September 27, 2013 |
Stephen Merchant, the tall fellow sometimes found near Ricky Gervais (he co-wrote and co-directed "The Office" and "Extras," and costarred in the latter), has put himself out front in his own HBO series. Created with Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (writers for the American "The Office"), it is called "Hello Ladies," and it is funny and disturbing in exactly the manner and proportions one would expect from his earlier works. Merchant plays Stuart, a Web designer living in Los Angeles in circumstances that suggest this Web design is a career worth investigating.
January 17, 2012
Stephen Merchant: An article about Stephen Merchant in the Jan. 16 Calendar said that his TV and radio shows took off in the mid-1990s. It was actually the mid-'00s. Jon Huntsman: An article in the Jan. 15 Image section about the way presidential candidates dress misspelled Jon Huntsman's first name as John. Council election: An article in the Jan. 15 California section about the Los Angeles City Council runoff between Joe Buscaino and state Assemblyman Warren Furutani said that after the Pearl Harbor attack, Furutani's grandparents were among Japanese Americans sent to interment camps.
August 7, 2010 |
Although nicely acted and directed, "Cemetery Junction" is a thoroughly unremarkable coming-of-age dramedy that's barely distinguished by its 1973 England setting or by its name supporting cast. Not surprisingly, the film will be on DVD shelves mid-month. Co-written and co-directed by frequent collaborators Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant ("The Office," HBO's "Extras"), this memory piece nominally revolves around a mismatched trio of 20-ish mates navigating young adulthood in their working-class suburb of Cemetery Junction, a town that seems way more acceptable than its crummy reputation here implies.
October 11, 2003 |
The brilliant British mock-documentary workplace tragicomedy "The Office" begins its much anticipated six-episode second season Sunday night at 9 on BBC America. As did the six previous episodes, the new installments generate a tension so awful, from circumstances so awfully lifelike, that you have to watch at times from behind laced fingers, with teeth clenched and the remote control close at hand.
September 27, 2013 |
Sunday will be a busy night. "Breaking Bad" (AMC, Sunday). After 10,000 episodes, the gold-encrusted body of "Breaking Bad" will be laid to rest Sunday night, with much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, after which we can officially begin toting up the damage and apply for federal relief. Inside sources tell me that the final installment is written entirely in anapestic heptameter and will be performed on a stage bare but for a wooden crate and a floor lamp. All the women's parts will be played by men, as is traditional, and the men's parts by sock puppets (an innovation)
October 21, 2004 |
The Golden Globe-winning, Peabody-winning British import "The Office" was as near perfect a television show as has ever been shot out of a cathode-ray tube. The creation of two men (star Ricky Gervais and his co-creator, co-writer and co-director Stephen Merchant) who had never made TV before -- Gervais had never even acted -- it was one of those rare works in which all the parts conspired to create an absolutely believable reality. And it was funny, too, in the awful way that life is.