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Life's too short (HBO) - Series Premiere: Synopsis and Review

Updated on May 6, 2013

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‘Life’s Too Short’ is a BBC series that premiered on HBO on February 19th at 10/9c. The show is a fake documentary about the showbiz life of Warwick Davis (‘Harry Potter’). The show is written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant (both ‘The Office’), and stars Warwick Davis, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Rosamund Hanson (‘This Is England’), Jo Enright and many others, with guest performances of, for instance, Johnny Depp. The documentary revolves mainly around Warwick Davis and the situations he gets in as a small person and as a no longer popular actor. He is however not quite aware of his ever decreasing popularity, although he does notice his career has hit a rough patch. He has some money issues and he will do almost anything to earn a few pounds, like running a talent agency for little people.

Usually I really like the work of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, so I was expecting quite a lot from this show. I got disappointed however. I like the setup of the show; the mockumentary style description of Warwick Davis’ life could have been quite amusing. However, I found this show to be quite dull. There’s no other way to put it.

Warwick Davis with some old Ewoks friends
Warwick Davis with some old Ewoks friends | Source

In all fairness, Davis is really good at pretending to be a conceited ‘showbiz dwarf’, as they call it. Also, it’s not that the situations themselves are dull, it’s just the combination of it all. On the one hand, there’s Davis, the overly arrogant man who considers himself to be a great Hollywood actor. On the other hand, there are these everyday situations and problems like bad accountants and Davis not being able to reach a doorbell. The two just don’t fit together. Either Davis is too extreme, or the situations just aren’t extreme enough. The series could have been a lot funnier if the two had fit together better. In fact, even the appearance of Johnny Depp in the second episode of the first season couldn’t lift me up, which says a lot. Still, if you just want to be kept busy for a little while, with the occasional laugh, this could be what you’re looking for. For me, the only time I really laughed was when Rosamund Hanson was in the picture, just being the way she is.

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