Aroview: Gervais' self-proclaimed "difficult second album" is a more conventional but no less assured comedy success recalling the misadventures of Andy Millman, a struggling actor-cum-professional extra whose stunted career path intersects with a variety of big name celebrities.
Unlike the cringe-worthiness of THE OFFICE's David Brent, Gervais is unusually affable as down-on-his-luck Andy. Eschewing the trainwreck persona further, he gives his character an affectionate best friend - the ditzy but adorable Maggie (Ashley Jensen), potential love interest and showbiz partner-in-crime. Creative half Stephen Merchant plays Andy's ridiculously inept manager, but it's Gervais who surprises most in an endearing and wholly likeable role. Unexpectedly, it is the show's celebrity guests who appear to relish most the opportunity at self-deprecation.