The reason he’s never quite hit the mark since then is that he’s lost touch with failure and appears incapable of mocking his own success
At any rate success seems to have made Ricky Gervais the kind of character he used to mine for laughs, incapable of taking criticism or realising how he comes across.
If he were less powerful then somebody close to him might have felt able to gently suggest that the whole thing was self-regarding folly: the kind of sanctimonious guff which the younger, sharper Gervais might have poked fun at as a show-within-a-show on Extras.
But I can understand why Gervais and his ferociously loyal fans ( “fuck off you over analysing twat”, one told me on Twitter last night) think the advance criticism of Derek was overstated or misdirected
Dorian Lynskey seems to have inadvertently written a blog about the career trajectory of your typical broadsheet columnist.