The first season of Ricky Gervais’s post-Office series Extras, in which he played chronically underemployed actor Andy Millman, was insufficiently appreciated because, well, it wasn’t The Office. And because it consisted of only six episodes. But also, we suppose, because it was easy to write off as yet another navel-gazing entertainment show about the entertainment industry.
But Extras’ subtle, deadpan genius is going to be a lot harder to ignore this time around, as its second season starts airing on HBO (Sunday, 1/14). The show’s been supercharged, with Gervais’s Millman creating and starring in a (lousy) sitcom-within-the-sitcom.
And Extras continues its tradition of featured guest stars playing awful versions of themselves, including a vainglorious Orlando Bloom (“Obviously I am objectively really good-looking”), a doltish Sir Ian McKellen (who gives a triumphantly idiotic explanation of his acting technique), a staggeringly cruel David Bowie (we previewed his scene last September), and a pervy Daniel (Harry Potter) Radcliffe.
When you get right down to it, everybody surrounding poor Andy Millman is a boor and/or a freaking idiot — which makes Extras the most deliciously engrossing workplace comedy since… The Office.
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