Ricky Gervais does it again with After Life

I’ve long been a fan of Ricky Gervais ever since David Brent graced our screens back in 2001.

What is most unique about Ricky’s shows is that he champions the ordinary and the unseen. In The Office, it was the awkward middle manager who had cringeworthy people skills. In Derek, it was the intellectually-challenged volunteer at an old people’s home. And now we have After Life, the story of Tony, who recently lost his wife to breast cancer, and has taken the attitude of giving zero fucks, each and every day. He does what he wants, and says what he wants, because he’d rather be dead than dealing with the grief of losing his wife.

Don’t skydive for charity

On a recent episode of QI, Stephen Fry made a very interesting point that should have you rethinking doing a skydive for charity.

A study found that over the course of 5 years, 174 people injured themselves doing a skydive for charity. The total cost to the NHS from these injuries was £600,000 or about £3,450 per person. The average amount of money raised per person was just £30 so for each pound raised, it cost the NHS £13.75 (includes money raised by people who didn’t hurt themselves).

To add insult to injury, most of the skydives (70%) were raising money for services provided by the NHS, so as well-meaning as people may be, the skydives actually cost the NHS money instead of raising funds for it.

So, the moral of the story? Don’t do a skydive for charity.

The Killing

Martina and I recently got a Netflix subscription when we moved house, and bought a Smart TV for our (now much larger) living room, since watching TV on the 27″ iMac wasn’t going to cut it any more.

We started watching a few familiar shows before branching out and trying some new things. One of our favourite finds has undoubtedly been The Killing.

Martina and I have grown rather tired of “typical” American TV which is predictable, repeatable, blunt and tired. So we were a bit skeptical when we heard about The Killing, an American remake of a Dutch crime thriller (American remakes usually make me in particular cringe – I still refuse to watch the American version of The Office).

But after watching the first episode, we were tantalisingly hooked on a refreshingly dark and gritty thriller with political twists thrown in there. It only took us a couple of weeks to watch the first two seasons (which focus on one main story line), quickly followed by the third season (a new main story, with the same central characters) which although not as strong as seasons 1 & 2 was still time well spent.

Derek: the good and the bad

I love watching Derek: it’s a fantastic, heart-warming and endearing dramedy written by and starring Ricky Gervais. The only downside is that it makes you realise what a shithead you are.

Some much-needed (and humourous) airtime for net neutrality

John Oliver did an excellent segment on his show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver about the current legislation that cable companies are trying to boorishly shove through Congress to sideline everyday users of the Internet to favour whoever has the biggest pockets to pay for the fastest bandwidth.

This is the biggest challenge the Internet has ever faced and it must be struck down.