Why Derek Fails to Achieve the Same Level of Genius As Gervais Shows Past

Ricky Gervais’ success and adulation after giving the world The Office and Extras has come to something of a screeching halt with Derek. While it bears many similarities to the style of The Office with its pushing the envelope-level depression, Gervais seems to be a bit out of his league with the subject matter.

The first episode of season 2 finds Dougie (Karl Pilkington), the caretaker, too stressed to stay
The first episode of season 2 finds Dougie (Karl Pilkington), the caretaker, too stressed to stay
Season 2, which premiered on Netflix on May 28th, picks up where we left off last with Derek’s estranged father, Anthony (Tony Rohr), moving into the retirement home where Derek works. Hannah (Kerry Godliman), his friend and boss, has her own pursuits, mainly having a baby with her boyfriend, Tom (Brett Goldstein). Victoria (Holli Dempsey), the latest addition to the staff, brings a much needed breath of youth into the mix, but still doesn’t make up for the excessive amounts of mawkishness.
Promo for Derek
Promo for Derek
And maybe that’s the biggest reason why Derek fails to deliver in the same way as Gervais’ past TV shows. Even though Derek as a character is supposed to come across as a genuine and sweet person, one can’t help but think that Ray Stokes, the smarmy, irritating boss Gervais hates to play on Extras, is going to suddenly burst forth and scream, “Are you havin’ a laugh?” It’s also got to be more than a coincidence that Derek Noakes and Ray Stokes have such rhyming last names.