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'Derek' recap: New series, new beginnings

Season 2 | Episode 1 | Aired Apr 23, 2014 (UK Channel 4)

After a perfect finale, the original series of Derek looked to be one and done. With Derek’s ultimate forgiveness and a series of honest confessions from the cast, it would have been a perfect capsule of TV loveliness. Luckily, writer/director/star Rick Gervais found more to mine from his king of kindness and released the second series earlier this year.

In the opening episode, we rejoin the crew of Broad Hill one year after the events of the first season. Our first glimpse of Derek is in a restroom where a monstrous spider is hanging out. Hannah, Kev and Doug all come to the rescue, each more freaked out than the other. Naturally, Derek doesn’t want the little guy dead, so Dougie attempts a “catch and release” with a coffee cup. In the pressure moment, Dougie panics, drops the cup and everyone runs screaming. Welcome back to Broad Hill!

Derek - S2 - E1 - Opening home Shot

Back in the home, Hannah introduces us to Geoff, a new employee who is looking for a fresh start. Vicki is not so sure about Geoff, finding him creepy and a bit “shifty.” We also learn Vicki is now a paid full-timer and the home’s resident beautician. Vicki tells us she loves being there, despite the lousy pay. Luckily she’s a born hustler and has no problem bending the rules to get what she needs. As proof, we watch her give a pair of freshly stolen slippers to one of the residents. It’s a bit of shock to see her dabbling in crime again, but her Robin Hood nature makes it easier to swallow. Still, this could prove a problem going forward.

We then learn Derek’s dad is moving in. Derek is cautiously excited: he’ll have Anthony around full-time but he still has an eye for the ladies and a taste for the drink. As his dad talks about travel and his many sexual encounters, Derek becomes visibly uneasy until he stumbles across a photo book with one picture in it. Anthony explains it’s his photo album of Derek, which only has one picture.

Derek - S2 - E1 - Anthony Drinkin

Anthony also tells Derek he should make a list of 10 wishes and “give it to his father” for safekeeping. One day, a wish will come true. Anthony explains that he really wants to get Derek something nice, but knows nothing about him, hence the Santa Claus-style ruse. As Derek runs out to make his list, he explains how great days, like the one he’s enjoying right now, also make him sad for people who aren’t doing so well. Derek reminds us the importance of being nice as it can help someone out, even if we’re not aware of it.

The “That’s the Derek We Love” Moment: Derek reminds us he always works hard because animals never slack off. In his words, “you’ll never see a lazy ant.”

Back in the home, Anthony is getting a bit frisky with the ladies, which makes Derek uncomfortable. He still has a commitment to his mom, and watching his dad do a bit of womanizing may cause problems later on.

We also learn that Tom and Hannah are trying for baby! Adorable! Since Hannah is constantly working, they’ve decided to “strike while the iron is hot” and attempt conception whenever possible, even at work. What’s not so adorable is Tom’s grandmother’s frank and graphic sex explanations to Derek. Evidently, hanging upside down afterward helps semen cruise through the cervix. Tom is visibly mortified and a fantastically uncomfortable moment is created.

The “Let’s Make This Even More Uncomfortable” Moment: Kev is back! After Tom’s grandma gives Derek a lesson on the birds and the bees, Kev launches into a singsong rhyme about the female anatomy. Labia, dildos and butt plugs are sung as Vicki looks on, more amused than disgusted. It’s Kev. It’s what he does.

Back in the day room, Hannah comments on Vicki’s phone obsession. We learn that Vicki has set up Derek with a Twitter account, @MrDerekNoakes. Derek asks Vicki to write “Be nice to animals” on his behalf. Vicki adds the hashtag #DerekSays and in the real world, a Twitter trend is born.

Derek - S2 - E1 - Derek Twitter

Afterward, Derek delivers his wish list to Anthony. Derek reminds us of what Joan always said: All you need is someone to love, something to do and something to wish for. Derek tells us how his dad drinks like Kev, but it’s different because Kev doesn’t have a child to care about. His concern about his dad’s safety is apparent, but he keeps it to himself, as he doesn’t want to upset anybody.

Hannah, having received Derek’s wish list from Anthony, reads it to us. The list is classic Derek. All he wishes for is for his friends to stay healthy, the ability to speak to animals, and a number of pills that would ease human suffering. He tops it off with a beautiful bit about Hannah and his wish for her happiness. If the world were more like Hannah, there would be no problems at all.

After Tom again becomes embarrassed by his grandmother’s sexual honesty, Derek watches Kev do something strange: suck spilled beer out of the carpet. It’s a sadly funny moment, as this is first time we’ve seen Kev exhibit true alcoholic behavior. We’ve always known he’s a bit of a drunk, but this takes things to “problem” levels.

Once the carpet is cleaned and the idea of getting AIDS drunk is tossed about, Derek begins to ask Geoff a number of questions about a drawing he’s doing. Geoff gives him bullshit answer after bullshit answer. Where Dougie wouldn’t answer questions he found ridiculous, Geoff is content with filling Derek with nonsense for his own amusement and sense of meanness.

Dougie has a low opinion of Geoff, explaining he’s a dick who thinks he’s going to be an overnight star simply because he’s on television. On cue, we cut to Geoff giving looks at the camera as he starts pestering Dougie. He’s obviously doing so for TV time and distracts Doug from working on a wall socket. As the comments mount, Doug plugs something in and is zapped with electricity, knocking him on the floor. Geoff gives a “Told you” comment and as Dougie gets up, it’s clear he’s had enough.

Derek - S2 - E1 - Dougie Shocked

The “OH NO” Moment: Dougie explains to the camera that he’s had it up to here with the retirement home and tell us he’s going to quit. It’s clear he’ll miss Hannah, Derek and even a bit of Kev, but Geoff was final push. He angrily walks out, Geoff smiles and we now have a new villain. Geoff must go!

Later that evening, Kev and Arthur, one of the residents, tell some raunchy jokes to lighten the tension. Not at all cheered up, Derek asks Hannah to play the “Lizzie DVD.” It’s a film of Lizzie’s best moments and is Derek’s favorite thing to watch. As Lizzie sings an old Irish tune, Derek’s eyes fill with joy and sadness. It’s a fond memory of days gone by and a warm reminder of what’s really important.

Once everybody leaves, Anthony walks in and presents Derek with a gift. It’s a brand-new photo album that he wishes to fill with pictures of Derek. Derek is overjoyed, but concerned about not having real pictures. Everything is digital. Kev, in a moment of rare kindness, offers to print some out for them. Kev shares a nightcap with Anthony and as the episode closes, things are left in limbo. Dougie has quit, Anthony is back on the sauce and while Derek is keeping his eyes forward, the vibe at Broad Hill is one of uncertainty. Here’s hoping things clear up a bit in episode 2.

Until then, #BeLikeDerek.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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