Extras (Wed ABC 9P), season two, ran its second ep. last night. While it is unusual for me to watch too many TV shows too often, I did watch all of season one last year and was prepared to tune in again this year. So far I don’t think its working for me.
In season one, Andy Millman (Ricky Gervais) played the straight man as an ‘extra’ on film sets, waiting for his big break. Season two stakes a lot of its comedy on Andy’s (intentionally) camp, “lowest common denominator” weekly sitcom : a sort of modern day On The Buses. We are encouraged to laugh at the sitcom while Andy sits back depressed and says “its crap.” Unfortunately, that’s not funny.
Where Extras still derives almost all of its good comedy is from its cameos of bona fide stars willing to appear as ‘themselves.’ Orlando Bloom in week 1 was desperately trying to convince Maggie (Ashley Jensen), Andy’s sweet natured, simple minded friend, that he was deserving of the tag as Britain’s most “shaggable” star. Orlando’s humiliation at Maggie’s rejection sent himself up beautifully while ultimately playing on Maggie’s character comedy too.
Last night, David Bowie appeared briefly and led a sing-along about a “sad, little, fat man.” The public humiliation of Andy was the show getting back to its ‘roots.’ All too briefly however.
The promo for next week’s show doesn’t look that appealing frankly and while I am hoping it improves, if it fails to generate enough “laffs” then I will be consigning Extras to the “okay while it lasted” TV box of history.