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Monday 7 October 2013

'Derek': Ricky Gervais Series - DVD GIVEAWAY

Ricky Gervais. You made me cry. Lots.

Every once in a while a series comes along that is so beautiful and honest and... funny. The whole combo is hard to achieve, I'd imagine, but when it comes together, it's kinda heartbreaking, and just works.

Leave it to the comedic master, Ricky Gervais to write, direct, and star in such a series, called 'Derek'.

Question: how the hell does Ricky make a nursing home setting the basis of his new series, without a hint of condescension?

He does it. And he does it exceptionally well. The connection I experienced with all the characters was immediate. Suddenly, I really cared about what was going to happen to each and every one.

Here is an extended trailer:

'Derek' is a clever little slashie: it's a comedy-drama-documentary.

The pilot for the British TV series aired in the UK on Channel 4 in April 2012.

By May 2012, Channel 4 announced that it had commissioned a full series, which began airing on 30 January 2013. And by March 2013, it was announced that 'Derek' had been re-commissioned for a second series. The series then became available for streaming on Netflix on 12 September 2013. And now, Roadshow Australia has just released series one on DVD.

Ricky plays 49 year old Derek Noakes, a care worker in a home for the elderly. He has worked there for three years and he likes watching reality TV and game shows. He is kind and selfless, with the best intentions at heart.

Ricky himself has said of the character and series:

"For me, personally, it's my favourite thing I've ever created or worked on. I love Derek more than any other character. In fact, I wish I were more like him.

I wish everyone was. It's a show about kindness. It's funny and sweet and deals with the real issues of everyday life. I don't think I've seen anything quite like it. The performance that Kerry Godliman gives as Hannah may be the finest piece of character acting I've seen. And Karl Pilkington as Dougie makes me laugh every second he is on screen. Kev played by David Earl is a lovable train wreck. You wont know whether to hug him or take him to the vet to have him put down. The uncaring outside world popping in and out will boil your blood and the residents will break your heart. "

Indeed, in episode one, the words of an inspector at the nursing home home cut like a knife, and the comebacks are equal parts untentionally witty and scathing. And yet, all of it laced with oodles of black humour.

And when Derek is questioned by one such 'outside world' character on whether he has autism, the reply is so heartbreaking. The tears for me did not stop. (For the record, Ricky himself has always stated that Derek is not mentally disabled).

As a mother to a son with autism, and as a daughter caring for an elderly parent, this series utterly broke my heart, and I wanted more and more.

Also in ep 1, Hannah, played by Kerry Godliman says the most heartbreaking of truths: "Ninety percent of care home residents die within six months of being re-homed.

"I'm not going to let that happen. This is their home. They've got every right to stay here, to the end. Not a lot to ask, is it.

"People think care means three meals a day and a bed, but it means caring. And if you don't care you shoudn't be in the job. They deserve all the same pleasures as anyone else. Just because they're old, and poor and weak, they're forgotten."

Ah, the tears, people...

You will either love and connect with this series, or you won't. But it IS worth giving it a red hot go.

Here is all you need to do to be in the running to win one of FIVE copies of 'Derek' on DVD:

- 'Like' the Josie's Juice Facebook page
- 'Like' the Roadshow Australia Facebook page

- Share this link on your Facebook wall
- Follow me on Twitter and Instagram
- Comment below why you'd like win a copy of 'Derek'
- Email me at josiegags@optusnet.com.au with your address so I have your details in case you are a winner (this step and all steps above must be followed in order to be eligible)
*Competition open to Australian residents only and open for one month

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