Derek - In The Press

In the Derek Christmas special, the swansong for Ricky Gervais's contentious creation, pregnant Hannah is pushed to the limits of her patience by booze-addled sex case Kev and kicks him out of the home. But when he ends up in hospital, he's told that if he doesn't stop drinking he'll die. For a minute it's almost sad, then it's ruined by a skin-crawlingly sentimental montage. Fans of Derek may paint its detractors as twisted-up cynics, all black inside and incapable of emotion, but it's good riddance to this lazy, mawkish toss.

Ben Arnold, The Guardian, 19th December 2014

From wedding bells to hospital beds, the final episode of Ricky Gervais's Channel 4 comedy offers a fitting farewell to Broad Hill...

Written by Susanna Lazarus. The Radio Times, 15th December 2014

Ricky Gervais will sell off the robot dog and Kev's revolting painting after the Christmas special of the Channel 4 comedy.

The Radio Times, 13th December 2014

Ricky Gervais's Derek has been mauled by many critics. So why has the actor and writer been nominated for a Golden Globe.

Written by Michael Hogan. The Telegraph, 12th December 2014

Ricky Gervais and the cast of his care home comedy-drama send their season's greetings to users ahead of the final episode of Derek on Channel 4.

Written by Tim Glanfield. The Radio Times, 11th December 2014

As Ricky Gervais prepares to bid farewell, he explains why the kindly care home helper will always have a special place in his heart.

Written by Ben Dowell. The Radio Times, 4th December 2014

If you haven't heard already the second season of Derek is now available on Netflix and to celebrate Ricky Gervais has shared some seriously special outtakes for you all to enjoy.

Written by Emily Hewett. Metro, 26th June 2014

We had some very obvious attempts at heart-warming that didn't really move very much, partly because the show seems to have been devised by someone of Derek's limited intelligence.

Written by Serena Davies. The Telegraph, 28th May 2014

Should the Ricky Gervais comedy Derek get another series?

Digital Spy, 28th May 2014

Ricky Gervais' Derek Noakes has taught us about more than just weird and wonderful knitwear.

Written by Claire Hodgson. The Mirror, 28th May 2014

It's the last in the series, and Derek's dad has taken a bit of a turn for the worse. Luckily, he's still able to confer sage sexual advice, which is handy as Derek has landed himself a date on the internet. Geoff nearly ruins everything with a poorly-timed practical joke but its reception, and a scuffle with Kev, makes him think that perhaps it's time to stop being an unremitting tool. By Derek standards, the usual all-consuming mawkishness is perhaps slightly underplayed for once. But only slightly.

Ben Arnold, The Guardian, 28th May 2014

Derek is a so-called comedy about a care home worker with learning difficulties. This self-indulgent vanity project attempts to be movingly bittersweet but is instead mawkish and embarrassing. Most of this penultimate episode was dedicated to a dead dog, while Gervais's eponymous character cried, gurned and mugged for the camera. As deceased pets go, it was no Norwegian Blue parrot.

The Office was a work of comic genius but in the decade since, Gervais's output has been on a downward curve. Derek is the trough. It borrows devices from The Office (the mockumentary format, the Tim 'n' Dawn-style romance to lend it heart) but uses them ham-fistedly. Gervais's patronising central performance is based on crudely drawn mannerisms and fortune-cookie clich├ęs. Do we really need a multimillionaire to don a cardigan, cock his head to one side and tell us, "Be nice to animals" or "Kindness is magic"? The cast, especially the excellent Kerry Godliman, do their best with a clumsy script, but the only three-dimensional character was that dead dog.

Michael Hogan, The Daily Telegraph, 21st May 2014

It's a very downbeat time at Broadhill at the moment: Hannah and Tom are navigating fairly choppy seas in their relationship, as he considers rejoining the merchant navy, much to Hannah's dismay. Kev - currently making sculptures out of the found objects he and Derek go scavenging for - has taken to stealing items from the home's kitchen for his art, which drives Hannah mad. And in between attempts at sneaking in whisky for his father, Derek has to face up to some sudden sad news about a friend.

Bim Adewunmi, The Guardian, 21st May 2014

When Derek's not giving Hannah relationship advice he's watching Kev drink Special Brew from the carpet and/or look up the skirts of the residents. Here is a list of what else has been going on.

Written by Danny Walker. The Mirror, 7th May 2014

Tonight's episode of Derek has been dubbed Ricky Gervais' best ever thanks to a welcomed cameo from Joe Wilkinson.

Written by Emily Hewett. Metro, 7th May 2014

It was all pretty simplistic stuff, but of the kind that never normally gets an airing on prime-time telly.

Written by Caroline Frost. Huffington Post, 1st May 2014

It might be set in a care home, but Ricky Gervais's mockumentary is often cringingly lewd and crude, largely courtesy of potty-mouthed Kev. This week he has a job interview so swaps his habitual tracksuit and can of Special Brew for a dead man's tie and 12-step programme - and somehow manages to look more disreputable than ever. The highlight - briefly recalling the brilliance of The Office - has to be the shambolic interview: you almost feel sorry for Kev.

Meanwhile, long-suffering manager Hannah discovers everyone knows every last unedifying detail about her attempts to procreate, and Derek teaches a smug financier a few life lessons.

Claire Webb, Radio Times, 30th April 2014

Hannah and Tom are trying for a baby, so naturally everyone at Broadhill is taking an unhealthy interest in their sex life; Derek has made a copy of Hannah's ovulation chart and times their sex breaks. With a job opportunity at the nursing home opening up, Kev attempts to change his ways, working on his appearance - he has a shower, combs his hair and puts on a dead man's tie, quits drinking and even attends an AA meeting. Elsewhere, a resident's city boy grandson spends some quality time at the home.

Bim Adewunmi, The Guardian, 30th April 2014

Ricky Gervais wrote Derek, and he's decided it's not offensive - so it can't be, can it?

Written by Jenny Landreth. New Statesman, 28th April 2014

Derek splits judgment: some see it as heartwarming and touchingly witty, others as gormlessly mawkish and actionably insulting to the elderly and mentally challenged. I'm in the second camp. But this opener to the inexplicably recommissioned second series had some decent moments - the extraneous characters are well-drawn - and might grow to become something better than its genesis, if only bloody Derek wasn't clogging up the screen all the time with his idiot-savant saccharine bullcrap.

I happen to be one of the few apparent remaining fans of Ricky Gervais, but can today say, hand on heart, this would be a better series if Ricky Gervais wasn't in it.

Euan Ferguson, The Observer, 26th April 2014

Derek's a bad, ham-fisted, mawkish mess of a comedy; but it's created from the man who launched a thousand TV mockumentaries with The Office.

Written by Dan Owen. Dan's Media Digest, 25th April 2014

The mockumentary format is moribund. The ethics are muddy. The tone is all over the place in everything but its consistent condescension.

MSN, 24th April 2014

I've never watched Derek before, but I decided to dive straight into Series 2 which is currently airing on Channel 4. Normally I loathe skipping episodes, but I'd heard mixed things about the first series.

My initial thoughts aren't what I thought they'd be. I've always been skeptical about this show (for the obvious reasons) and was worried that the humour would be crass in an uncomfortable way. This wasn't the case at all. It's far sweeter than I expected and is not at all in your face. Obviously there were some good gags and I'm sure the sickly sweet moments were occasionally for comedic effect, but I genuinely found it endearing. I'd even go so far to say it was moving in places. Bear in mind that I am an incredibly soppy so and so.

I'm a sucker for Ricky Gervais and Karl Pilkington anyway, but I did think their acting was good. Yes, it probably wasn't as funny as I had hoped, but it is definitely different and that's what all comedies should be aiming for. To be different.

Lucy Anne Gray, Gray Comedy, 24th April 2014

Overall Derek has come back on the strengths with which it first succeeded and continues to be a highly entertaining show that treads between genre boundaries. Personally, the removal of Dougie takes an edge off of the show for me as he was by far my favourite character, yet admittedly I am a huge Karl Pilkington fan.

Written by Matthew Oates. On The Box, 24th April 2014

There's a massive spider on the wall in the men's toilet at the nursing home where Derek (Channel 4) works. Is it after the fly perhaps? No, because this is Ricky Gervais wobbly hand-held mockumentary style. Who is this camera operator supposed to be though? A recovering alcoholic? A resident? Maybe with Parkinson's? Certainly with no previous experience of camera operation - it's lurching all over the place, zooming in and out, I'm feeling a bit airsick to be honest. Oh for a bit of fly-on-a-wall steadiness.

And what are these amateur documentaries supposed to be, do you ever ask? I suppose a residential care home is a more likely subject than a Slough-based paper company, but I'm wondering if the whole mockumentary idea is a little tired?

Anyway, the reason for the big spider is of course to demonstrate Derek's nature. He's terrified of it but he certainly doesn't want it killed. "Go and get a cup, catch it," he tells Dougie (Karl Pilkington). "Make sure you catch it, and let it go free." Derek may not be the brightest tool in the box, or the bravest, but he's a good guy, kind and gentle, and he loves animals.

You can tell that Derek's not so bright, a bit backward, because of the way RG plays him. He hunches over a little, tilts his head to one side, darts his eyes around, grimaces idiotically, and he holds his hands in front of him, like some kind of rodent. Plus, he's not so good at declining his verbs. "Animals always tries their best," he says, demonstrating his selflessness and love of animals as well as confusion over the third person. It's the same on Twitter: "I loves animals," tweets @MrDerekNoakes. It's always a dead give away, poor verb declension ...

That's the biggest problem with Derek. Not, as some have said, that it mocks people with learning difficulties (it's too kind for that, and tries to be sympathetic). Just that it's a very crude portrayal. Gervais's previous characters - David Brent and Andy Millman - are not, I suspect, so very different from RG himself, kind of grotesque caricatures. Here he's trying to be someone else completely, and it's awful.

It may not be fashionable, but I'm a fan of Ricky Gervais. I used to like him on the radio with Stephen Merchant. Then The Office pretty much changed comedy on television, invented awkwardness. Extras was bold and bloody hilarious. I also very much enjoyed his Golden Globes hosting - baring a cheeky British arse to humourless Hollywood. But he's no Tom Hanks himself (and Derek's not Forrest Gump). Karl Pilkington also - I enjoy his Idiot Abroad show but he's no great actor.

Derek's father has moved in. He's a ladies' man, and he likes a drink (well, he seems to be Irish, maybe Derek isn't totally lazy-stereotype free). But the old man is a good 'un too. He's got a photo album, pictures of himself on holiday - France, Germany, Morocco, Spain - with a different lady in each place. "That's the point in travelling, boy: nookie." "Newquay?" says Derek, darting his eyes around, shaking his head. "I haven't been to Newquay."

A pun! Nookie, said a bit drunk and a bit Irish (same thing innit?) sounds a bit like Newquay. Especially if you're a half-wit ...

That's the other big problem with Derek. That it's not very smart. Or very funny. Or very good.

Sam Wollaston, The Guardian, 24th April 2014

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