opposite direction. For me, I welcome shows that don't shy away from aiming for that emotional chord. It's worth noting that some people might dismiss such stories as being too obvious or emotionally manipulative. Yet, isn't every form of entertainment a bit manipulative in some way? Maybe the act of shedding a tear makes us feel emotionally exposed – that's a puzzle I'm yet to solve. However, I can confidently say that "Derek" managed to strike that chord within me. It got me feeling stuff, from the opening episode to the closing credits. It's possible that many may be deterred by its straightforward approach, especially if they're familiar with Gervais's previous works. You see, in "Derek," much like in some of the cherished shows from the past, what you see is exactly what you get.
And for someone who holds a fondness for those past shows, that sentiment resonates deeply with me, just as "Derek" does.
So if you like a nice laugh, possibly a good cry, and you are a hardcore sentimentalist like me, why not give Derek a shot. It is silly, broad, and sweet. More importantly, it is filled with characters you don’t often see on television, and they might just win your heart. All of season 1 of Derek is currently available on Netflix.