Netflix’s ‘Special Correspondents’ written – directed by and starring Gervais is a travesty.
Ricky Gervais hates himself.This is in large part the founding tenet of his humor – it is the essence of the shtick he has cultivated for the last 15 years – when he first hit the mainstream with the show he co-wrote co-directed and co-starred in—Britain’s ‘The Office’ the BBC sitcom that became shorthand for a deeply rooted dissatisfaction with the corporate world.In it Gervais played the quintessential prat in boss David Brent—a smarm, self-satisfied nincompoop whose head was even deeper up his arse than Michael Scott (Steve Carrell)’s on the American ‘The Office’s ever was.
To wit you at least got the impression Michael Scott had a soul albeit one that was smothered under desperation and loneliness.
Gervais’ David Brent who oozed snakelike self-satisfaction never gave you that impression.
David Brent was the personification of what every person loathes about themselves when they inevitably succumb to the workforce—superficial – petty and incompetent – just like the status quo he kowtowed to.
Gervais’ character was disgusting for being exactly what he was told and expected to be—an office drone in the mindnumbing fluorescently lit Xerox-machine scored soundstage of turn-of-the-century capitalism.
Yes you hated David Brent but you also hated yourself and Gervais’ performance slid knifelike between you and the person you became in the workplace.
No other character – no other show – better encapsulates the moral decrepitude of white male middle management.