After much hype (Much of which came from Ricky Gervais’s Twitter account) last night saw the opening episode of the full series of Channel 4’s Derek. The care home-based show, written by and starring Gervais alongside his Idiot Abroad co-star Karl Pilkington, had been largely panned by critics when reviews first emerged a couple of weeks ago, but tweeters were eager to spread their praise for the comedy drama.
McFly’s Harry Judd was quick off the mark to generate some excitement for the show amongst his followers.
Oooohh Derek is on tonight! I'm excited 🙂 @rickygervais— Harry Judd (@mcflyharry) January 30, 2013
And once the half-hour broadcast had concluded, Gervais must have watched his Twitter feed with glee as viewers traded their gushing commentary. Sunday Telegraph columnist Matthew d’Ancona was keen to praise the comedian’s latest project:
Meanwhile @steviematthews declared it was Gervais’s best work since the Slough-based sitcom that made his name.
— Steve Matthews (@steviematthews) January 30, 2013
Many fans of The Office were caught out by their emotions while watching the exploits of Derek, Dougie, Hannah and Kev. @kimbunny123 admitted:
And Max Batty applauded Gervais’s ability to produce both laughter and tears from his viewers…
But despite Gervais welcoming his fair share of praise, it was his co-star Karl Pilkington whom the Twittersphere judged as the success of the show. Pilkington had previously admitted to feeling “guilty about the idea of taking the job from a proper actor” but last night he earned scores of compliments from tweeters…
Just when you think Karl Pilkington couldn’t get any funnier, he puts that wig on and does the impossible. #derek
— Michael Moye (@mikemoye) January 30, 2013
His character Dougie’s “egg with sideburns” hairdo went down particularly well with @roryclewlow:
Karl Pilkintons hair was the best thing ever haha #derek— Rory (@roryclewlow) January 30, 2013
Meanwhile Ronnie Joice was quick to assert his belief in Pilkington’s acting capabilities…
But unfortunately for Gervais, Ronnie’s compliments did not extend to his performance as Derek.
So is #Derek basically David Brent after he’s gone through a traumatic stroke and been stuck in a care home?
— Ronnie Joice (@ronniejoice) January 30, 2013
And despite an influx of positive tweets, there were a string of users who were disappointed at The Office creator’s latest offering. Drew Blyth was another to criticise Gervais’s acting skills.
While Matt Black didn’t hold back in serving up his judgement of Derek and his care home companions.
Why is compassion being served up as profundity? What a badly written, unfunny, self-important load of old toss #derek
— Matt Black (@catsmiaow) January 30, 2013
Mark Pusey admitted to giving the show every chance he could before sharing this frustrated tweet:
And Karen Stansfield broadcasted her dislike of David Earl’s character Kev – Derek’s slobbish, unemployed friend.
But fear not, Ricky Gervais had a number of famous friends who countered any negativity by singing the show’s praises. Richard Bacon told his 1.5 million followers:
Derek starts on Channel 4 in 20 minutes. Tender. Funny. Not at all controversial. Karl is a bit of a revelation in it.— richard bacon (@richardpbacon) January 30, 2013
Meanwhile, Nicky Cambell waded in on the pre-show hype, tweeting:
And one glance at Gervais’s Twitter feed this morning hints at the lively debate over Derek that tweeters enjoyed last night. The comedian and actor teased his 4 million followers with a taster of what’s to come during the remainder of the six-part series…
Derek is not really a sitcom. It’s a heartwarming drama with funny bits. Also it has a series arch & ep 6 is the best thing I’ve ever done
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) January 30, 2013
Judging from the compliments flooding in last night, there will be a lot of viewers awaiting that instalment with eager anticipation.