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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 September 2005, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
US critics praise Gervais' Extras
US poster for Extras
Extras premiered on Sunday on US cable channel HBO
Extras, Ricky Gervais' follow-up to hit sitcom The Office, has received a warm response from critics in America.

Variety called the programme "genuinely clever throughout", while Newsday said it was "hugely entertaining".

The six-part comedy made its US debut on the HBO channel on Sunday night in a double bill with Curb Your Enthusiasm.

But where the UK run started with an episode featuring Hollywood star Ben Stiller, the US series began with the show featuring Britain's Kate Winslet.

Not every American reviewer was won over, with the Miami Herald describing it as "droll and slow-moving".

However, as the following excerpts suggest, the general response was a positive one, further boosting Gervais' profile across the Atlantic.

LOS ANGELES TIMES - ROBERT LLOYD

Extras is at once more modest and more ambitious than The Office, more focused on detail and yet more expansive.

It is also excruciatingly funny, with an emphasis on excruciating.

Ashley Jensen's performance as Maggie is astonishingly deep and true; you can hardly believe it's on a sitcom.

But the series itself is deeper than you expect.

NEWSDAY - VERNE GAY

Starring Ricky Gervais as an extra with larger ambitions, Extras is hugely entertaining.

The Office czar's new show is hilarious and officially forms the back end of the best new comedy block on television.

It perfectly clarifies why Gervais is one of television's most sought-after talents.

A personal guarantee: This show gets better and better.

VARIETY - BRIAN LOWRY

Drenched in mortifying moments courtesy of The Office creators Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, Extras is a painfully funny tribute to wannabes everywhere.

Gervais and Merchant excel at capturing scenes of quiet discomfort as well as palpable desperation in the face of near-constant rejection.

Although perhaps too dry to be everyone's cup of tea, Extras remains genuinely clever throughout.

For those with a taste for Gervais' brand of comedy, that alone should be cause for enthusiasm that's difficult to curb.

NEW YORK TIMES - ALESSANDRA STANLEY

The BBC-made comedy Extras is a worthy and exhilarating companion to Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Building on the loathsome boss he played on The Office, Ricky Gervais has created another character who is self-centred, tactless and impossible not to like.

Extras is as British as Marmite or warm beer.

The humour is cold-blooded and unsqueamish, revelling in boorish behaviour and cringing embarrassment.



SEE ALSO:
Gervais poised for Hollywood role
24 Aug 05 |  Entertainment
Second series of Extras planned
17 Aug 05 |  Entertainment
Gervais sitcom is ratings success
25 Jul 05 |  Entertainment
Gervais sitcom to be shown in US
27 Apr 05 |  Entertainment


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