Tuesday, September 26, 2006

"Is he having a laugh?"

I just saw Season II Episode One of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's Extras. It was a surprise. I'm not sure if it's going to please people but I enjoyed it and it made me excited to think where the series might possibly go.

As a writer, particularly when you're thinking about spec script, you're always looking to break the spine of a series. How is every episode of a show the same as every other episode. And I think I'd argue it's usually the things that are consistent in the shows you like that keep you coming back. And when a show messes with that-- they've either run out of ideas, or they've changed the show-runner, or they've lost their minds.

Ricky Gervais has obviously lost his mind. And that's an exciting thing for me. Last season I knew what every episode of Extras was going to be about more or less: Ricky is stuck with an bit part in some big movie, he tries to make something bigger for himself, he gets smacked down. I thought this season was going to be more of the same... But if this season's first episode is any indication what the show is going to be about is very different. It's seems it's about what happens when we get what we say we want.

I'll save spoilers for the comments sections so people can avoid them if they want.