Ricky Gervais hasn’t been very respectful in the past - a lot of people stated they weren’t happy with his comment on Twitter about people with Down’s syndrome. I even went on Channel 5 News to say I wasn’t happy either. He did apologise eventually. I think that influenced him writing Derek which is the main point of this blog.
I saw a bit of Derek through trailers, but wasn’t sure before about whether I wanted to watch it. Well, I saw most of the programme last Wednesday and was very impressed with it.
It seemed to be a low key comedy about a guy called Derek who volunteers at an old person’s home. Most of the people in it are also very good, especially his mate Dougie, who is played by Karl Pilkington who is in the Idiot Abroad. There are grown up bits, but it does go on at 10pm so I doubt kids will see it.
Ricky Gervais plays a more modest man than David Brent from The Office or Andy from Extras and is actually nice to people, which is a change.
People treat him like any other person. He is quite social and shows his appreciation for the people in the home. He gets on with the staff and is well supported, I feel.
As to whether he has a learning disability, I think so, but it’s not made a big deal of, which is good as he’s just another person in life. If they made a big deal of it, I’d feel like not watching. It would feel like a token person with a learning disability.
I like it because there are other people in the show to care about and other things going on. It makes it ordinary.
People say it is controversial – a lot of people have mixed views about it. A lot of people with a learning disability aren’t on TV, whether people are acting or talking on TV.
Why is it controversial to have TV about people with a learning disability?
Whether it’s controversial or not, it’s good to have stuff about people with a learning disability, as people may talk about it.
Though I feel positive about Derek, you can make your mind up about it – watch it tonight on Channel 4.
To be honest I find Derek more like a drama than a comedy, but there are laughs to be had. It is heartfelt and low-key!
I expect to see more of Derek in the future. I hope Ricky Gervais will continue, it’s his best work, I feel.