Life’s Too Short—The Complete Series

6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Easter Special, guest stars

Cringeworthy humor doesn't work, missed opportunities


Welcome to my life

Warwick Davis is a celebrity and though he might be a little person, he lives big…unfortunately, he lives bigger than his life allows.  Going through a divorce and a slump in work, Warwick is trying to get his life back on track, and he’s going to use all his connections to do it.  Be it his friends Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant or his former costars like Liam Neeson or Val Kilmer, Warwick still hopes to make it big…but instead keeps finding “small” roles that just don’t suit his dreams.

Life’s Too Short was a Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant series which spun out of Warwick Davis’ appearance in the second season of Extras.  Gervais developed the idea and the series aired from November 10, 2011 to December 20, 2011 with an Easter Special airing on March 30, 2013 to wrap of the series.  The series aired from February 19, 2012 to July 5, 2013 in the U.S. on HBO.  The show was met with much less favorable reviews that the previous outings by Gervais.


That’s right…I’m famous

The problem with this show is that no one is likeable.  If it were Warwick struggling as a nice guy in a world where he’s treated differently because of his size, it would have been an easier show.  If Warwick had been a jerk with everyone treating him nicely, it would have also been another workable approach.  Instead, Warwick and all his celebrity guest stars aren’t very friendly and it is more cringeworthy than enjoyable.

The show does have a lot of stars, but like many British shows, some are lost on American audiences.  Celebrities like Cat Deeley, Keith Chegwin, Les Dennis, and Shaun Williamson have not “crossed the pond” so a U.S. audience might find some of the episodes a bit lackluster in terms of guests.  On the flipside, getting Liam Neeson, Helena Bonham Carter, Sting, and Johnny Depp is quite a win for the show…plus, creator Ricky Gervais shows up each episode.


Willow 2…is it happening?

The Easter Special showed where the series failed a bit.  Serving as a wrap-up special, it had a much more likeable Davis and seemed to have some real heart (something that the regular series was missing).  It felt much more real and original and not rehash of Gervais’s original version of The Office or Extras.  If the series had been more like the special, I think it would have lasted another season.

I don’t think Life’s Too Short is a misguided series.  There was a lot of room for jokes and observations on the life of a little person, but they are passed up for uncomfortable “easy” jokes that are a bit of a disservice to the platform that Gervais and Davis were given.  The best aspects of the series were dealing with size treatment and issues (like Warwick’s relationship with Amy), and it is small moments like that which show what Life’s Too Short could have been.

Life’s Too Short—Complete Episode Guide:


“Episode 1”

Episode 1 Airdate:  11/10/11

Warwick Davis invites the audience to see his life as an actor and owner of Dwarves for Hire.  Warwick deals with going through a divorce and tries to hire an assistant. Warwick stops by and visits his friends Steve Merchant and Ricky Gervais in the hopes for work and has a run-in with his Star Wars:  The Phantom Menace co-star Liam Neeson.


“Episode 2”

Episode 2 Airdate:  11/17/11

Warwick attends a fantasy fan and deals with cancer patients, a request for a wedding attendance, and a TV interview which leads Warwick to brainstorm ideas for money with his assistant Cheryl (Rosamund Hanson).  When Johnny Depp plans to play Rumpelstiltskin for a new Tim Burton film, Warwick is hired teach Johnny the ways of being a dwarf but a visit to Ricky Gervais could cause problems.


“Episode 3”

Episode 3 Airdate:  11/24/11

Warwick finds himself in a controversy when his clients begin to question if Warwick is keeping the best roles for himself.  Warwick launches a new website but finds a cyberbully…which he hunts down.  Warwick gets the opportunity to be in a film with Helena Bonham Carter.


“Episode 4”

Episode 4 Airdate:  12/01/11

Warwick looks for a new place to live as he continues with his divorce and goes to the proceedings with his accountant (Steve Brody).  Warwick finds himself at odds with his little people group when he tries to recruit people for a dwarf bowling event and decides to run for leadership of the group…bringing out the big guns with Right Said Fred.  As divorce proceedings continue, Warwick suspects his wife is having an affair with her divorce attorney Ian (Matthew Holness).  A visit to Ricky and Steve leads to an uncomfortable talk with Steve Carell.


“Episode 5”

Episode 5 Airdate:  12/08/11

Warwick seeks spiritual guidance and tries to get his love life back on track.  A meeting at the grocery store shows hope for Warwick, until an unfortunate purchase derails his changes.  An arranged date ends up leading Warwick to a date with another little person named Amy (Kiruna Stamell)…which he feels is deceitful.


“Episode 6”

Episode 6 Airdate:  12/15/11

Warwick is moving into his new home and throwing a big party.  To impress his wife and his lawyer, Warwick hires Cat Deeley to attend the party.  When Warwick tries to pass off Cat as his girlfriend, Warwick could end up losing Amy.


“Episode 7”

Episode 7 Airdate:  12/20/11

Warwick has hit rock bottom.  At his last desperate attempt at reigniting his career, Warwick convinces Ricky to get him into Sting’s charity dinner with disastrous results.  Plus, Warwick’s divorce is in its final stages, but Warwick has an ace up his sleeve to try to save his money.


“Easter Special”

Easter Special Airdate:  03/30/13

Warwick is trying to turn his life around and finding love with Amy.  When Warwick learns that Val Kilmer is considering optioning a Willow sequel, he needs money and sets out to make five-thousand pounds…but Val’s promises might not be as real as Warwick and his clients hoped.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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