Here's the first in a new series of in-depth discussions on a variety of subjects relating to humanity's greatest endeavors.
Around the table, Ricky Gervais, Steve Merchant, and the glabrous luminary Karl Pilkington.
In this episode, MEDICINE, we explore the treatment of human ailments through history - from trepanation (or 'oles in the 'ed) in early tribal societies right through to the possible, if improbable, future of medical technology.
Ricky Steve and Karl offer a uniquely ill-informed appraisal, from medicine's superstitious roots in shamanism, the beginnings of empiricism and on to today's holistic ideal.
Areas of discussion include the dangers of leaving yoghurt pots in fridges; how over-enthusiastic janitors can stifle scientific progress; how hygiene impacts on immunity; Karl's ideas on empathic diagnosis; fruit-based contraception; the risks of eye surgery; the politics of treating obesity; conjugal care-workers; geriatric clinical trials; Karl's take on palliative care; and the inevitable anal-probing....
©Ricky Gervais,(P)2008 Ricky Gervais
Lord of petty electronics
Quality has varied since the first, stupendously funny Ricky Gervais show podcasted 13 free episodes. Only the most desperate fans (like me) were happy with Season 5, although it was at least better than the terrible Season 2.
This installment (call it Season 6, part 1?) is good, and makes me suspect that the upcoming installments in this series on other topics will be equally good stuff.
If you are new to the Ricky Gervais show, do NOT start with this one. You can pick up the complete Season 1 on Audible for a very reasonable price and it is well worth it, plus you get context that makes later stuff funnier.
About halfway through the second series of podcasts it felt like the guys were just phoning it in. It was really dull to listen to with the fourth series but with this focused outing they are back in classic form. With the exception of vastly increased profanity from Ricky this is awesome.
Funny, entertaining, unexpected
A little crass. The ignorance of these regular guys is very entertaining. I wish it had been two or three times longer.
This series of discussions makes me laugh out loud no matter where I am. I sometimes feel a little sorry for Karl, but he holds his own for the most part. While he's a little out there, I sometimes find myself thinking, wow, what an interesting way to look at things. I'm sure this series was put together to share Karl's strange take on life with the rest of the world, but I feel that Ricky sometimes forgets that. He often verbally attacks Karl for being an idiot. But Steve brings balance to the situation by insisting that he is interested to hear what Karl has to say. I love the dynamic between the three of them.
I'm a huge fan of Ricky Gervais's shows and stand-up. Since the "Guide to..." series has 4+ stars on Audible, I was sure I'd like it. Unfortunately, it's really disappointing. One problem is that there just aren't that many funny moments compared to the length of the recordings. A bigger problem is that it's mean spirited. The recordings are conversations between Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and Karl Pilkington. When Pilkington says something weird or dumb, Gervais and Merchant don't just needle him good-naturedly about it. Instead they say really rude things. The recordings are like listening to two guys tell another guy "you're stupid" and "you're an idiot" over and over. A third problem is that, even though Pilkington sometimes says bizarre things, a lot of what he says isn't a dumb as Gervais and Merchant say it is. Instead they come off like two school bullies who are determined to pick on the little guy no matter what. An example: on the "Medicine" recording, when Gervais and his crew are having a discussion about sci-fi medical techniques, Pilkington says it would be nice to have a device that would allow doctors to experience their patients' feelings. Gervais asks why. Quite sensibly, Pilkington says that sometimes people get used to their aches and pains and don't report these as symptoms of a problem, even though the doctors should know about them. Gervais and Merchant can't seem to grasp this simple point. Instead they start doing their bully act, just saying over and over that Pilkington is stupid.
Since my review is just one among many, and since the series has 4+ stars, the Gervais fans will probably download this anyway. At the very least, I suggest buying only one of the series at a time. You can listen to it and make sure it doesn't repulse you the way it repulsed me.
I've always had a 'garden variety' taste in humor, and I'm easy to laugh, but this material wasn't funny to me. Perhaps I could've related to their style of humor if seen on tv/dvd; or, if I'd had a british perspective this material might have been funny. I could barely crack a smile on this stuff!
Do you have a friend that laughs at his own unfunny jokes? This is like spending an hour with three of those guys. There is nothing insightful or funny about the takes on medicine.
Report Inappropriate Content