Prior to the “Game of Thrones” finale on Sunday night, someone was still dying … of laughter. (Zing!) In all seriousness, HBO looks like they could have a potential hit on their hands with “Hello Ladies,” the new series from Ricky Gervais’ longtime collaborator Stephen Merchant along with a pair of writers from “The Office” in Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky.
Basically, the premise for this series is rather simple: Merchant stars as Stuart, the sort of guy everyone has met at least once. A cocky but socially-awkward ingrate (in this case English) who seemingly thinks he is capable of getting his way with anyone, even though he is rather terrible at it. In the brief teaser clip below, you see the character along with his wingman-of-sorts Wade (Nate Torrence) have an encounter with a pair of women. At first, everything seems to be going just fine, but then brings up a topic of conversation that is on just about every woman’s “don’t go there” list.
The reason we could see this comedy being an enormous hit is that it touches on a side of social relationships that is often ignored on television: Men who try to pick up women and fail at it repeatedly. Usually, we’re stuck with the trope of “ugly guys with shockingly good-looking wives / girlfriends,” but it doesn’t quite work out that way here. HBO is desperate for a new male-centered comedy given that “Eastbound and Down” is canceled and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is touch-and-go. Who knows? Maybe this can be it. It may actually help that Gervais is not a star here, being that he typically comes across as either brilliant or irritating in most of his work, and there isn’t much when it comes to middle ground.
Do you find this funny, or do you think that this series could just end up being just another comedy on HBO with minuscule ratings? If you want to read more about the network’s schedule shifts, you can do so over here.