RRP - £24.99
Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown of celebrity. Andy Millman (Ricky Gervais) is back and more miserable than ever in this darker and devastatingly funny finale to the Emmy-winning series. Though his sitcom When the Whistle Blows rates six million viewers, he is, as ever, mindful of the critics' barbs and jealous of colleagues landing the prestige film roles he covets. "I'm not proud of having Britain's No. 1 catchphrase," he grouses (actually, he has sunk to No. 3, now trailing "You are the weakest link, goodbye"). Worse, he has become a right ****, arrogantly treating crewmembers and his one true friend, Maggie (a heartbreaking Ashley Jensen), like dirt. Andy finally drops his clueless and incompetent agent (series co-creator Stephen Merchant) and quits the show. "Don't worry about me," he proclaims. "The phone won't stop ringing."
Unlike the finale of The Office, this super-duper-sized episode really has no loose ends to tie up. In Andy's humiliating comeuppance (he sinks to portraying an alien on Dr. Who and joins the desperate housemates on Celebrity Big Brother), Gervais has the perfect vessel with which to rail against soul-sucking celebrity, degrading tabloid culture, and "the gutter press." As for Andy and Maggie, those longing for some kind of Tim/Dawn hookup may not get exactly what they want, but they will get what they need in the lovely final scenes. A-listers having a laugh at their own images have always been one of Extras' special treats. The finale features jaw-dropping cameos by Clive Owen and George Michael, performing community service yet again. --Donald Liebenson
The two series of the deadpan comedy come to a close in this sensational finale. At this point, Ricky Gervais's lowly extra, Andy Millman, has finally made some headway in the entertainment industry. Millman's sitcom, WHEN THE WHISTLE BLOWS, has been commissioned and is an outright hit. Unfortunately its three series of predictable plotlines and critical beatings have begun to weigh on its creator. In this climax to the celebrity-studded series, Andy Millman has to make the tough decision on whether to give up all he's worked for in a bid for respectability.