Yes, we said it here three years ago, and we're going to say it again -- Ricky Gervais is incomparable. After catching up again with his Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale on one of the HBO channels, it's abundantly clear that nobody else comes close. I was once more caught up in the pathos, intelligence and insight offered up by Gervais and his co-writer (and castmember) Stephen Merchant in the holiday-set (but not Christmas-y) movie-length episode about struggling actor Andy Millman and his grapple with fame when he found finally found success on a sitcom. Ashley Jensen as Andy's pal Maggie was nominated for an Emmy for her work in the special, and it was richly deserved.
Hilarious and heartbreaking, the Extras series finale is timeless in its message and endless in its entertainment. It's airing a couple of times next week on HBO Comedy on the 29th, so look it up or rent it. I offer, as a tantalizing reminder, Gervais' stunning speech at the end of the show. It's a brittle indictment of the world's obsession with celebrity, still as relevant as it was three years ago -- probably more so -- and it will take your breath away. To set the scene, Andy has been appearing on a Big Brother show as one of the resident "celebrities" and has a revelation.
Only the British -- or maybe it's only Gervais -- can combine (and with such incisive brilliance) so much sentiment, intelligence and wisdom, and dare to offer it up in a comedy. That's genius, TV fans.