Derek is a British television comedy-drama written, directed by and starring Ricky Gervais
. The pilot was produced by Derek Productions Ltd. for Channel 4 and aired on 12 April 2012.
On 9 May 2012, Channel 4 announced that it had commissioned a full series, which began airing on 30 January 2013. On 4 March 2013 (two days before the final episode of the first series was aired), it was announced that Derek had been re-commissioned for a second series.
The series became available for streaming on Netflix on 12 September 2013.
Gervais plays 49-year-old Derek Noakes, a care worker in a home for the elderly who has worked there for three years. He likes watching reality television shows and game shows and is interested in celebrities, fame, YouTube
, and above all, talking about animals. He is kind, helpful, and selfless, with good intentions. He is vulnerable because of his childlike naivety and lack of intelligence. He is ridiculed and ostracised, as well as being marginalised by mainstream society because of his social awkwardness, unattractiveness, and lack of inhibitions. Derek says it is more important to be kind than to be clever or good-looking. Many media sources describe him as autistic, although Gervais himself has always stated that Derek is not mentally disabled.
Contains the following tropes:
- Adorkable: Derek and Hannah.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Derek himself, who is stated not to be autistic but is certainly far below average intelligence.
- Amusing Injuries
- Author Appeal: Ricky Gervais has very clearly inserted a scene where Derek squeezes Dougie's head between his python-thighs for his own enjoyment. One of Ricky's favourite past-times is squeezing Karl Pilkington's head (which is shaped like a fucking orange).
- Aside Glance: Dougie, with some frequency.
- British Brevity
- Comically Missing the Point: Derek, who explains everything.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Derek.
- Cringe Comedy
- The Cynic: Dougie, who's resigned himself to his life.
- Deadpan Snarker: Tom and Dougie.
- Hidden Depths: Dougie is, at first glance, a jerk who doesn't care. Actually, he cares very deeply about Derek, Hannah and the residents.
- Kev at the end of episode seven.
- It Amused Me: Kev's motivation for just about everything he does, and what he does is usually horrible.
- Jerkass: Kev and Dougie. Special points go to the utterly despicable daughter of Lizzie, who doesn't care about her mother, assumes the carers are thieves and tosses aside her mother's precious memories just so she can add a wedding ring to her collection of gaudy jewelry.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Dougie.
- Naked People Are Funny
- Nice Guy: Derek is this entirely. He's selfless, sincere and sweet to everyone.
- Mama Bear: Hannah to Derek and the residents.
- Mr. Exposition: Derek, since he's the focus and it's a mockumentry.
- Papa Bear: Despite his attitude, Dougie is extremely protective of the residents and Derek.
- Pet the Dog: After Joan dies, Dougie repairs the painting she'd asked him to fix and he'd earlier dismissed as 'shit'.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Dougie gives a short but awesome one to Lizzie's horrible daughter.
- Before that, he also delivers one to the department worker desperately looking to save money by closing the Rest Home down, revealing just how much work Hannah puts in and how the department worker focuses just on money. The department worker leaves wordlessly after this - Dougie earns a round of applause from the residents at the home.