Ricky Gervais' most recent project, "Life's Too Short," premiered last night on HBO.
The new television series is of the mockumentary style Gervais made himself known for with "The Office" and "Extras." His new show is similar to "Extras," in that it follows real life characters inside the entertainment industry as they struggle with finding work, having an ego, and all that comes with it.
Similar to "The Office" and "Extras," "Life's Too Short's" protagonist is unlikeable and off-putting. However, there is one key difference, "Life's Too Short's" protagonist is 3-foot 6-inches Actor Warwick Davis. Davis is best known for his work in "Star Wars," "Harry Potter," and his lead role in the 1980's movie "Willow."
In the series, Warwick Davis plays an exaggerated version of himself, struggling to find work – not just as an actor but also as a little people actor agent. He also has personal problems including a rocky marriage and tax issues.
His character is aggressive, crass, and egotistical. In the premiere, Davis refers to himself as "the U.K.'s go to dwarf." Davis also describes the plight of little people in a comical, yet edgy way. On last night's show, he said, "I'm a bit like Martin Luther King because I too have a dream that one day dwarves will be treated equally. Sure the dwarf wasn't taken from his homeland, enslaved, whipped and forced to change his name. ..but I've never seen a black man fired from cannon."
Though the show is sure to ruffle some feathers with their edgy jokes, Davis isn't concerned. He told the Miami Herald, "It's not particularly raunchy. It does push the boundaries of comedy, and that's what's exciting. That's what Ricky and Stephen do best."
Ricky Gervais plays himself and he is joined on screen by the show's co-creator Stephen Merchant, who also plays himself. "Life's Too Short" has also landed several big stars. Last night's episode featured Liam Neeson, playing himself and attempting to make the leap into comedy acting. And according to The Hollywood Reporter, Johnny Depp, Steve Carrell, Helena Bonham Carter, and Sting are all scheduled to appear on the show in the future.
"Life's Too Short" airs at 10:30 p.m., Sunday nights on HBO.