Willow Ufgood is back for one last hurrah

by Spencer Doar

Tonight marks the end of another Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant mockumentary, though the finale already aired across the pond.  "Life's Too Short" follows Warwick Davis, the actor best known for his roles as Professor Flitwick in the "Harry Potter" films, the title character in 1988's "Willow," the leprechaun in the "Leprechaun" horror franchise and Wicket, the main Ewok in "Return of the Jedi" (and the following god-awful TV movies).  At times, the documentary convention is stale and forced.  Luckily, those moments are overcome by the ineptitude and/or vanity that surges through seemingly all Gervais/Merchant characters (seemingly, since there must always be a Tim-type around to shake his head at David Brent’s faux pas). 

In the show, Davis runs a talent agency called “Dwarves for Hire,” while constantly attempting to revitalize his film career.  He bothers Gervais and Merchant (who play themselves) for favors, struggles to erase his quarter million pound tax debt (a debt owed solely due to the ineptitude of his accountant) and finds ways to further estrange himself from his ex-wife.  “Life’s Too Short” awkwardly makes viewers feel pained, frequently forcing us to wonder if we’re being made to laugh with the show or at the show, or, even worse, at dwarfism.  It’s that biting, borderline mean vein of comedy which Gervais is so good at creating. 

If that sounds like your cup of tea, look forward to a plotline featuring an appearance by Val Kilmer, who visits Davis with news of a “Willow” sequel in the works.