Almost every Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant project has been on this blog at this point, so I will continue the tradition. As a Harry Potter fan, I love Warwick Davis, and I was really excited to hear about this series.
This show is a lot like Extras. The format is similar, the main character is very similar. Instead of Ricky being the protagonist, Warwick (pronounced Warrick, apparently) plays him. He plays a warped and completely egotistical version of himself. Just like in real life, the Warwick from LTS is a famous dwarf actor, and he also runs a talent agency for little actors. Unlike real life (at least, I assume), he’s kind of a dick. He always wants to seem more famous than he is, more attractive than he is, more everything than he is. The irony of the show’s premise is that it’s not his dwarfism that makes him insecure or unlikeable in any way. It’s his personality, his insecurity that makes him so ridiculous. The Warwick from LTS is facing huge tax fees because his completely idiotic accountant has been doing his taxes wrong for years. As a result, he is strapped for cash. He is also, simultaneously, going through a messy divorce. Ricky and Stephen are featured usually once per episode as Warwick comes to visit them to try to get work, advice, or even a loan.
Just like Extras, LTS features a TON of celebrities playing themselves–1 or 2 per week, typically. The very first episode features Liam Neeson who tells Ricky & Steve that he wants to get into comedy. What proceeds is too hilarious for words.
Other celebs include Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Steve Carrell, Sting, and a lot of British celebrities I’m not that familiar with.
Also similar to Extras, Warwick is surrounded by idiots. He has the dumbest assistant in the entire world, and, similar to Stephen’s character in Extras, Warwick has an accountant that is his only friend and also a complete moron. On one hand, you know that Warwick is smarter than these people, but on the other hand, he is such an asshole that you know these are the people he deserves to be with.
It’s a very physical sort of humor in this show. Sometimes you don’t want to laugh, because of a sort of PC sense of guilt, but then you realize that Warwick (as a producer) wants you to laugh…and you cant really stop yourself anyway. When Warwick is descending from his large SUV and falls, you’re not laughing at a small person in a large car. You find yourself laughing at the ludicrousness of a small person feeling so insecure that only a large car will make them feel good enough. Here’s an example:
It’s a hilarious show, and made me really really love Warwick Davis (even more than I did). My only complaint is that it is sort of following the Ricky & Steve formula at this point; the similarities to Extras are almost too much. I just sort of wanted something different. But, maybe this is because I just rewatched Extras. After all, it’s been 7 years since that show was on TV, and since then, Ricky and Steve have done An Idiot Abroad and The Ricky Gervais Show, a few movies and comedy specials, etc. And those were all very different from one another. So it’s excusable. And, most importantly, it’s funny.