Life's Too Short TV Poster Image

Life's Too Short

(i)

 

Clever slice-of-life comedy has mixed messages, cursing.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

On one hand, the show promotes diversity by building a comedy around the life of a little person. On the other, it invites viewers to laugh at his physical limitations. But while the overall message is a bit murky, Davis isn't just in on the joke -- he conceived the series (and its title) himself.

Positive role models

As a little person who's amassed an impressive list of acting credits, Davis promotes diversity via a rarely seen onscreen body type. But a lot of times, he plays his size for comedy, which invites people to laugh at him rather than with him.

Violence

Some pratfalls, etc.

Sex

Some sexual innuendo (including references to genital size, anal sex, prostitution, etc.), but nothing explicit.

Language

Unbleeped words like "f--k," "c--t," and "s--t," but not constant usage.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there's some unbleeped swearing (including "f--k" and "c--t") in this mockumentary-style comedy that follows famous "little person" Warwick Davis through his life as a working actor. There's some sexual innuendo, too (including references to things like genital size and anal sex), along with social drinking and some mixed messages when it comes to making fun of Davis' physical limitations.

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What's the story?

In LIFE'S TOO SHORT, an unseen camera crew shadows Return of the Jedi/Willow/Harry Potter actor Warwick Davis (played by Davis as a fictionalized version of himself) through his daily life as a little person looking for work. Along the way, he rubs elbows with a rotating line-up of famous faces, from Liam Neeson and Johnny Depp to Helena Bonham Carter and Cat Deeley. He also meets regularly with award-winning comedy team Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant (who, along with Davis, serve as the show's co-executive producers) in an effort to advance his career.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

After the success of The Office and Extras, "observational" comedy isn't exactly an original concept for Gervais and Merchant. But if it ain't broke, don't fix it ... and it's working wonderfully here. To hear them tell it, Life's Too Short was all Davis' idea, and many of the gags come from his real-life experiences as a working actor of shorter stature. So the fact that we're often laughing at his physical limitations is at least a product of his own design.

As was the case in Extras, some of the show's best moments come from the A-list celebrities who are willing to make fun of their own eccentricities, from Neeson failing miserably at improv comedy to Depp going method (with Davis' help) to play Rumpelstiltskin. And with other big names like Steve Carell and Sting contributing, there's no telling how funny things will get.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how little people are portrayed on television -- from reality shows such as Little People, Big World to cable dramas like Game of Thrones. How does Life's Too Short compare?

  • Is it OK to make fun of Davis' physical limitations simply because he's in on the joke? Do you find yourself laughing with him ... or at him?

  • Why did the show's creators choose the mockumentary format -- and does it work? How would the series play as, say, a traditional sitcom?

TV details

Premiere date:February 19, 2012
Cast:Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Warwick Davis
Network:HBO
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Misfits and underdogs
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

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