Telly for Anglophiles | Extras
Extras is a British sitcom about extras working on TV and film sets and in theatre. The series was co-produced by the BBC and HBO, and is created, written, and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, both of whom also star in it. Extras charts the lives of Andy Millman, his friend Maggie Jacobs and Andy’s substandard agent and part-time retail employee Darren Lamb, as Millman rises to fame.
Extras has two series of six episodes each as well as a Christmas Special. The first episode aired in the UK on 21 July 2005 on BBC Two and on 25 September 2005 on HBO in the US. The second series premiered in the UK on BBC Two on 14 September 2006 and began airing in the US on HBO and in Australia on ABC on 14 February 2007. The Christmas Special aired on 27 December 2007 on BBC One and on 16 December 2007 on HBO. Both series are available on DVD in the UK and the US.
The series is filmed in a more traditional sitcom style than the mockumentary style used by Gervais and Merchant in their previous series The Office. Each episode has at least one guest star; a television or film celebrity, who play what Gervais and Merchant have referred to as “twisted” versions of themselves;an exaggerated or inverted parody of their famous public personas.
The show has been critically acclaimed, and has a Metacritic score of 81/100.
Overall, Extras has been received very well by critics in the UK. The show received 3 BAFTA Award nominations in 2006 including Best Comedy Performance for Ashley Jensen, Best Writer for Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, and Best Situation Comedy. In 2007, both Gervais and Merchant were nominated, separately, for Best Comedy Performance, with Gervais ultimately winning the award.
The show has also received high accolades in the US. In 2006, the show received four nominations for the 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. Ben Stiller and Patrick Stewart received nominations for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series and both lost to Leslie Jordan on Will & Grace. Kate Winslet received a nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series and lost to Cloris Leachman for Malcolm in the Middle. Gervais and Merchant were also nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for the episode with Kate Winslet. They lost to Greg Garcia for writing the pilot episode of My Name Is Earl. In 2007, the show received four nominations for the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards. Gervais was nominated for and won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, and Ian McKellen was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. Gervais and Merchant were also nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series for “Daniel Radcliffe” and Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series for “Orlando Bloom”. Extras made the Top 10 list of Outstanding Comedy Series, but was not nominated in the Top 5.
Posted on July 26, 2012, in Benedict Cumberbatch, Celebrities, Telly and tagged british tv shows, comedy, extras, ricky gervais, stephen merchant, telly, telly for anglophiles. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.