Derek Derek is a fortysomething English virgin with one thing on his mind — and it's not that . He's a holy fool of limited intelligence… Derek Derek is a fortysomething English virgin with one thing on his mind — and it's not that . He's a holy fool of limited intelligence… 2013-09-12 Comedy Ricky Gervais Netflix
TV Review

Derek (2013)

THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN Ricky Gervais stars as Derek, a hapless retirement home employee
Image credit: Netflix
THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN Ricky Gervais stars as Derek, a hapless retirement home employee
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Start Date: Sep 12, 2013; Genre: Comedy; With: Ricky Gervais; Network: Netflix

Derek is a fortysomething English virgin with one thing on his mind — and it's not that. He's a holy fool of limited intelligence who desires only to be kind. Close seconds: watching the telly, searching for cute animal videos, debating Who would win in a fight? scenarios. He spends his days helping at the Broad Hill retirement home, lavishing TLC on the frail as well as crushing on its manager, Hannah (Kerry Godliman), a bighearted workaholic. The psychology of their do-gooding invites incredulity, in a way that (knowingly?) mirrors our skepticism of writer-director-star Ricky Gervais, the acerbic satirist and mockumentarist best known for the U.K.'s Office and skewering celebrities at the Golden Globes. What are his intentions? Regret? Defensiveness? And where are the offensive jokes about old people and mental illness? With Broad Hill, Gervais creates a subversively useful thing: a subculture marked by grace that critiques aspects of the broader culture — coarseness, materialism, ''cool'' — that discourage basic human decency. The dramedy's first season (which originally aired in the U.K. last year) is alternately nuanced and maudlin, wise and sentimental. You can pick-pick-pick at it — too many metaphors, easy foils, and musical montages — but the whole is greater than the parts, and builds to a reflective, stirring conclusion that is mostly earned. Why is Derek so nice? Derek responds: Why do you care so much — and so little? B+

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Originally posted Sep 04, 2013 Published in issue #1276 Sep 13, 2013 Order article reprints
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