One of the funniest shows ever is highlighted with loads of hilarious extras (no pun intended) on DVD.
Picture quality could have been better, but it doesn't detract from how awesome this show is.
Ricky Gervais is probably one of the funniest comedians working today, and it's terrible that most of America has no idea who he is. Let me introduce him to you if you are unfamiliar with him. Gervais didn't really break into the comedy scene until recently when in 2001 his show The Office aired in Britain. The Office got plenty of critical acclaim and was a huge it. So huge that it was reconceived for American audiences and Steve Carell was chosen as his American counterpart. Now the American version of The Office is garnering awards and a huge fan base all on a brand of comedy that Gervais pioneered.
Extras is Gervais' newest masterpiece of comedy. Gervais plays Andy Millman who is a desperate background actor (or an "extra") trying to break into show business. Stephen Merchant plays his useless agent who never gets him any work. So, Andy goes from film set to film set working alongside with his best friend, Maggie who is played by Ashley Jensen. Maggie is Andy's best friend who is a hopeless romantic trying to find true love with every guy she meets. What Extras y guest stars the show has each episode. The celebrities basically play twisted versions of themselves and it couldn't be more hilarious. Some of the stars from this season include Ben Stiller, Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Stewart and Kate Winslet.
The best part about Extras is that it embodies the Ricky Gervais comedic style. Since every episode is written and directed by Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais you can assure that every episode is fall on the floor funny. If you know the American version of The Office then you know the show consists of awkward moments and long silences, which is pretty much the humor here. I think the best comparison would be Curb Your Enthusiasm, since it's basically mimicking real life celebrities being twisted versions of themselves. It's not a parody of Hollywood but surprisingly a character driven show that is enhanced with some of the funniest scenes in a television show. I think the funniest episode was Patrick Stewart's episode where he discusses the screenplay that he is writing. It's too bad that the season is only 6 episodes, and the second season is short too. I highly recommend this DVD even if you have never heard of Ricky Gervais. Extras is one of my favorite series on television and I hope we see more seasons in the future.
The Difficult Second Album:
This 21-minute featurette is a hilarious sit down with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant as they basically talk about how the show came to be. They call it the "second album" because it's their second project after doing The Office. They discuss working together and working with all the celebrities, and even do some mock product placement. Very informative and funny as well.
Shot on a camcorder we see a little glimpse at Gervais and Merchant sitting down and trying to get a high profile celebrity guest at the last second. It's a neat look at how hectic pre-production can be.
We get an onslaught of amazing deleted scenes. All the stuff here just didn't fit into the show, but thank goodness for DVD. The deleted scenes are just as fun as watching the show itself.
The outtakes are especially hilarious since in the Ricky Gervais comedy world everyone always has a serious face. So, when someone cracks up (mostly Gervais) it'll make you crack up too. I honestly can't imagine how long it took them to film each episode just because every bit is so funny. We get a hefty load of outtakes too.
The episodes are presented in 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen. The show is shot digitally from what I can tell by the composition, so the image is rather good. It has some digital artifacts and the colors can look washed out sometimes, but overall the image is sharp and great for what the show is.
We get Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks for the episodes and that's all you need. The entire show is dialogue based and the tracks are just fine for what the show is. Sound is as clear as a bell and that's all I could want from the mix, good job.
The 2-disc case comes in slipcase. The case itself is a standard two-disc case with one disc on a swinging hinge. Inside we have an insert with a list of each episode identified by which celebrity guest stars.
Extras is one of the funniest shows ever made. I can't get enough of it and I recommend it to everyone. Anybody who loves The Office (British or American) or Curb Your Enthusiasm will love Extras. You'll find yourself talking about each episode again and again, and you'll be watching each episode again and again. Absolutely bloody brilliant!