Sunday, November 17, 2013

Goodbye Hello

The HBO Stephen Merchant comedy Hello Ladies hasn't gotten good numbers and it seems unlikely it'll be picked up for a second season. Still, who knows?  It's not all about ratings there--they let Enlightened go around twice.

But is it any good?  It was created by Stephen Merchant without his Office-partner Ricky Gervais, but with Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnisky, who worked on the American Office.  It stars Merchant as a web designer who works in Hollywood and is a loser when it comes to picking up women.  He seems to be playing a somewhat more hapless version of himself (I hope).  The rest of the cast are generally losers as well, including Nate Torrence who's made a career playing losers, and the lovely Christine Woods.

Like Merchant's previous work, this is cringe comedy.  We laugh at his hopeless attempts to ingratiate himself with the opposite sex, but are also horrified.  Not unlike the British Office or Extras, it can sometimes be hard to watch.  And it's also all a bit thin.  There are laughs, but not as much wit or depth as we might have hoped.

Merchant was excellent as Ricky Gervais' useless agent in Extras, but it's not clear if he can carry the whole show himself.  Perhaps if he were given a second season Hello Ladies would improve, but I'm not counting on it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed. Too much cringe and not enough fun. He's (or this incarnation) a great supporting character but too much is hard to endure

7:31 AM, November 17, 2013  

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