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Derek - "The Special"?

(27 Posts)
Enpoid Tue 16-Dec-14 21:16:02


Really really?

Boonies Wed 17-Dec-14 00:42:21

I hadn't heard this. That is great, I love Derek!

KatoPotato Wed 17-Dec-14 00:46:21

Hey! I'm sure there will be a really twee or mawkish point somewhere that makes it FINE to laugh at silly Derek.

Horrid shit. Special. Very good Gervais.

Boonies Wed 17-Dec-14 01:33:47

Is it the word 'special' that offends you.

Enpoid Wed 17-Dec-14 01:59:02


Boonies Wed 17-Dec-14 03:00:50

But it is a Christmas special. That is what they are called. Have you actually watched Derek,or are you just jumping on the bandwagon that it is making fun of people with aspergers?

Enpoid Wed 17-Dec-14 03:12:43

It's just coincidence then that this particular programme chooses to actually feature the word "special" in the title of the Christmas special?

And no, I'm not going to watch it. I saw a bit of the first episode and decided not to be complicit in it.

Boonies Wed 17-Dec-14 03:19:16

Just like The Office christmas special? Or Extras christmas special? I think the word special is in common usage in this instance.

Enpoid Wed 17-Dec-14 03:23:58

a) the word "special" doesn't tend to be emphasised in the title and the trailers in quite the way it is here

b) neither of those programmes is about a man who many people would interpret as being a portrayal of a person with a learning disability (I know Gervais has said he isn't, but I tend to ignore Gervais)

and c) this is all coming from someone who's now most famous for thinking it's okay to call someone a mong.

Enpoid Wed 17-Dec-14 03:28:25

Basically, there's no way that the decision to call this Derek - The Special, and to refer to it as such emphaticallyin the trailer, was anything other than a deliberate choice done so in the full knowledge that people will associate the usage of the word special in christmas special with the usage of the word special to insult people with learning disabilities. The question isn't whether it's a deliberate reference, it's why that reference has been made. And given it's Ricky Gervais, I'm loath to give the benefit of the doubt.

EatShitDerek Wed 17-Dec-14 03:52:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Enpoid Wed 17-Dec-14 03:55:45

grin I would miss half my favourite programmes if it weren't for serendipitous MN threads

differentnameforthis Wed 17-Dec-14 03:55:51

this is all coming from someone who's now most famous for thinking it's okay to call someone a mong.

Is he? I know him best from the Office & Extras.

EatShitDerek Wed 17-Dec-14 04:00:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TanteRose Wed 17-Dec-14 04:36:37

i really liked "Derek" too...

that, and Getting On, with Jo Brand and Joanna Scanlan, were fab British telly in recent years

isshoes Wed 17-Dec-14 07:44:48

If you only saw 'a bit of the first episode' I am not sure you are best placed to judge. As a PP said, Gervais makes people fall in love with Derek. And why shouldn't people with all forms of disabilities be included in comedy? The audience isn't laughing AT Derek, but rather with him and with those around him.

Enpoid Wed 17-Dec-14 08:53:05

The audience isn't laughing AT Derek, but rather with him and with those around him. hmm

Enpoid Wed 17-Dec-14 08:53:38

Getting On was amazingly good.

NoArmaniNoPunani Wed 17-Dec-14 08:55:51

I'm with you OP. Ricky Gervais is a turd.

salsmum Thu 18-Dec-14 22:07:08

I also thought it was in bad taste making deliberate reference to the word 'special' but then being a parent who's had 25 years of fighting for my disabled daughter to have equal rights and be acceptance in this world I guess I just feel that it's another 'acceptable ridicule' of people/kids with SN.

Defenbaker Tue 23-Dec-14 00:26:41

I can see why people might be sensitive about the title of this programme, but I honestly don't think that the use of the word "special" was meant to refer to people with special needs, it was just a brief description to indicate that it was a feature length, special episode. Having just watched this programme, it wasn't themed around Christmas so could not be called a Christmas Special, and if they had reversed the order of the words to read "Special Derek" that may have caused a lot more offence.

I enjoyed this special edition very much, although there were a few cringeworthy moments, but they were not to do with the character of Derek, who came across as a likeable, caring person that many people would warm to. I'm unsure if the main character was intended to be a person with Asperger's syndome or have special needs, but even if that was the intention, I see no ridicule or mocking of the afflicted, more a very clever characterisation which makes the viewer see things through the eyes of a gentle soul who struggles at times to understand the world around him. IMO Gervais has done a good job in creating the main character, and it's clear from this particular storyline that Derek is a character who others like and respect, for his kindness and humanity. The comedy aspects stem more from the other characters, who are anything but "normal", whatever that is.

The series is not exactly a comedy, nor especially dramatic, most of the time, but it has really funny moments at times, combined with some serious, quite poignant moments at others. I think Gervais has done an excellent job and for those who took offence at the title, I'd suggest you watch this episode right to the end, then you might see that Derek is actually shown quite a lot of respect in this special episode.

Defenbaker Tue 23-Dec-14 00:30:37

PS: isshoes - "Gervais makes people fall in love with Derek" - exactly.

CaffeLatteIceCream Fri 26-Dec-14 20:18:48

Just for the record...the reason it was referred to as "The Special" is because all of the series RG has made has followed the same formula - two series and a final "special". He has explained that.

I realise that doesn't fit your ignorant and judgemental POV, OP...but those are the facts.

IsabeauMichelle Fri 26-Dec-14 20:23:05

I can't believe this debate still goes on. Ricky Gervais is not taking the piss out of people on the spectrum, quite the opposite. His characters are extremely well observed and crafted brilliantly.

And the special focuses more on one of the other characters, an alcoholic. He's probably taking the piss out of people with alcohol issues hmm

stillenacht1 Fri 26-Dec-14 20:26:58

I'm with you OP too.. As a mum to a severely autistic boy I saw this advertised today and it hit me in the chest. I fucking hate the emphasis on "special".

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