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Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Ricky Gervais Show finishes second season with "Munchies"

     HBO's The Ricky Gervais Show finished its second season this past Friday night with "Munchies". Season two lived up to the high comedy expectations set by season one, and one can only hope the series will continue for some time to come. In the finale, Karl is asked if he would live a perfectly happy life in a virtual world. He agrees, but imagines a life pretty much the same as his is now. The only two things he is really concerned about is how much time his girlfriend, Suzanne, will have off work, and if Munchies will still taste as good. He must have the Munchies, but he's not sure he'd like Suzanne to have too much free time at home with him.

     Which is how Karl Pilkington's brain works. That's what the whole show is about, and any reviews written about it will cover the same. He doesn't think like a normal person, and approaches existence from an entirely different perspective. That's why the show works so well. Karl isn't a character that must be consistently written funny. He is a unique individual who provides intense fascination for Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, as well as viewers at home.

     After discussing the virtual world, Karl goes off on problems. He tells the guys his theory of a 'problem hole'. He says everyone has a problem hole, and they are all the same size, but the problems going into them are not. Ricky keeps wanting to interrupt, but in a rare display of take charge-ness, Stephen repeatedly orders Ricky to shut up so that they can explore the hole theory. It's great, because Stephen is just so curious about what nonsense Karl has made up, which admittedly is a full explanation, not just a tiny tidbit idea, like Karl usually spouts. In the animated version, Stephen is even shown to draw a diagram to illustrate Karl's words.
     Finally, at the end of the episode, for the first time in the series, Ricky makes Karl laugh. Karl rarely seems to be offended by the guys, who often pick on him. But he is genuinely amused by something someone else says. This is such an unusual occurence, there is nothing to do but end the show when it happens. It's hard to say how a real life Karl would look laughing, but for the cartoon representation, it is odd.

     Next week, Ricky will do a special sitting down with other comedians, so a Ricky Gervais drought will be brief. Hopefully, so will Karl's absence from screen.

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