Let’s get this out of the way: The Office is one of my favorite shows ever. Brilliant, touching, hilarious. It really is as good as people say.
Now, that being said: Ohhhhhhhhhhh boy.
BBC Films and Entertainment One announced today that they’ll co-finance and distribute Life on the Road, the long-gestating Ricky Gervais comedy that’ll catch up with his infamous Office character David Brent. Gervais will write, direct and star in the feature-length film.
So what’s Life on the Road about? Here’s the official synopsis (via Collider):
LIFE ON THE ROAD sees a documentary crew catching up with Brent – former star of hit series The Office and now working as a travelling salesman – as he chases his dream of rock stardom by self-financing a UK tour with his band, “Foregone Conclusion”.
Gervais has been talking about making a Brent film for awhile now. The reaction from fans (myself included) has been mixed, to say the least. While many love The Office and Brent, many, many more feel like things ended perfectly for the series. There is no need to catch up with any of these characters because nothing could top how Gervais and Stephen Merchant concluded things. Besides, we’ve already seen Brent struggling as a salesman while trying to be famous. In fact, that was a major part of the final episodes of the show. So it seems Gervais is going back to the well to repeat himself. You can see why so many fans aren’t on board.
Perhaps what most ruffles my feathers here is the absence of Merchant. It’s become apparent to me that Gervais and Merchant work best when they are collaborating. Without Gervais, Merchant gets too cynical, too mean (Hello Ladies). Without Merchant, Gervais gets too saccharine and sappy (Derek). Together they create a perfect mix. A Brent movie written solely by Ricky Gervais is a major risk. Plus, Merchant is co-creator of the character so he should be a part of this. Unless he decided, like others, that it was a bad idea.