Extras -- new Gervais/Merchant series

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Steve Felix, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. Steve Felix

    Steve Felix Supporting Actor

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    Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, creators of The Office, have a new series on the way called Extras. In the best news I've heard today, HBO has decided to air it in the US.

    http://www.rickygervais.com/extras_hbo_release.php

    Thank you, HBO. Perhaps I won't cancel immediately after the end of Deadwood.
     
  2. Steve Felix

    Steve Felix Supporting Actor

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  3. Paul_Stachniak

    Paul_Stachniak Screenwriter

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    Looks kinda... meh.
     
  4. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Looks promising. When's HBO going to start airing it?
     
  5. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I can't wait to see this show! [​IMG]
     
  6. Steve Felix

    Steve Felix Supporting Actor

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    I don't know when it's airing, but if someone comes across that detail I hope they'll share. BBC2 is starting it on July 21. HBO.com doesn't acknowledge the show.
     
  7. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Oh my, I can't wait for this. I loved THE OFFICE (although, like THE COMEBACK, it was also painful to watch at times).

    - Steve
     
  8. Steve Felix

    Steve Felix Supporting Actor

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    It's airing in September on HBO.

     
  9. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I've seen 3 of the episodes, and it's okay, not great. There's a laugh or two, mostly coming from off-the-cuff conversations between Gervais' character and another female extra, Maggie, but there's not a lot of comedic tension that made The Office a funnier viewing experience.

    There are some laughs that derive from embarrassing situations, but some of the cameos fall a little flat (Ben Stiller), though Kate Winslet's "current" tact on picking roles to finally win an Oscar is cute enough from her delivery of her lines.
     
  10. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I'm reading a lot of less-than-enthusiastic comments by viewers in England, which is not surprising given that expectations after The Office are so high that they're probably impossible to meet. Still, I have to wonder how this will play to an American audience. Much of the humor turns on the guest star, and the second episode features Ross Kemp, who is a well-known in the UK but is familiar over here only to a small group of demented fans of Eastenders on PBS (including me). If you don't know Eastenders, most of the jokes will go right by you.

    M.
     
  11. Steve Felix

    Steve Felix Supporting Actor

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    The first two were more sitcom-like and slightly less funny than The Office. (It is after all a straight sitcom rather than another mockumentary.)

    The third, though, with Kate Winslet, was Office level all the way.

    Andy: "Kate Winslet. Just talking dirty to Anne Frank and Joseph Goebbels. Just another normal day."

    I haven't laughed louder since David Brent left that handicapped woman in the stairwell during the fire drill.


    It will be difficult to fairly compare the two until Extras is finished. The Office transcended sitcoms by having characters and an arc that was actually rather touching, and it remains to be seen if that will happen again.
     
  12. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Program reminder: Extras begins its U.S. run this Sunday (9/25) at 10:30pm on HBO.

    M.
     
  13. Jason Adams

    Jason Adams Supporting Actor

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    So, who saw the premiere tonight?

    I thought it was pretty funny...especially when Gervais goes to the church and they find out hes and athiest...very Officey moment.

    And Kate Winslet...she's pretty damn funny. And right too. [​IMG]
     
  14. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    After hearing about the reviews coming out of England, I was kind of prepared to be letdown but Extras was hilarious. Of course it isn't as good as The Office but I didn't think that that could be topped. The Office had drama while Extras is a straight comedy. And a damn funny one at that[​IMG]

    Can't wait to see the rest of them!
     
  15. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I suspect that was the main reason for the less enthusiastic reviews from England: expectations that couldn't possibly be met. Extras does have one thing that The Office didn't: Steven Merchant, who I've always suspected is the real madman of the team. His clueless agent gets me laughing just with the clueless look on his face and Andy's "can you believe this?" reaction shots.

    M.
     
  16. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Merchant can also put on this Cheshire Cat grin at times that's pretty amusing.

    Merchant did show up on "The Office" in an episode or two in a small walk-in role.
     
  17. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I remember his appearances in The Offices, but they were cameos. This is a full-fledged character, maybe my favorite of the series. In the one or two episodes where he doesn't appear, I really missed him.

    M.
     
  18. Todd K

    Todd K Second Unit

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    Seems like HBO might be airing them out of order? Last night's was Kate Winslet. Based on the comments above, they probably decided to start out with one of the better episodes.

    I'll keep watching. Gervais is playing a slightly more likeable version of the Brent character. They were smart to place him in a setting so completely opposite an office so as not to draw comparisons to the previous show. That's probably the best they can do, really, since Extras has such high expectations to live up to. But it looks like the Merchant and Gervais team still has a lot of humor left, so more power to them.
     
  19. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    The Kate Winslet episode was shown as the 3rd episode on the BBC.
     
  20. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    My guess is that they're holding until later the episodes with guest stars who aren't well known in America. The episode featuring Ross Kemp, famous from several UK TV series, is hilarious but it assumes familiarity with his previous work (Eastenders in particular).

    Whatever the order, I hope they keep the Patrick Stewart episode for last. It's a true season finale.

    M.
     

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