Ricky Gervais: SuperNature Special Review: A Brutal Commentary on Post-Modern Society – In the first episode of ‘SuperNature,’ Ricky Gervais gives the audience a crash education in irony. He assures them there will be snippets of it throughout the special and challenges them to find it. The instructions aren’t just for those in the audience in the auditorium with him; they also apply to those of us watching from the comfort of our own homes.
After ‘Humanity,’ Gervais’ second Netflix special is also possibly the most divisive of his career. Given who he is and the style of comedy he has produced over the years, that’s saying a lot. In ‘SuperNature,’ Gervais dives into numerous aspects of human existence and exposes today’s culture’s underlying hypocrisy.
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— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) May 29, 2022
‘SuperNature‘ isn’t a difficult routine, but it’s also not easy. Gervais is undoubtedly the most daring comic working today, and he believes in doing stand-up comedy that is always unconventional. In the special, he tackles everything from child abuse to paedophilia to religion to death and bereavement to trans activism, obesity, AIDS, and cancer. Because you probably consider one or more of the aforementioned items precious, the comedy will test you fundamentally. And sacrosanct is an insane term in Ricky Gervais’ world.
Gervais is philosophically contemplative when he discusses the special’s title. His paintings have always included themes of religion and the supernatural. He co-wrote, co-directed, and starred in the 2009 film ‘The Invention of Lying,’ which is still considered one of the best films about faith and religion. He talks about the wonder of human life and how delicate it is in ‘SuperNature.’ For the past 13, 14 billion years, the Universe has existed.
According to Gervais, if we’re lucky, we’ll live for another 80 to 90 years. He encourages his audience to take advantage of it to the fullest. During these segments, it does get preachy. Faith is unconcerned with facts; it exists anyway. That is why trust is required. It’s not as though Gervais is unaware of the situation. His religious jokes are becoming monotonous and repetitious at this point.
There’s also the problem of crude comedy. I’m all for using profanity to make people laugh. However, Gervais frequently becomes overly reliant on it in this special. Don’t get me wrong: the jokes are still humorous, but they fall short of the expectations set by their setups.
These issues are the outcome of creative judgments, and they are easily disregarded. However, they are hardly the show’s most serious flaws. Gervais laughs at his own jokes throughout the special, especially at the conclusion, sometimes even before delivering them. It feels jarring and out of place when this happens. It makes you wonder if this is Gervais’ first time delivering these gags.
#SuperNature was only released this week, but thanks to you, @Netflix have ordered my next show #Armageddon already! The animal charities thank you too. You are beautiful ❤️ pic.twitter.com/FZ9HKgwkjB
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) May 27, 2022
Aside from the aforementioned slight flaws, ‘SuperNature’ is a pleasant journey, masterfully conceived and performed by one of the industry’s greatest. While the jokes can be brutal, what follows the punchline is frequently incredibly moving. The joke about his friend’s dead grandmother is my favourite part of the entire special.
It’s shamelessly humorous and family-friendly, which is a rare combo these days. The punchline hits you like a freight train, even if you figure out where the joke is going or have seen it before. Because it lives as an island in a sea of tragedy, the humour here is all the more striking. When you hear Gervais’ friend laugh when he hears the joke, you know it’s time to switch from shocked laughter to genuine laughter.
Gervais has been doing this for a long time and knows how to manipulate his audience. On the spur of the moment, he makes us laugh, cry, be surprised, and be offended for an hour and four minutes. Although there are some flaws in the special, the pleasant aspects far outweigh them.
Furthermore, it has significance in its favour, for better or worse. ‘SuperNature‘ is a scathing critique of modern society. It critiques people on both sides of the political spectrum, but Gervais does not take a completely cynical attitude.
Stream ‘Ricky Gervais: SuperNature Special’ episode on Netflix with subscription.