The criticism over Ricky Gervais and Optus in the Netflix Australian release promo has Tom Jacobs…confused…isn’t the joke obvious? (READ: he can’t believe anyone could be so dumb and not get it FFS).


If you could get paid for being an arrogant twat, then my new neighbour could move into a much nicer building and leave me alone.

If you could get paid for being an arrogant twat on TV, Optus might ask you to plug Netflix on their behalf in a series of television commercials.

You know Netflix is officially a “thing” when auto-correct is fine with the word. A few days ago the House of Cards on demand inc. company finally reached our shores a gazillion years after everyone else and, as expected, with it comes a series of TV commercials to remind us why we don’t need Pirate Bay any more. With its minimalist approach to set design, most of the commercial’s budget was probably spent on enlisting the services of British comedian Ricky Gervais. He successfully underrates the pretentiousness of the whole affair saying, “I don’t want to put any effort in it. I wanna do it sitting down”.

And it’s funny.

Ricky Gervais is a genius…just ask Ricky Gervais.

That’s what makes him great. When the camera light is blinking he is able to lapse into his amplified arrogant twat persona. But the Optus-produced commercials are, ironically, getting a bad reception, with some Aussie viewers not realising Gervais is just playing his signature David Brent character. What’s even more ridiculous here is that the criticism also appears to be targeting what Gervais is saying, like when he says he was paid a “shedload” of cash for the gig, people get angry. At least he’s being honest (I actually think he is being humble here). It reminds me of when The Simpsons did their “Bart vs Australia” episode and the producers were inundated with complaints from angry Aussies who found the show insulting. What viewers failed to realise is that the humour was mainly derived from self mocking as it dealt with the ignorance of a middle-class American family in a foreign land.

The ignorance of those complaining would be funny too…if it weren’t so sad.

Hopefully we will see more self-parodying commercials take on this minimalist approach (although those “at Lowes!” ads are in desperate need of a budget.), and as Gervais’s shed becomes more bloated (I’m picturing it to look like Scrooge McDuck’s money bin now), so too will his inbox with angry letters from people who just can’t take a joke.

Or worse — people who don’t know when a joke is being made.


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