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Writer, actor, and, above all, stand-up comedian extraordinaire, Ricky Gervais, created, wrote, and directed Extras together with Stephan Merchant, who both play the male leads. Deviating from the hallmark The Office mockumentary style towards a more classic format, but staying with the overall awkwardness, Extras follows two aspiring actors desperately trying to make it in showbiz but never quite surpassing the role of, well, extras. Co-produced by the BBC and HBO, each episode is named after the actual film stars the low-rung actors are working with, including Samuel L. Jackson, Stephen Fry, Kate Winslet, and Patrick Stewart. The first episode finds Ben Stiller directing a genocide movie while endlessly bragging about the success of Dodgeball. Ricky Gervais doesn’t mind breaking taboos, as you well know, but he also has a penchant for pathos and a humanist message. If you like that to go with your awkward comedy, you should definitely give Extras a go.
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