05 July 2007

Extras - Season 2

Finished, Extras Season 2, this British comedy starring Ricky Gervais and this lady most people know and love as Christina in Ugly Betty:

Extras follows the life of bit players in films and TV --- those who play "Man 1" or "Girl in the Bus".

Season 2 opens with Andy (Gervais) as an ill-famed TV star, whose fictional TV show "While The Whistle Blows" becomes the worst thing on British TV. The only people who follow his show or recognize him as a TV star are lowlifes.

Maggie, his ditsy best friend (played by Ashley Jensen), still works as a cast extra. In one episode she gets hit on by Daniel Radcliff (playing himself) who had only one thing most boys his age have in mind - sex. Horny Daniel was a revelation for me. Very amusing.

Also in the cast is Andy's agent, Darren (Stephen Merchant) who actually triggers some embarrassing moments that put Andy at a big disadvantage, like giving Andy this project with Sir Ian McKellen (playing himself, too) but with Andy actually needing to play the role of a gay man (his agent didn't tell him).

It's a very, very short series. Only six delightful episodes.

Other guest stars include:
  • Orlando Bloom, who off-cam, was so full of himself
  • Chris Martin (Coldplay), who was very much the marketing man; gets every to promote his album...whether he is doing photoshoots or a TV guest stint.
  • Robert de Niro, who was every inch how I would imagine Robert de Niro behaves off-cam --- just sitting there quietly staring at you.
Of course all these guest stars are just playing parts or pretending to be horrible characters, even as they play themselves...which is part of what makes Extras different from other comedies.

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