At the risk of sounding like I'm 80, I'd like to say that tearing down people, especially comedy legends, happens way too much on the Internet. Think of the way Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock's early, ground-breaking stand-up specials have been all but forgotten, or how Dave Chapelle is still called crazy for quitting his show, or how even Jerry Seinfeld is criticized for a holier-than-thou attitude toward his work. When Louis CK's hot streak finally ends, and it will happen one day (unfortunately), even he will be criticized for "going mainstream" or "getting away from his roots." Some of these grumblings will come, I think, when his new stand-up special airs on HBO—it's an awesome bit of comedy, but it's considerably less dark and mean than his earlier work, and some people aren't going to like it.
So, with that in mind, I say that I'm not a Ricky Gervais hater, but am a little worried about where his career is going. First, there was that underwhelming 90-minute special that turned into a "I used to be fat and now I'm not, but all you Americans are fat, so what the fuck is wrong with you" diatrabe. Then there was "Life's Too Short," which (Liam Neeson's cameo aside) never really worked. And now there's this trailer for his new show "Derek," which aired its pilot on British television back in April and will air on Netflix over here next year. The pilot is strange—there are few laughs, Gervais' portrayal of the mentally challenged Derek is really tough to watch, and it seems out of place to see Karl Pilkington acting—and if we were in the business of shitting on Gervais we'd say that it's another nail in his career's coffin. But for now, let's just say that we're confused by what he's doing.
Prove me wrong, Ricky!