Ricky Gervais Rightly Debunked the Loudest, Most Self-Inflated Hypocrites Around.

The morning after Ricky Gervais let loose on his celebrity audience at the Golden Globes was bound to be a stormy one on social media—not to mention the DM’s of Apple, Amazon, and Hollywood Foreign Press executives. Predictably, many chatterers accused the comic of spreading right-wing talking points, of being just plain unfunny, and, for good measure, of transphobia. To my mind, the most striking response came from the Los Angeles Times’s television critic, Lorraine Ali, in a charge repeated by the New York Times: “Forget the escapist magic of Hollywood,” Ali wrote. “Nihilism was the name of the game.”

Talk about missing the point. Gervais was doing something comics have done through the ages: reminding us that the glamorous emperors might be naked, and the loudest singers in church the most corrupt. “Apple roared into the TV game with The Morning Show, a superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing, made by a company that runs sweatshops in China,” he said in one particularly spit-out-your-coffee zinger.

Gervais’s politics are not easy to pigeonhole. He hates Trump, disdains climate-change deniers, and ridicules religion, calling himself a “godless ape” in his Twitter bio. Clearly, he has no love for corporate America. But he also finds elite identity politics and celebrity self-regard absurd. His heterodoxy means he is bound to offend some of his audience whenever he steps on stage. And so he did on Sunday night: “No one cares about movies anymore,” he riffed in his opening monologue to the assembled notables. “You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you’ve spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.

”Finding this funny—and millions of us did—requires thinking your average Hollywood bigshot is no more knowledgeable or interesting on the great issues of our time than my great aunt Gladys, even though they genuinely think they are. It also requires believing that Hollywood machers have considerable power and money, which means that their opinions, unlike my great aunt’s, have the potential to matter. Like all self-inflated hypocrites, they need debunking.Let’s admit that punching up, Gervais-style, usually comes with a whiff of envy. That’s especially true when it comes to Hollywood’s powerful, who have the added advantage of beauty, world fame, and wealth. Celebrities are to us as Olympian gods were to the ancients; the public wants to pore over details about their clothes, Los Angeles mansions, Aspen chalets, Cabo vacays, love affairs, yoga teachers, facialists, and plastic surgeons. We normal folks can only press our noses against the glass of dazzling parties like the Golden Globes—the name itself carries mythical undertones—with flowers flown in from Ecuador and Italy and a 100 percent plant-based meal, knowing that we will never be allowed in. It’s not fair.

And that’s exactly why Hollywood royalty should stay humble and respect their place in the cultural ecosystem. They are not politicians or Middle East scholars or historians or even ordinary people with an ordinary set of beliefs. They have uncommon power as a result of skills or gifts for which they have been celebrated and handsomely rewarded. They have every right—some might say, every obligation—to spread those rewards to the less fortunate: to fight the fires in Australia and help earthquake victims in Haiti and orphans in Darfur. But to use their position to lecture us about issues that they in all likelihood know about only from what they’ve heard on a friend’s podcast while running on the treadmill is something close to an abuse of power.As if to illustrate Gervais’s point, several actresses took the stage to spread their wisdom to their captive audience of more than 18 million. Patricia Arquette descended into an incoherent rant: “In the history books we will see a country on the brink of war. The United States of America, a President tweeting out a threat of 52 bombs including cultural sites. Young people risking their lives traveling across the world. People not knowing if bombs are going to drop on their kids heads and the continent of Australia on fire. I beg of us all to give them a better world. For our kids and their kids, we have to vote in 2020 and we have to get—beg and plead for everyone we know to vote in 2020.”Michelle Williams, a talented actress, decided that her gift endowed her with the perception to speak for America’s nearly 160 million women. Referring to the need to protect abortion rights, she urged women to vote in their “own self-interest.” “It’s what men have been doing for years, which is why the world looks so much like them.” Reese Witherspoon tweeted to her compatriot: “Thank you for being a champion of women, you are an inspiration!” Note to Reese and Michelle: you are “championing” barely a half of American women. The rest are ambivalent or in firm disagreement with you. In politicized times like these, there’s an in

Source: Ricky Gervais Rightly Debunked the Loudest, Most Self-Inflated Hypocrites Around.

Review: ‘After Life’ Season 1

Written, directed, and starring Ricky Gervais, Netflix’s ‘After Life’ is a candid and bitterly dark comedy about loss and depression.

Ricky Gervais is renowned for his role as the gauche, bumbling David Brent in The Office – the far superior British original that is. Few expected the comedy actor to extend beyond the cringeworthy limits of Wernham-Hogg’s finest middle-manager, but that he did. While he reprised his best-known role in 2016’s David Brent: Life on the Road, Gervais has proven himself time after time to be a versatile performer. From a string of major roles in both film and television, including a number of successful stand-up shows, right through to a few cameo appearances in video games, Gervais has come far since he started out. And his humour has changed along the way too. Continue reading

Ricky Gervais offers proof, if needed, that there is life after The Office

I kept walking in on my partner last week quietly crying over the laptop. Not, as might be reasonable to expect, because she is stuck in an infinite current affairs loop, never knowing when she might be freed from the horrors, but because she has been watching Ricky Gervais’s new sitcom, After Life, on Netflix. “You’re not allowed to watch it with me,” she said, pointedly closing the lid. “I’m enjoying it and you’ll ruin it. Go somewhere else.”Rude, I thought, and then said something about how the reviews hadn’t been very good anyway, which only proved her point. The reviews I read have not been particularly kind, it’s true, but already After Life seems to have reached Bohemian Rhapsody levels of division between what critics have made of it and what real-life viewers think. On a recent episode of Gogglebox, the families who do not usually agree on what they’re watching all collapsed into paroxysms of laughter at a gag about Gervais’s character, Tony, being called a “paedo”.

Though Netflix is notoriously cagey about its viewing figures, anecdotally, it is one of those rare shows that everyone seems to be watching or at least talking about. Outside of newspapers and websites, most people I’ve spoken to have really liked it. It has already been picked up for a second series.

I hate being left out of anything, particularly an argument about whether television is good or not, so I watched After Life alone, where I could only ruin it for myself. I could see the points at which it tries so hard to tug on heartstrings, but it was far more pleasant to allow myself to be emotionally manipulated than to resist and, by the end, I was in bits, having thoroughly enjoyed it and laughed a lot. (One of the few quibbles I had was whether Gervais was eating fishfingers, since I thought he was a vegetarian. That was answered by the internet, which always provides: they are vegan fishfingers.)

One of the issues some people had with the show was that Tony was nasty, but surely he’s supposed to be acting that way. His wife has died and left him in a state of nihilistic despair. His dickishness is the point. It’s well worth reading an in-depth interview that Gervais gave to the New York Times in which he gamely tackles the idea of comedy in an age of social media and cancel culture, and provides plenty of (veggie) food for thought. Anyway, it turns out I would have been safe to watch After Life with. The “paedo” joke is very, very funny.

Source: Ricky Gervais offers proof, if needed, that there is life after The Office | Rebecca Nicholson | Opinion | The Guardian