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Published at: Jan. 17, 2013, 2 a.m. CST

 Herc’s Popular Pricing Pantry 


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New This Week


“Life's Too Short,” like the BBC’s “The Office” and “Extras” before it, is the brainchild of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, and it’s a lot like “The Office” and “Extras” – only with 3’6” British actor Warwick Davis in what you’d call the Ricky Gervais role. Nothing I’ve ever seen Davis perform (including his role in “Extras”) even hints at what an adept comic actor he is.

“Short” centers on a vain, vindictive, dim, deluded, boorish and generally unpleasant version of Davis, who in real life played the title roles in “Willow” and “Leprechaun” and has since played a variety of parts in the “Harry Potter” movies.

I like a lot of “Short,” though it’s sometimes sillier than it is funny and on occasion wanders down some paths that don’t yield a lot of laughs.

Like “Extras,” the new series is swimming in celebrity cameos.

There’s a strange first-episode scene with Liam Neeson (playing a loony version of himself) seeking comedy advice from Gervais that builds slowly but proves inspired and hilarious. It also feels like it snuck in from another show.

An extended (and largely improvised?) sequence in episode two with Johnny Depp (playing a loony version of himself) doing research on dwarf behavior quickly grows tedious.

But if you’re reading this you really do owe it to yourself to click on that Neeson clip.

HuffPost TV says:

... There's something sour and awful about Ricky Gervais' comedy these days. He used to be a sly, cheeky observer of human behavior, but his current status as a smug, self-absorbed blowhard finds its clearest expression in his new HBO show … Gervais may think he's bold, but at this stage, he's just a bore.

HitFix says:

... In this case, I wish [Gervais and Merchant] had stuck to their initial impulse of four years ago and decided not to repeat themselves.

Time says:

... the real problem here: we’ve seen this before ... the problem with the humor of discomfort, which Gervais pioneered with distinction, is that it doesn’t last long when it becomes a comfort zone. …

The New York Times says:

... The show’s Warwick is the same inconsiderate jackass but without the prissiness or the lumpen quality that sometimes makes Mr. Gervais’s performances grating. ...

The Los Angeles Times says:

... If Gervais still wants to satirize his chosen field, he needs to figure out another way. ...

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

... it's a little too familiar. … The show conjures the most laughs when Mr. Gervais is on screen, but his presence doesn't mesh naturally with Warwick's world. …

The Washington Post says:

… almost everything about “Life’s Too Short” somehow echoes pieces of all of Gervais’s previous TV work, which makes this show seem particularly limp. … Like “Extras,” the show leans too heavily on celebrity cameos, where even the funniest lines barely encourage a smirk. …

The San Francisco Chronicle says:

… it takes a very big man to laugh at himself, and a very good actor to get us laughing along with him as well.

The Boston Herald says:

... Life may be short, but this comedy is not long enough. …

USA Today says:

... perhaps its most impressive aspect is the nonstop guest appearances. ...

The Hollywood Reporter says:

... looks, after three episodes, to be another vein of gold for Gervais and Merchant. ...

Variety says:

… the concept finally disappoints -- feeling too precious and derivative for its own good. …

TV-on-Disc Calendar

Last Week
Anger Management 1.x
Anger Management 1.x (Blu-ray)
Archer 3.x
Archer 3.x (Blu-ray)
Buck Rogers 2.x
Dallas (TNT) 1.x
Dance Moms 2.x
Darth Maul Returns
Dinotopia & Journey to the Center of the Earth
Doctor Who: Shada
Enlightened 1.x
Enlightened 1.x (Blu-ray)
Episodes 1.x/2.x
Fury: The Lost Episodes
Game Change
Game Change (Blu-ray)
The Goode Family: The Complete Series
Hearts Afire: The Complete Series
The Hour 2.x
The Hour 2.x (Blu-ray)
An Idiot Abroad 2.x
Midsomer Murders Vol. 21
Naked City: 40 Best
Red Dwarf 10.x
Red Dwarf 10.x (Blu-ray)
Smash 1.x
3rd Rock From The Sun 5.x ($6.99)
3rd Rock From The Sun 6.x ($6.99)
Tiny Toon Adventures Vol. 3
VR Troopers 1.x Vol. 2

This Week


Amazing World of Gumball: The Mystery


Being Human 4.x


Being Human 4.x (Blu-ray)


Ghost Hunters Academy: The Complete Series


House of Cards: Complete Trilogy


House of Cards: Complete Trilogy (Blu-ray)


Jackson Five: The Complete Series


Jackson Five: The Complete Series (Blu-ray)


Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 1997


Life's Too Short 1.x


The Littlest Pet Shop: Little Pets, Big Adventures


Men Of A Certain Age 2.x


Merlin 4.x


Merlin 4.x (Blu-ray)


NYC 22: The Complete Series NEW!!


Perry Mason 8.x Vol. 2


Power Rangers Samurai 1.x Vol. 3


Power Rangers Super Samurai 2.x Vol. 3


Rob!: The Complete Series NEW!!


Spongebob Squarepants: Extreme Kah-Rah-Tay


Twenty Twelve: The Complete Series


VR Troopers 1.x Vol. 2


Waking The Dead 7.x

Next Week
Iron Man Armored Adventures 2.x Vol. 3
Kendra 4.x
The Men Who Built America: The Complete Miniseries
The Men Who Built America: The Complete Miniseries (Blu-ray)
The Scarecrow and Mrs. King 4.x
Spy 1.x NEW!!


Young Justice 2.x Vol. 1

January 29
Downton Abbey 3.x


Downton Abbey 3.x (Blu-ray)
Femme Fatales 1.x
Misfits 2.x


Pan Am: The Complete Series
Partners in Crime: Tommy & Tuppence Mysteries
Poirot & Marple: Fan Favorites
Wodehouse Playhouse: Complete Collection

February 5
Above Suspicion Vol. 2
Animaniacs Vol. 4
Avenging Spider-Man
Ben 10: Omniverse - A New Beginning Vol. 1


Cougar Town 3.x
Gunsmoke 7.x Vol. 2
Gunsmoke: 7-Season Pack
H2O: Just Add Water 3.x
Remodeled 1.x
R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour Vol. 3
R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour Vol. 4
Southland 2.x/3.x/4.x
Testimony of Two Men: The Complete Miniseries
The Virginian 7.x


Wagon Train 6.x NEW!!

February 12
Big Bad Beetleborgs 1.x Vol. 2
Bonanza 5.x


Doctor Who: Reign of Terror
Family Matters 3.x
Gossip Girl 6.x
Gossip Girl: The Complete Series
The Hardy Boys 3.x
Loretta Young: 100th Birthday Edition - Best Of
Matlock 8.x
Nurse Jackie 4.x
Nurse Jackie 4.x (Blu-ray)
SlugTerra: Return Of The Shane Gang
Storage Wars Vol. 4
Top Gear: 50 Years of Bond Cars
Weeds 8.x


Weeds 8.x (Blu-ray)

February 19
Adventure Time Vol. 4
Alvin & The Chipmunks: Easter Collection


Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes Vol. 6
The Awesome Adventures of Johnny Test - 10 Episodes
Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome


Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome (Blu-ray)
Beverly Hills Teens - Volume 1
Carol Burnett Show: This Time Together
Duck Dodgers 1.x
Game of Thrones 2.x


Game of Thrones 2.x (Blu-ray)
Jayce & The Wheeled Warriors - Volume 2
The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams 2.x
Naked City: 20 Episodes


The Six Million Dollar Man 3.x
Street Sharks: The Complete Series
Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad - Volume 1
Swamp People 3.x
Top Gear 2.x


Wacky World of Tex Avery - Volume 1

February 26


Carol Burnett Show: This Time Together NEW!!


The Client List 1.x
First Performances: Streisand
Iron Road
Law & Order 12.x
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2.x Vol. 1
Phineas & Ferb: Animal Agents
Rocko's Modern Life: The Complete Series
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rise of the Turtles
West Point

March 5
Care Bears: Totally Sweet Adventures
Dalziel & Pascoe 7.x


Duck Dynasty 2.x Vol. 1
House of Payne Vol. 10


Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu 2.x NEW!!


Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu 2.x (Blu-ray) NEW!!
Peter Gunn 1.x
Power Rangers: Clash of the Red Rangers Movie
Regular Show Party Pack
Rescue Bots: Energize
Tom & Jerry: Pint Sized Pals
Wagon Train 6.x

March 12
Doctor Who: Ark In Space
Doctor Who: The Aztecs
Father Dowling Mysteries 3.x
Father Dowling Mysteries: The Complete Series
Hercules 4.x
Law & Order: Criminal Intent 10.x
Life & Legend of Wyatt Earp 2.x


The Mob Doctor: The Complete Series NEW!!
Pioneers of Television 3.x
Ripper Street
Ripper Street (Blu-ray)
SpongeBob 8.x
Xena 4.x

March 19
Ghost Hunters 8.x Vol. 1
Jersey Shore 6.x
Jersey Shore: The Complete Series
Quincy, M.E. 5.x
Sesame Street: Best of Friends

March 26


The Borgias 2.x NEW!!
The Borgias 2.x (Blu-ray) NEW!!
Carol Burnett Show: This Time Together - Collector's Edition


Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot: The Complete Series
Lee Marvin Presents Lawbreaker
Mad TV 2.x


Mystery Science Theater 3000 XXVI


Star Trek Enterprise 1.x (Blu-ray) NEW!!
Veep 1.x


Veep 1.x (Blu-ray)

April 2


The Aquabats! Super Show! 1.x NEW!!
Route 66 4.x

April 9
The Dick Van Dyke Show 1.x (Blu-ray) NEW!!

April 16
Ben 10 - Destroy All Aliens
Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 1998

April 23
Maverick 2.x NEW!!
The Restless Gun: The Complete Series

May 21
Perception 1.x

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