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The Topic I Never Thought I Would Write About On Dirty Feed

Posted 15th April 2014

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So, the BBC has an interview with Ricky Gervais.


It’s about the second series of his “sitcom” Derek – and if you think I’m being mean with the scare quotes, Gervais himself invites them in the interview. Those who know me may be absolutely astounded to know that I have an awful lot of issues with what he says. But let’s skip past all the disability stuff, and just focus on the bit where he insults 50% of the population instead:

“The comic is keen to get under the skin of those “real” people – and one of his favourite themes is ‘men acting childishly’, which he describes as ‘my weakness’.

‘They just should know better, men don’t grow up – that’s always the theme I’ve had, women as adults and men as boys. Women don’t act like that! Proper stupidity is fascinating.'”

Really? Women don’t act like that? Bollocks. Utter horseshit. Some of the most fun times in my life have been spent with women behaving absolutely ridiculously.1. I can’t think of a more boring way to write female characters than “women as adults”. Not allowing women to be silly is not only a fairly fundamental flaw when it comes to writing comedy, but it makes you wonder exactly how Gervais sees the world.

It all reminds me of the very weakest parts of Men Behaving Badly. Gary and Tony get to do all the stupid fun stuff, and then we cut back to Dorothy and Deborah being sensible and tedious. The best moments were when Nye realised the women could be ridiculous too, and that just didn’t happen often enough.

If you want a sitcom that’s an antidote to all this crap, may I recommend Mom? Two lead female characters, doing things that are as stupid and as idiotic and as hilarious as can be. Real characters, not “sensible women” ciphers.

It’s not just how I like my comedy. It’s how people are.

  1. Shut it. 

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Drivelcast on 7 August 2014 @ 10pm

Totally agree. One of my favourite Simpsons jokes is when Homer and Bart taunt Lisa by singing “You don’t win friends with salad” whilst dancing a conga past her. They disappear off the right of the screen, then dance back again, with Marge joined on the end of the line, gleefully singing along. I love how, rather than take the shortcut and make her the boring sensible stooge to Homer’s antics, the writers kind-of mock the idea by sometimes making her absurdly sensible (having dry-runs when cooking dinner, getting excited by the idea of doorbell-shopping) and then swinging to the sort of thing that you’d expect her to disapprove of.

Rob on 1 September 2014 @ 11am

I think, above everything, my favourite quote is ‘even as low as TV comedy’. A man showing utter contempt for a glorious art form, one he used to make his name.