HBO presents a new comedy series from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant (The Office, HBO’s Extras and The Ricky Gervais Show) and starring actor Warwick Davis (Willow, the Harry Potter and Star Wars films), who portrays a conceited, self-aggrandizing version of himself. In Life’s Too Short, Davis’ character is an actor desperately trying to jumpstart his waning career and maintain his status as Britain’s go-to little person. He runs a talent agency for fellow showbiz little people called “Dwarves for Hire” (though he often takes the best roles for himself); is the vice chairman of a society for small people (he’d rather be chairman); and seeks advice from old pals Gervais and Merchant (also playing versions of themselves) in hopes that their A-list celebrity connections will aid his career. Shot faux-documentary style, the seven Season 1 episodes of Life’s Too Short include cameos by Liam Neeson, Johnny Depp, Sting, Steve Carell, Helena Bonham Carter, Cat Deeley, and others. A cross between Gervais’ Extras and Curb Your Enthusiasm, Life’s Too Short hilariously charts Davis’ every move as he tries to maintain his pride and self-respect in a series of uncomfortable, often-humiliating situations.
Fans of Ricky Gervais (British and American versions of The Office and of Extras) as well as fans of the great character actor Warwick Davis (the Harry Potter films) will find a lot to love in Life's Too Short. It's hilarious, crass, politically incorrect, and compulsively watchable. Davis plays a thinly disguised version of himself, an approaching-middle-age English actor who has made a big name for himself in little-person film and TV roles. The premise of Life's Too Short is that Davis's character--also named Warwick Davis--is now finding it hard to land roles. What does he have to do to get noticed or cast? Apparently there's no stunt he's not willing to pull, no level to which he's not willing to stoop. And if you think that lends itself to a lot of short jokes, you'd be right. Davis seems to be having a grand time in some truly cringe-worthy scenes (in one, he is discovered standing in a toilet by none other than Johnny Depp, who's seeming to channel his wastrel role as Captain Jack Sparrow. The other cameo appearances are delightful too, including Helena Bonham Carter, Sting, Steve Carell, and many more. If Gervais's patented "oh no he didn't just say that" brand of humor is your cup of tea, Life's Too Short for you to miss out on this hilarious series. --A.T. Hurley