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Tue Feb 20, 10-10.30pm, C4

By Phil Harrison
Series one, episode four
It’s around the time that Coldplay’s ‘Paradise’ is used to soundtrack some guileless hi-jinks on a beach that we seriously start to wonder. Might ‘Derek’ actually be a spoof, a subtle piss-take of the ‘big-hearted’, ‘down to earth’ comedy drama? Because the alternative is too grisly to contemplate.

‘Derek’ is so flimsy, it’s in danger of floating away on the next light breeze. The music manipulates the emotions shamelessly. Character development is ignored in favour of clunky pieces-to-camera during which we’re reminded that yes, Hannah is very kind and yes, Derek is very well-meaning. Meanwhile, the plotting is little more than a delivery mechanism for the kind of moral lessons that ‘Jackanory’ might have rejected as a touch simple-minded. An increasingly baffling affair – we can’t wait for Ricky Gervais’s triumphant reveal in ten years time.

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