The long and short of it, plotwise
Life is too short, so should you take the time to watch the new sitcom created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant? Starring Warwick Davis playing a fictionalized version of himself, the show centers around Warwick’s struggle through his empty career, bankruptcy, and divorce. Life’s Too Short is the third sitcom created by the duo following The Office and Extras; one could argue that their new show is a hybrid of their previous two. Celebrity cameos gives Life’s Too Short the same appeal as Extras, while it shares the same mockumentary style as The Office. Even Warwick Davis has the same personality of a conceited buffoon as David Brent. Despite having passed his prime as a dwarf actor, Davis still feels entitled to stardom, and manages his own dwarf talent agency called “Dwarves For Hire”.
Warwick’s getting the short end of the stick
The only problem with Warwick’s character is that he is sometimes portrayed as too pathetic. There were moments in the episode that were so humiliating and degrading that instead of laughing at Warwick, I pitied him. Sure he’s a jerk, but let him have at least some dignity. Other characters include Warwick’s idiot accountant, and his idiot secretary (it should be noted that I mean idiot in the best sense of the word). While the characters are funny, they ultimately, and unfortunately, feel like watered-down versions of characters from The Office and Extras.
Davis repeatedly meets with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant (also playing themselves) in hopes that they have a role for him, but the two do their best to brush him off. Liam Neeson makes a cameo appearance in one of these meetings, telling Ricky and Steve that he wants to get into comedy. The entire scene with Neeson is hilarious, but it had absolutely nothing to do with the plot—he showed up, funny stuff happened, and then he left.
To get to the long and short of it (pun kind-of intended), Life’s Too Short is definitely good for a laugh, but it doesn’t have the same character investment as previous shows by Gervais and Merchant. If you’re a fan of their comedy, you’ll certainly enjoy the show’s brand of humor; just don’t hold it to the same standards as their past work.
My Rating: 7/10