HBO presents Life's Too Short, a new comedy series from executive producers Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant (The Office, HBO's Extras and The Ricky Gervais Show) and starring Warwick Davis as a self-aggrandizing version of himself desperately trying to jumpstart his waning acting career. Seeking advice from old pals Gervais and Merchant, Davis struggles to maintain his status as Britain's go-to little person. With cameos by Liam Neeson, Johnny Depp, Sting, Steve Carell, Helena Bonham Carter, Cat Deeley, and others, Life's Too Short hilariously charts Davis's every move as he tries to maintain his pride in a series of uncomfortable, often humiliating situations.
I remember loving Willow when I saw it in theatres as a kid, and one of my parents told me that he was also "Wicket," the Ewok. I can't say I've followed Davis' career over the years, but I certainly know who he is, and I was eager to watch this show. I expected it to be hilarious, given Ricky Gervais is attached to it.
This 2-disc set includes all 7 episodes from the first season of this fake documentary series:
Life's Too Short is presented in Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1), and looks quite good on DVD. It's obviously shot using HD cameras, and while the picture looks really nice, there are still a few problems with it. There's some noise in the picture, though it's rather slight, but I also found the black levels to be a bit off; I'd describe the blacks as more of a dark grey. HBO has placed chapters after the opening of the episode to allow you to easily skip it, and there's a "play all" on both discs.
While Life's Too Short sounds good with its Dolby Digital 5.1 track, it's probably not the best use of the audio format. While there's lots of action in the front speakers, the rears are rarely used, relegated to the odd ambient sound. It's not very noticeable at all. There's also a French 5.1 track, and Spanish 2.0 track, as well as subtitles in English, French and Spanish.
The Making of "Life's Too Short" (27:48)
A nice documentary on the creation of the show. There were a bit too many scenes from the show for my liking (I just watched the show, I know what happened in it).
Deleted Scenes (10:23)
A bunch of deleted scenes from the show.
Some great stuff here.
There are 10 pieces of video in the behind-the-scenes area. You can play them individually, or using the "play all."
I really enjoyed this show, but it certainly reminds me of The Office in the way the scenes are painful, yet funny. Gervais is a master at the awkward scene; we want to laugh, but we're not sure if we should because while what's on the screen is funny in the situation, it's not funny for the main character. I love that he's able to provide these moments that make us laugh, yet also think about why we're laughing. He's a brillant writer. I also love that someone can play themselves in a manner that isn't really them. Basically everyone that's in this show as themselves isn't really playing themselves (though I wonder about Johnny Depp). It's really an excellent fake-documentary.
My only disappointment with this set comes from a lack of a commentary track. I would have loved to hear Gervais, Merchant and Davis talking more about the show, even if it was just Gervais laughing his way through most of the track (I find his laugh extremely infectious).
If you're a fan of Gervais, or Davis, or just want to laugh at awkward situations, this is definitely a set to own.