Life’s Too Short

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant are at it again, writing and directing their latest situation comedy for the BBC.

Life’s Too Short combines elements of The Office and Extras, but with a new slant on proceedings. This series features Warwick Davies (Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi, Willow) as the lead role and all the things he gets up to in order to raise his profile and drag himself out of the massive tax debt he has run up. It transpires very quickly that this is due to his incompetent accountant who he can’t get rid of, as he considers him a friend.

Warwick Davies is a brilliant actor and although he has obviously taken influence from Gervais for this role, he performs as if he has been in comedy for years and should not be overlooked….. no pun intended!

Whereas The Office is a full on Mockumentary, Gervais and Merchant have cleverly designed this sitcom to feel a lot more like an actual documentary, as everybody plays themselves (albeit characterisations of themselves) and includes references to actual events which makes for great comedy and even more cringe-worthy situations than you have seen before. The correlation with Extras comes from the inclusion of film stars, although because of Ricky Gervais’ Hollywood status he is now able to incorporate the likes of Liam Neeson and Johnny Depp, both delivering outstanding comedic performances in very different ways.

I did notice a few people on social networks being quite negative about the show after the first episode, with the main criticism being; it was just more David Brent but out and about and played by a dwarf, however I personally think there is much more to it than that and with the self referential jokes included in the second episode, it is clear that the potential for public opinion swaying that way was not lost on the creators.

In conclusion, I highly recommend this to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet and/or enjoyed any of their previous work. Gervais and Merchant are two of the best comedy writers around at the moment and long may their careers continue.

Click here to catch up on BBCiPlayer.



  1. It reminds me of Curb Your Enthusiasm is some ways… think Gervais has taken some hints from the States, though he has always been a chief exponent of cringe-comedy!

  2. Hi Im a big fan of gervais and chums but lifes too short is total s#@t
    Warwicks secretary Is Barry from extras Warwick himself is David Brent
    Warwicks agent is David Brents agent from the office
    we have seen all these characters dialogue and style of jokes before and the celebrity cameos are shameful they all were thinking when they signed up that they would be receiving the same admiration that the celebs in extras got but they were a few years too late. Utter rubbish Gervais move on….

  3. This comedy is a work of genius. Gervais and Merchant understand the need to the funny and some the moments in this series are comedy at it’s very best. There are elements of the Office and Extras in there but then you would expect that from the Steve and Ricky. Warwick is brilliant in the part and is a superb comedy actor. I think Rick’s suggestion of pairing Karl Pilkington and Warwick together is certainly worth considering.

  4. Absolutely brilliant I am loving every episode. Warwick Davis is just superb. Well done to Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.

  5. Short on life, great episode, its the little people in life you really have to watch out for. Warick Davis could not have done this character better with the two well known writers and possibly a small act from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. Ever thought of doing a hollywood film based on this series! You already have the top stars in the episodes why not use them?
    P.S Ricky, the David Brent you played in “The Office” he actually exsists!! His name is “James Hawkins” he used to be my manager and I haven’t seen him for a long while- I think he may have been murdered!!!!!!!

  6. I am surprised at the amount of negative criticism this series has generated around the media so far. Gervais & Merchant have moved on from “The Office” & “Extras” and have found the perfect interpreter of their brand of comedy in Warwick Davis whose brilliant comic timing and looks to camera remind me of past comedy greats like Oliver Hardy. As in the film “Willow” (which I did see!) he also takes on bravely all the physical demands of the role – the scaling of the too high bookcase in Episode 4 was as good as many a Buster Keaton stunt. All credit to Mr Davis for allowing us to see him enjoying sending himself up.

  7. Davis is playing David Brent from The Office. His secretary, Maggie from Extras. Rehashed, boring rubbish.

    Gervais and Merchant need to get out of auto-cruise, ignore the sycophants, and get creative … Or get lost.

    • Absolutely agree… we’ve come to that sad moment when we need to resurrect Dennis Pennis and for him to ask the same question that he asked Steve Martin years ago – “How come you’re not funny anymore?”.

  8. What’s the name of the classical piece of cello music played at the end of each episode?

  9. Absolute genius. The best programme on the telly by far. Warwick Davis is brilliant in it as was Carl Pilkington in Idiot Abroad, as was Ricky Gervais in the Office etc etc etc nothing negative from me.

    From John

  10. Let’s see if Ricky Gervais can top this at the golden globes:

  11. Hilarious, poignant and enigmatic. More please!

  12. For me this is comedy gold and I’m loving every episode! Warwick Davis has me in stiches, great great tv.

  13. Didn’t like this show at first, but have to say it has really grown on me.
    Warwick is brilliant ! he has me laughing and crying in the same moment, love the interaction with the camera … looking forward to a second series …

  14. Hi, I’ve used this picture in an article and credited you, thanks!

  15. i am dave ! yognaut and i have the balls!!! a… special message from the yognauts. 🙂

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