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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Extras Season Two -- Very glad to see the second season of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's Extras (their follow-up to The Office) is coming out on DVD next week.

Now, Extras isn't as immediately, obviously brilliant as The Office was -- I mean, the first episode of The Office I saw was the first episode of Season Two and I was not only not lost, I was hooked for life. I love the entire original British series, both seasons, and I love the U.S. version, and yeah, I pretty much love Extras.

I'm more or less a comedy snob, in the same way I am a superhero comics snob -- I can and do enjoy comedy, but it's got to be intelligent and present a singular comedic vision. Gervais and Merchant tend to deliver that in spades.

Extras is a little slower-paced and deliberate than The Office, but it's much more about character. Other than Tim and Dawn, most of the characters on The Office (just like working in a real office, it should be noted) were somewhat two-dimensional twats who deserved whatever they got. Gervais's own character eventually acquired some genuine depth beyond being pathetic, arrogant and sad, but poor Sir David of Brent had to wait until the two Christmas special episodes to earn any real sympathy. Most all the lead characters on Extras are more nuanced and likable, and I think it's a slightly more thoughtful show as well. Which is weird, because I think I like The Office more, but they're do very different that it's almost apples and oranges directly comparing the two. I do love them both mightily, though. Added bonus: Gervais's co-star Ashley Jensen is exquisite.

So if you like good comedy, but perhaps haven't seen Extras as of yet, just a heads up, as of Tuesday, the entire series to date will be available on DVD and is well worth your attention.

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