I know I don’t usually write much on this blog, and it is usually just for silly online nonsense, but tonight I am feeling verbose, so I decided to talk. To understand why, first you have to understand a little about me.
I know you may care nothing about me, but to understand this post, you must first understand one thing. I am a high functioning autistic, no, that is not what this post is about. But part of my autism is my severe anxiety issues. I try to avoid the news when it involves really bad things. Murder, children being hurt, genocide, etc. It all sends me into an anxiety attack. So when it comes to movies or TV shows I have to avoid crime dramas, or anything with realistic violence. As of late I have had to stick to comedy because even non violent drama will kick off severe depression.
That being said, I recently came across the saddest and happiest show I have found in a long time. Netflix, as you may know has started making their own shows, but even with Arrested Development, I have had to avoid most because the sadness will mess with me. But recently I saw they made a new show called “Derek”. This Ricky Gervais creation can be viewed a few ways. The best way to describe it is The Office, at a nursing home. It follows a similar premis. For some unspoken reason a camera crew is observing a group of people, and centers around a man named Derek. This possibly autistic man is surrounded by the elderly at the end of their lives, and coworkers who are stuck in dead end lives. This is the sad part. But he always sees the best in all of it.
So far I have watched half the series. Each episode has a heart wrenching, depressing premise. I’m not doing a good job of selling this yet, am I. But the good part is to come. No matter how depressing and upsetting the show may be, at the end, Derek shows us a happy ending, and why all those hard parts of life are not only good, but make us better people. From what I know of him, Gervais is kind of an asshole, but it is from his mind we find this inspiring and heartwarming series. So I have to wonder, can I really see him in this two dimensional celeb spotlight I have observed, or is he maybe a complex living and breathing human being as the rest of us? I have to admit, I have not seen a single episode of this show without shedding a tear, but at the same time, I have had just as many, if not more smiles because of it. So give it a shot, and please, leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Because if someone with my emotional problems can enjoy it and feel like a better person, maybe there is hope for the entertainment world after all. The key here is the show doesn’t focus on what is wrong with Derek, there is no diagnosis and “let’s feel sorry for him.”. In fact, just the opposite. It makes us realse not what is wrong with him, but what is wrong with the rest of us. And that is a lesson I hope the world can take away from a simple comedy internet show.