February 20, 2012

TV Review: HBO's "Life's Too Short"


The show follows real life actor, Warwick Davis, who has starred in Star Wars and Willow. It is written and produced by the master, Mr. Ricky Gervais himself. Warwick peaked as an actor and now the gigs aren't coming in as often as they used to. This is something all actors struggle with but Davis and Gervais give it a fresh perspective by focusing on the life of a dwarf actor. Warwick says he's doing a documentary about himself because he wants people to "see a sophisticated dwarf walking about town" but he's really doing it to help his career. He views Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant (who play themselves) as "friends" but they honestly can't stand him. It is the Ricky Gervais touch of creating an ego maniac character who is out of touch with reality.

Many big stars come through, including Liam Neeson on the first episode. Liam who is known for his roles in movies like Schindler's List claims he got the role because he makes lists (omg I was dying!). Ricky also peppers in some former cast mates from his British comedies, such as The Extras, with Stephen Brody playing Warwick's idiot accountant. The next episode is the much hyped about Johnny Depp episode, which I'm quite excited about!

One small (no pun intended) feature I very much appreciated as someone who is 4 feet tall is that they shot Mr. Davis (who is 3'6") at his height level. Most TV shows focused on little people, such as Little People, Big World on TLC typically have 6 feet tall cameramen pointing the camera down and most is shot from their height perspective. However, while Warwick is showing us around his home or walking down the street, the camera shots are not tilted but rather are at his level and come up when an average height person is in the room.

I also appreciated that Mr. Davis is not featured on the show to simply be laughed at because of his height. Viewers don't know whether to be horrified by his political incorrectness as he compares himself to MLK or laugh at his disillusionment (much like Michael Scott). It is refreshing because shows like Chelsea Lately or The Man Show only featured a little person for audiences to laugh because the actors hardly have any speaking role so you know it's not for their jokes. Coming at the heels of a controversy with Rosie O'Donnell saying she didn't know how to accept little people because they are so odd looking to her (yet she wants people to accept her lifestyle choices...),  Life's Too Short finally shines a light that little people are good actors even when they aren't dressed as leprechauns.

I hope HBO doesn't cancel the show too soon and suffer the same fate as "Bored to Death." Tune in at 10:30 pm on Sundays!

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4 comments:

  1. i really like that this show is shot at the main character's perspective. that should definitely make it very interesting and make the show stand out from other shows like Little People, Big World like you mentioned. i actually had not heard of this show (and i have HBO) until this post, so thanks!

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    1. It was originally on BCC, but hope you tune in :)

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  2. I haven't seen it, but it's had atrocious reviews in the UK, and was almost universally described as pretty offensive to dwarfs, as if being short was funny in itself. It's also done really badly ratings wise. Interesting that you see it differently!

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    1. Well from the article you read, I think it was his Twitter comments not the show. I've read good things from the LPA organization :)

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