CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
DVD Review: Hysterical Animation of HBO’s ‘The Ricky Gervais Show’
CHICAGO – Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant are two of the funniest men alive. Their work on “The Office” and “Extras” stills stands up as brilliant, clever, and consistently hysterical. Their quick wit made them a perfect fit for the world of the podcast and it’s simply spectacular that they hold the Guinness title for the most-downloaded audio recordings. The smash hit podcasts have been turned into an animated HBO series, returning to the network on Friday, January 14th, 2011, shortly after the DVD release of the first season.
DVD Rating: 3.5/5.0
“The Ricky Gervais Show” is incredibly simple. Take already-recorded material and animate it for the audience who wants to hear it again with visuals and for the audience who don’t know what a podcast is. Honestly, the animation is mediocre and I’m not sure if the podcasts needed more than the audio to make them great. I hadn’t heard most of the material and actually found myself looking away from the screen and just listening to the audio as if it were a podcast.
The Ricky Gervais Show: The Complete First Season was released on DVD on January 4th, 2011
Photo credit: WB
Ignoring the odd concept of the show in general in that the material clearly works without the visuals, “The Ricky Gervais Show” is straight-up hysterical. Most of it centers around Ricky and Stephen ripping on their friend Karl Pilkington, the kind of dolt who makes one wonder if he’s not putting on a routine when he refuses to pick what superpower he would have because he can’t handle the responsibility or suggests that perhaps the airplane was a bad invention because it made war easier. Ricky and Stephen are clearly thoroughly entertained by Karl and, while it can approach being mean every once in awhile, their joy can be infectious.
The first season of “The Ricky Gervais Show” has been collected on two discs, totaling just over five hours of entertainment. It’s presented in a matted widescreen format with an English Dolby Surround 5.1 audio track and a pair of special features. Fans of “The Office” and “Extras” should definitely pick up the reasonably-priced release and tune in for season two on HBO. It’s nowhere near as landmark as the other Gervais/Merchant collaborations but very few things are. It’s still damn funny.
o Comedy Gala Animation
o Episode Storyboard