HBO SPINOFF 'LIFE ON THE ROAD' WITH RICKY GERVAIS
THE GLORIOUS CORNER
Story By: G.H. Harding
GERVAIS AGAIN --- Get ready for Life On The Road, a spin-off feature film based on the original BBC Two two-season-long documentary TV series, The Office (which, of course, was reshaped for American TV in 2005 by NBC to become the nine-season smash hit show of the same name that turned Steve Carell and his character Michael Scott into a household name).
Life On The Road will be directed and written by the original series’ star, Ricky Gervais. It will be centered on a documentary crew catching up with Gervais’ character David Brent—former star of a series called The Office, now working as a traveling salesman—as he chases his dream of rock stardom by self-financing a U. K .tour with his band Foregone Conclusion.
“I’m so excited that the world will see what David Brent is up to now and where his future lies,” Gervais said. “This film delves much more into his private life than The Office ever did and we really get to peel back the layers of this extraordinary, ordinary man.”
The Office ran for two six-episode seasons in 2001 and 2002, and aired two Christmas specials in 2003.
I like Gervais and have always been amazed by what’s he’s been able to accomplish with what I think everyone can agree are fairly low-brow ideas. Not to dismiss Ricky at all, as he’s rather a brilliant talent and remarkable mimic. I just wonder if people are going to compare Gervais’ David Brent to Carell’s Michael Scott. The truth will out, I suppose, in the box-office take. It would be good to see Gervais doing something with his comedic talents other than annihilating people while hosting the Golden Globes on TV!
TV WRAP --- Hard to believe this year’s TV season is winding down . . . did it ever really even ramp up? We wanted to share observations with you on just a few of them:
The Flash: Arguably, this was the best new show on TV this season. The shows were uniformly well-written, with plots that made sense and superb character development. Special mention should go to Jesse L. Martin, especially when he wore his Tom Collins (Rent) hat. The one flaw that this show had, for me, was when it was stocked with too many superheroes. Their episode last night, before next week’s finale, was precisely that—too many, uh, superpeople! Still, Tom Cavanaugh was spot-on excellent—though hardly in this week’s episode—as the Reverse Flash. Whenever he’s on screen, though, you cannot take your eyes off him.
NCIS: Mark Harmon’s show has always been good, and their last few episodes have been terrific—with subtle nuances that offer ample display of what the show’s twelve-year-run (and counting) has created. Last night’s finale, which (SPOILER ALERT!) ended with Harmon’s character Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs getting shot, was hard to watch. But one must remember that CBS is the network that created the legendary “Who Shot J.R.?” advertising ploy for their 1980 show, Dallas. On that alone, I feel certain that we’ll be seeing Gibbs again next season. Always a plus on this series is the fantastic acting of David McCallum. Watching him and Harmon work together is like taking a master class in acting.
Gotham: Certainly the most eagerly-awaited show, but it seems to have disappointed folks more than winning them. It started great out of the gate, with the great Ben Mckenzie and Donal Logue, but then got too muddled with the “villain of the week” gimmick. In fact, young Bruce Wayne really wasn’t in the show all that much. Renewed for another season, the producers have now promised that this will change. Sure, they've played with the origin story just a bit, but it’s been done well. Their season finale, which ended with young Bruce and his confidant Alfred finally discovering the Batcave, certainly sets things up well for next season.
We still have to catch the Hawaii Five-O, Elementary and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. enders. More next week.
NEVER SAY NEVER --- Former Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist (and playable character in the video game Guitar Hero) Slash was on CBS This Morning earlier this week to talk about his new solo album (World On Fire) and brand-new “not for kids” music video. That didn't stop him from shifting the talk to a possible Guns N' Roses reunion, though. The guitarist admitted there could very well be a circumstance that opens the door one day.
“I got to be careful what I say there,” Slash said. “I mean, if everybody wanted to do it and do it for the right reasons, I think the fans would love it. I think it might be fun at some point to try and do that.”
Asked what might be holding things back, Slash said, “That’s a hard one. That just starts to get into a whole complex thing. . . . It’s really between the guys in the band.” Pressed further on whether he thought a reunion was likely, Slash added, “Never say never.”
Slash’s new video, “Beneath the Savage Sun,” features his current collaborators Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, and was created to help raise awareness for endangered elephants. Slash also has a new concert video and album, Live at the Roxy 9/25/14, due next month.
The guitarist has released three solo albums since leaving Guns N’ Roses almost two decades ago. But questions about his old band, and continued estrangement from GNR’s frontman Axl Rose, have been there every step of the way. “It’s been one of those things that’s been talked about by everybody but us for over the last 18, 19 years,” Slash said.
CLOSING NOTES --- NY’s own Frank Shiner—one of only two artists so far this year to have consecutive Top 5 singles—is playing the Fiesta Arts Festival in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania this Friday, which has now been proclaimed “Frank Shiner Day” by Wilkes Barre mayor Thomas M. Leighton. Shiner will be there with manager Ken Levy . . .
This past week brought a great SiriusXM interview from Bruce “Cousin Brucie” Morrow with Monkees singer/actor Micky Dolenz. BTW: Micky’s three upcoming shows in July—at NYC's club 54 Below—will be recorded for a live album, to be titled and released (after the live shows, of course) A Little Bit Broadway, a Little Bit Rock ’n Roll . . .
David Duchovny was on NBC’s Today yesterday, singing the title track from his debut album Hell or Highwater . . . and he was pretty good! He admitted on-air that it was his first live performance and he did seem very, very nervous. The song is rock with a touch of country; a lovely sound to it. He starts filming the X Files re-boot with Gillian Anderson next month. Looking forward to hearing the album in its entirety . . .
Lastly, mark your calendars for Wednesday, June 3. That’s the day that will see the release of Entourage: The Movie. I loved the HBO series, so I’m sure that I—and many others—will love the new movie, too …
CSI, the mothership on CBS will return also as a two-hour finale, with William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger, returning, on September 27; it’ll be the end of their 15-year run! Plus, current-CSI frontman, Ted Danson will segue to the new, just renewed, CSI: Cyber.