Friday, March 16, 2007
Returning to my "watching TV on DVD" ways, I recently took in the first three episodes of season one of the Ricky Gervais' HBO series Extras. I've one word for it: mirthless. The premise is funny, the dialogue is not. The attempt at Burns and Allen duo humor is ham-handed and mildy offensive. Now, I know it's usually unfair to judge a show on its first few episodes. Many great shows take a year to hit their stride. So maybe when season two comes out on DVD, I'll give it one more shot.
Extras suffers from the same comedic misstep that Lisa Kudrow's The Comeback did. Both are just too mean-spirited to be truly funny. And I'm a big fan of black comedy, so I should be primed to savor bile-leaking humor. For instance, I think Bad Santa is freakin' hilarious and that involves a drunk criminal cursing out little kids while wearing a soiled Santa suit.
I'm trying to figure out why the mean-heartedness of Extras and The Comeback falls so flat for me. I'm thinking it's because the characters just aren't likable or sympathetic. On the flip side, they're also not interesting enough to hate. That's what I'm thinking. You?