ScottHanson wrote:Grantland.com wrote:But if Eastbound is what happens when you invest in idiosyncratic imagination, Life’s Too Short is the result of flattering it until it festers into pure ego. On The Office, Ricky Gervais minted a particular strain of awkward, observational humor with his clueless character as the deliverer of all the (wonderfully) bad jokes and the butt of all the best ones. Now, he’s fobbed off David Brent’s puffed-up self-regard and mockumentary humiliation onto the tiny, non-load-bearing shoulders of Warwick Davis. Best known as the lead in Willow — a justly forgotten fantasy film that, bizarrely, also gets a shout-out in next week’s Eastbound — Davis stars in this misguided Brit-com as a venal, desperate version of himself. Freed from beneath a suffocating cloak of Ewok fur, Davis reveals himself to be a good sport, but his show isn’t nearly as charming as he is, swinging clumsily between cheap size cracks and sub-Office cringes. Worst of all is the presence of executive producer Gervais himself, no longer the source of any comedy, but floating high above it, a smug arbiter of disdain and craven celebrity trolling. Seated strangely behind a glass desk with writing partner Stephen Merchant, the increasingly intolerable star is still preening, only we’re not meant to laugh at him, merely with him at all the terrible, desperate people who arrive at his office like penitents hoping to wash their feet in his BAFTA-riddled Ganges.
That some of these A-listers deliver, such as an outrageously deadpan Liam Neeson, hoping to tackle comedy with the same bullheaded intensity usually reserved for hunting deadly wolves, is practically beside the point. (It’s also, judging by Johnny Depp’s breathless cameo in Episode 2, an outlier.) If Ricky Gervais merely wanted to make funny videos with his friends, he could use Vimeo like the rest of us. By shoehorning these backscratching sessions into a series ostensibly about Warwick Davis, it reveals how barren this shtick has become, too obsequious of celebrity to mock it and too dependent on it to make a show without leaning on it like an attention-grabbing crutch. More than ever, Eastbound shows us how an asshole can be hilarious. Life’s Too Short starts with a formerly funny comedian and then pulls the same trick in reverse.
All of this.
Haven't started watching the 3rd season of Eastbound but I'm excited!