You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll make weird noises while watching this less comic and more dramatic dark comedy, written and created by Rick Gervais. After Life is veracious with death, and Tony (Ricky Gervais’s character) chooses to cope with it.
I should mention this beforehand; I believe Ricky Gervais is funny. From the fan-favorite The Office, and his spicy Golden Globe monologues, Gervais never fails to deliver his sass. Moreover, the comedian claims the Netflix series is the best thing he has ever created. So naturally, you expect After Life to meet the benchmark, but does it?
About After Life
The story is about a small-town journalist who loses his wife to breast cancer, and this personal loss turns his life upside down. He decides to turn his grief into a superpower of misanthropy; he’ll do exactly as he feels like, say whatever he thinks, ridicule everyone, and when it gets enough, he’ll kill himself. Perfect escape plan from his shitty life without his wife. The entire series feels like Ricky wrote a book on his hate and annoyance for the world and modelled an excuse ( read; death in After Life ) to vent it out.
You can see the destination and storyline long before they arrive, but the script makes the journey worth a ride. The talk of suicide, punching niceties to people, and the eventual understanding that everyone is living in their own personal hell.
After Life on Netflix draws careful observations from a healing widower’s Life by making his pre-loss character less evident and more gradual. We realize through character lines that all rainbows in his Life have vanished, and it’s all black now. He doesn’t want to open the curtains to let the sunshine in. But he does. He survives. With all his hurtful rants excused by the armor of grief, he wraps himself in. The British accents and excellent writing of Gervais pull off something rare for tragic comedies; a tranquil character arc.
What Doesn’t Work?
It’s slow. Not dull, just not at the correct pace. It doesn’t meet Ricky’s usual writings and acerbic putdowns. After Life seems too real with emotions and Life, yet also fictional with its pace and relationships. Tony’s relationship with his wife is all colors of joy, like the best Life one could ever live. The show just doesn’t hit some right spots to make me keep tabs. It’s like I’ll watch it if I have to, but it’s not compelling enough. You know the feeling, right?
After Life on Netflix is slated to have a season 3 and the previous two seasons haven’t made me go bonkers over the interrogative worldview coping Ricky has of mugging victims, God, political correctness, old f*king twats, and hell ( read; people )
Today death holds more meaning than Life. We are living in 2020, the year of doom literally. And making it through is what After Life is about. There is depression, there is a pity, there’s Life, and there’s death; but there’s hope even in the cemetery.
After Life Season 1 is definitely a must-watch for everyone irrespective you’ve ever gone through a personal loss, or not. From there, it doesn’t hold up much.
However, After Life still manages to capture the beautiful journey of how people are essential, even when you hate them, how each of them changes your life for better or worse. Tony and Lisa’s story of love, put a smile across your face while tears roll down your eyes.
Staying true to the nature of dark comedy, the show packs quite delightful punches of the sweet and sour Life. Watch it for the dog, or watch it for death, but try just like Tony does.
Have you watched After Life on Netflix, yet? What do you think about Tony and his journey? Let me know in the comments! While you are still here, why not check out some of the longest-running sitcoms and the best comedy series to binge?