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'Extras - The Extra Special Series Finale'
(Ricky Gervais, et al / DVD / NR / (2007) 2008 / HBO Home Video)

Overview: Gervais reprises his Emmy-winning role as Andy Millman the one time extra and current sitcom star whose breakthrough show When the Whistle Blows remains a popular (if critically panned) part of British TV culture. Chafing from three seasons worth of recycled plotlines and catchphrases Andy wants more than ever to break out of his TV stereotype and is willing to do anything including maybe even pulling the plug on his hit show to do it. But does Andy have the talent and savvy it takes to get his wish: to be both respected and famous?

DVD Verdict: The series finale to 'Extras' was excellent on a number of levels. Enormously funny in places, very sad in others, people all over seemed to get what they deserved (what Plato might call "achieving justice by being where you belong." Gervais' character becomes enlightened, though it's unclear, right at the end, that this will make for a "happily ever after" life. I think the finale makes the most sense only after having seen the entire two year series.

First, it is incredibly sad at points and you feel sorry for the characters that Andy is abusive towards as his sitcom stardom seemingly goes to his head and he forgets where he came from. Without trying to give too much away the show starts off on a rather sad trajectory as characters we've come to know and laugh with are saddened by his antics.

Regardless of the melancholy opening there are still some good bits and laughs including a funny cameo by George Michael poking fun at himself. In the end justice is served and friendship restored.

If you've seen the first two seasons and loved them (I don't know a single soul who didn't), then you're in for a treat. The laughs keep coming all-the-way to the sweet and endearing end. It's too bad this show's done, but Ricky and Stephen know the importance of ending their series before they grow stale. Don't bother renting, just buy it! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.66:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, but does not come with any Special Features ... unfortunately.

www.HBO.com





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