The wait is almost over. Almost a year has passed since Channel 4 first broadcast the pilot of ‘Derek’, but tonight the jury will return with their verdict on the initial success of Gervais’ new mockumentary cum drama.
You may recall the deluge of abuse Gervais met from all corners of the media for his innocent portrayal of a character that arguably suffered from some form of learning difficulty, shortly after the pilot for Derek was aired. This by no means dissuaded Gervais from pursuing the continued production of his latest hobby, just as he has responded to critics in the past for their initial misgivings concerning his other works including; ‘The Office’, ‘Extras’ and ‘Life’s too short’.
Despite Gervais’ resolute demeanour particularly in the face of adversity and confrontation with the politically-correct brigade, it is interesting therefore to hear Gervais confessing this week to have used social media- notably twitter- to gauge viewers feedback and vet new material to his followers with a view to improve upon the pilot of Derek. It would be wrong to assume this is Gervais treading carefully around the minefield of impending abuse but rather an experiment in the utilization of social media to improve his art form.
We impatiently await the broadcast of the first episode this evening with bated breath and hope this social media experiment adds value rather than detracts from what was- albeit a personal submission- a humble, life-affirming production.
Confiamos en Gervais (In Gervais we trust)!