I’m a big fan of movies and TV, and I have certain movies and shows in particular that help me to get out the feels that are hard to get out sometimes because I have to be the strong one, pretty much all the time (“tough girl” personality, two dogs, too much going on, not many friends to really lean hard on, and I live away from a small family). If you’re in my position, or just want to experience something that really mirrors the emotional experience of these forums and the experiences of so many here in order to help you get those feels out, you need to watch Derek.
Derek is a show created by Ricky Gervais, and if you’re a fan, you may be a little disappointed at the concept but you need to give it a try. If you’re not a fan, you need to give it a try. It’s not typical Ricky Gervais. Gervais plays a mentally challenged man who works in a nursing home. He has friends who work there (Karl Pilkington plays the handyman) and he participates with the residents in their activities, hangs out with them, and generally just lives life. He has a crush on the nursing home manager. He likes frogs. Gervais plays Derek with an amazing amount of deftness and respect for the character he’s playing, this is not a make-fun-of-the-slow-guy show in any way, shape or form.
The show is about kindness. In the show, people come and go, they live and they die. Life in the nursing home is not sugar coated in this show. Their entertainment is decidedly home-made. Money is tight. The challenges that the nursing home manager has are all laid out before you. There are some outright hilarious scenes, there are scenes that will make you cheer, and there are some scenes that will make you bawl your eyes out. There is an abundance of hope and and an abundance of sadness, but the theme of kindness flows through it all. This is the secret of the show.
Every time I come on this website, I feel like I’m watching Derek. The parallels are apparent. You see the same hopes and sadnesses, the same struggles with everyday life that is changed and has in many ways become limiting. Derek himself is limited, yet he lives his life to the fullest, and this is another theme you see over and over on this website (Cora, I’m talkin’ to you, girl). You also see kindness. Everywhere. And it’s glorious.
I’m too embedded in life with Dieter sometimes for me to see the big picture. This website helps, and so does watching Derek. I highly recommend you give it a try. It’s on Netflix, there is only one season, and there are only 7 half-hour shows, so it’s easy to get a sample or binge watch the whole season in 3-1/2 hours if you want.
If you watch it and it helps you or you just like it, leave a comment; I’d love to hear your thoughts.