Monday, December 13, 2010

Gervais and Merchant bringing their "Idiot" to American TV soon ... bully

Actually, the best thing I could find this morning is the above photo, which is from director Thomas McCarthy's "Win/Win," which is due probably fairly soon in certain corners of the world and is definitely playing next year's Sundance Film Festival.

As you see, the flick stars Paul Giamatti (never a wrong first step) as a struggling attorney who volunteers as a high school wrestling coach and takes on the guardianship of an elderly client in an attempt to save his practice. When the client's teenage grandson runs away from home and turn up at his grandfather's door, Giamatti's coach eventually discovers he has some wrasslin' skills and, well, I suppose something similar to "The Blind Side" will unfold.

Except for in McCarthy's hands it will almost certainly be something much better than that. McCarthy, also an actor who starred on the final season of "The Wire" and also somehow in "2012" (hey, a man's gotta eat, right?), has so far directed the simply sublime "The Visitor" and before that the almost as good "The Station Agent" (and, according to his IMDB biography, at least the pilot episode of HBO's upcoming "Game of Thrones" series, too ... bully.)

So the man knows what he's doing, and he's got the always enjoyable Amy Ryan and Jeffrey Tambor on board for "Win/Win" too, so this is definitely one to keep an eye out for.

And in great news that will benefit American TV viewers much sooner, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant are bringing the worldly adventures of their comic foil, Karl Pilkington, to something called The Science Station, with the debut tentatively set for Jan. 21.

Now, I'm really not that much of a Luddite, though I still don't own a cell phone, and probably never will. I read just about every science article I come across in the New York Times, but until this morning, I really had no idea there was something called the Science Channel, but thankfully I do indeed get it.

So I'll be able to tune for the six-part series "An Idiot Abroad," and certainly will. But what in the world is it?

Well, if you've ever tuned in for one of Gervais and Merchant's podcasts (and if you haven't, certainly check one out), you know that Pilkington is the frequent subject of their abuse as, well, more than a bit of an idiot. It can get pretty brutal at times, but mostly its just very, very funny.

And along with his great "Monkey News," one of Pilkington's most common lines of thought is that he fears anything that isn't familiar, and particularly anything not British. So what do Gervais and Merchant do? Send him around the world, of course, and in particular to several of its wonders, including Chichen Itza in Mexico, Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, the Giza Pyramid Complex in Egypt, the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu in Peru, Petra in Jordan and the Taj Mahal in India, and film the whole thing.

I haven't seen any of what came of all this beyond the trailer below, but I'm betting on very funny, and will definitely be tuning in to find out. And with that rather short report, I have to get ready for what is always about a 10-hour Monday work day. Enjoy the trailer, and have a perfectly nonirritating Monday. Peace out.

No comments: