After the success of The Office, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant put their comedic talents into a show called Extras.

It is about a group of people, their aspirations for fame and how they get to see the nitty-gritty and sometimes whacky side of Hollywood.

Gervais plays Andy Millman, a full-time extra, working in theatre and motion pictures. Ashley Jensen stars as Maggie Jacobs, a goofy Scottish woman who is Andy’s friend and co-extra. Stephen Merchant as Darren Lamb is Andy’s incompetent agent. His interaction with Andy is extremely hilarious to watch, especially where Darren tries to get his commission from Andy.

Most of the comedic talent is brought in by the special guest stars of each show. Ben Stiller and Patrick Stewart are two such characters who lampoon their respective personas. Stellar comes off as an egotistical control freak and Stewart sheds his Shakespearean personality down to something that could only be described as completely bizarre and quirky.

Though this series has its funny moments, the style of writing and characterisation isn’t very different from that of The Office. The sad part is that this isn’t The Office, and fans who expect to see something different and refreshing will be disappointed.

This double DVD box-set has a lot of special features to go through, including audio commentary on selected episodes and special features looking into the making of the series. If you haven’t seen much of British comedy, you might like the show which does have its funny moments, thought not many.
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