The feature length finale to one of the funniest television shows ever is a very well done piece but can be extremely sad and depressing at times for some of the characters we have grown to love. Now, that is not to say that there aren’t moments of hilarity as well, there are some amazing bits in here, but the film is more of a focus on people changing and growing up and dealing with coming to terms with what they have become.
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant wrote and directed this finale, along with the entire series, as well as staring in it as Andy Millman (Gervais) in the lead and Daren Lamb (Merchant) the bumbling agent from Bristol. Also staring in the show is Ashley Jensen in the co-lead as Maggie, Andy’s best friend, and former extra buddy.
By the time the special begins Andy has risen from extra to star of his own BBC One show, “When the Whistle Blows,” a camp, catchphrase filled, piece of crap adored by millions. Andy wants out and wants to be a star after the recent successes of his arch-enemy, and another former extra, Greg is joining the A-List in movies with Clive Owen. We follow Andy as he whines and complains, never happy with where he is at while paralleling his ridiculous self flattering with Maggie and Daren’s falls from grace. It is really tragic and extremely sad at times, but Merchant and Gervais have always been proponents of keeping things real so the funny is that much better.
The shows awkward moments are still intact and just as good as ever and the guest appearances are great as usual. Clive Owen is amazing in his short scene as is George Michael in a quick but funny scene. Other celebrities pop up here and there keeping the shows authentic feel of being in the industry.
When all is said and done, this special is about 60/40 laughs to reality, which isn’t that far off from most episodes, and the touching finale is the ideal way to send this show off into history. Merchant and Gervais have successfully created another memorable series and ended it on about as perfect note as possible.