The End of EXTRAS is Extra good - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

The End of EXTRAS is Extra good

December 16, 2007 by  

EXTRAS Christmas Special

If you are lucky to be an HBO subscriber then you are in for a special treat as EXTRAS: THE EXTRA SPECIAL SERIES FINALE debuts tonight at 9pm. I was lucky enough to get the screener a few weeks back and have watched it numerous times since then…yes, it’s that good.

Comedic geniuses Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant are back to properly send off their brilliant HBO series that had its official ending more than a year ago. As was the case with the special Christmas episode of Gervais & Merchant’s other hit, THE OFFICE, the EXTRAS post-series finale special achieves a sense of closure on a series that left the audience with a rather anti-climactic first take at the series finale.

The EXTRAS: THE EXTRA SPECIAL SERIES FINALE is the preeminent episode of the entire series with nods to what was so brilliant in its original run – sharp but dark comedy, uncomfortable hilarity, fantastic cameo appearances (of which I’m choosing remain mum as I don’t want to spoil you – but they are good), and just enough heart to allow the audience to truly empathize with the characters. But what sets this 80-minute episode apart from all others is Ricky Gervais’ stunning dramatic turn. Known to all for his comedy, Gervais turns in an unbelievably authentic performance that shows he more than just the guy “having a laugh”. The comedy is a given, but the range of arrogance, sympathy, anger, humility and self realization was more than I expected from Ricky Gervais – shame on me.

This episode picks up about a year after we last saw Andy Millman. His series, “When the Whistle Blows” continues to be a commercial success and a critical mess. Andy has bought into his own success and has become increasingly more arrogant and self centered. Wanting to be more than a guy in a silly wig with a catchphrase, Andy leaves long time, albeit incompetent, agent Darren Lamb (Stephen Merchant) behind for a slick new agent who promises him fame and fortune, although perhaps not the respect Andy thinks he so deserves.

Meanwhile, as Andy’s fame rises, his best friend Maggie (Ugly Betty’s Ashley Jensen) seems to be struggling with her career as an extra. When a major movie star insults Maggie on set, she decides to give up on her dreams to become a famous actress but realizes that when you’ve spent your life as an extra, you don’t necessairly have the skill set to adjust to the outside workforce. Caught up in his own world, Andy isn’t able to see Maggie’s plight and continues to take advantage of his friend and use her for his own convenience whether it be making her pose as his personal assistant in front of a reporter, or asking her to lunch only so he can be seen at a fancy restaurant. But when will enough become enough for Maggie?

Desperate for fame and respect, Andy embarks on a series of misadventures hoping one of which will give him what he’s been seeking from his career. But when things don’t go as Andy has planned he may just start to realize that at the end of the day, perhaps fame and fortune aren’t worth your self respect. This moment of realization might just be the most honest moment of Andy Millman’s life.

Not a single moment of tonight’s EXTRAS is wasted, and each actor brings emotion and a sense of realism to every scene. Even under the most absurd circumstances, the audience sees right through to the heart of the characters. Gervais, Merchant and Jensen are at their very best, and once again it’s sad to see these characters go. Selfishly I would love to see more EXTRAS in the future, but on the other hand, this extra finale is so good it should stand proudly as the series consummation.

Check out a teaser from tonight’s episode. Warning – major spoilers within.

Filed under TV News


7 Responses to “The End of EXTRAS is Extra good”

  1. Sus on December 16th, 2007 2:23 pm

    I don’t have HBO so I won’t be able to watch. However, I must say yes indeed SHAME on you! Didn’t you see his AMAZING performance in Alias? I know you were a fan so you must have. 😀

  2. The End of EXTRAS is Extra good — All This Nonsense on December 16th, 2007 2:25 pm

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  3. CrazyGringa on December 16th, 2007 2:28 pm

    Ok, so I’m choosing not to watch the spoiler since the show is on tonight. I am so excited!

    On another note, my friends and I were able to get four tickets to Ricky’s only show in LA. Are you going to one of the NY shows?

  4. Give Me My Remote on December 16th, 2007 2:39 pm

    Sus – Ricky was fantastic in Alias, but what he does in tonight’s episode is a little deeper than his role as Daniel Ryan.

    CrazyGringa – I haven’t yet tried for Ricky’s show in NYC only because I have no idea where I’ll be living come July.

  5. CrazyGringa on December 16th, 2007 3:00 pm

    Hopefully you’ll be on the west coast with all of us ;o)….Well I’m in Phx, but close enough to LA to get in on the action every once in awhile.

  6. Christina on December 16th, 2007 9:15 pm

    CrazyGringa how were you able to get tickets for the LA show? I didn’t know there were presales and I thought they went on sale on Tuesday (I only ask because I have friends wanting to secure tickets).

    And as far as Extras goes…I am sooooooo excited!

  7. CrazyGringa on December 17th, 2007 12:06 pm

    Christina there’s a presale for the LA tickets. The code word to use is COMEDY. The presale was yesterday but it might be going on today too.