Sunday, September 10, 2006

Ricky Gervais Sucks: in defense of crankiness

OK, now that I've gotten your attention, let me say that I'm not really sure Ricky Gervais sucks, because I have gone out of my way not to watch him.

I have a brand new, unwrapped box set of Season 1 of the U.K. Office, as I believe it is called over here to distinguish it from the one with Steve Carell.

My reason for doing so is this: everyone I know tells me it is hilarious. EVERYONE. I have not a single friend or acquaintance who doesn't think that show is funny. Specifically: Ricky Gervais.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the proof of this show's greatness is all over TV.

I'm not even talking about the American version of the Office. That's a show that's based on another show so of course there are going to be similarities.

I am talking about other shows and movies which have utilized the "clueless boss is a jerk but thinks he's cool" archetype. Basically every new "comedy" this season has one.

This, alone, is enough to make me nauseous, but this isn't my main reason for saying that I, Eric Filipkowski, hate you, Ricky Gervais.

In my book, universal praise is enough to put me off of anything.

An example? OK, how about "The Osbournes"?

You used to love that show. Yes, you did. Yes. You did. Shut up. You did.

You would call me up and tell me how hilarious it was.

"Oh man, you should have seen it last night, Kelly and Jack got in a big fight! And then Ozzy was mumbling! Oh shit, I almost forget, Sharon started yelling at someone! And there are tiny dogs!"


Yes, that was you. You didn't think anyone would remember, but I did.

"The Osbournes" is terrible. You didn't see that truth back when it was a cultural phenomenon, but I did.

How did I know? What tipped me off? It was universally praised.

Now, I tried to outline my thoughts to my fellow cranky friend last night, but he countered and said that not everything that is loved by everyone is awful. As an example, he cited the band Nirvana.

As I told him, this is just pure revisionism. Before Kurt Cobain died, Nirvana was passe. It's true, because I actually liked them and I got constant shit for it.

The things that endure and become "classics" are never fully appreciated during their time. This is especially obvious in the world of art; with people like Vincent Van Gogh, Chris Elliott and Amy Sedaris wallowing in relative obscurity. Even Bob Odenkirk is probably better known as "The President of Beer" to most people in America, instead of as the co-creator of the show that redefined sketch comedy.

On the other hand, the things that everybody loves and thinks are great at the time often whip people up into a ridiculous fervor of blind enthusiasm. To the point where the creators begin to think they are above reproach and their minions are more than willing to nourish this idea.

So you get things like Ricky Gervais, the Osbournes and Nazism.

Or Pinkberry.

What is Pinkberry? Read this article and find out.

The quick version is that Pinkberry is a low-calorie frozen yogurt stand that supposedly is delicious. I say "supposedly" because I have not, nor will I ever go in there and try it.

Because sometimes you have to take a stand. You have to say "no" to the Hive Mind.

"Maybe a Prius will give me slightly better gas mileage, but it's not really going to save the Earth and besides, everyone I know who drives one is a screaming asshole."

Yes, I am talking to you, Tim Jennings.

On a technical note, maybe Ricky Gervais doesn't suck. Maybe he is only recently receiving universal praise. I don't know, I'm not sure, but I'm not taking any chances.

I do what Teddy Ruxpin tells me to do and today he told me that I need to free my mind and the rest will follow.


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