Last year, Ricky Gervais gave us the beautiful masterpiece/manifesto on how to be a bit of a dick but with reason – After Life.
Whilst I’ve never completely ‘got’ Gervais’s humour, there was something so bittersweet about the show that I completely fell in love with. And now we’re getting what we could all do with right now; a second season. If season one passed you by, there’s no better time to catch up. But for now, here’s a quick run-down of what happened:
Tony (Gervais) has decided to become quite the narcissist after losing his wife, Lisa (the brilliant Kerry Godliman) to breast cancer. His ‘superpower’ of doing and saying whatever he wants, to whoever he wants, is completely undermined when everyone around him is still supporting him and trying to help him through his grief, never-mind the reminders of the man he once was in the video messages from his wife before she passed away. At the end of the season, we left him with Emma (Ashley Jensen), walking through the graveyard – not knowing where their relationship would go, but definitely feeling more optimistic about his future than at the start of the show.
Gervais has found the perfect balance between everything wonderful and absolutely shit with life
Which brings us into season two – and honestly? I’m going to have to mentally prepare to cry some more. “People think, all those things I miss doing with Lisa… I could just do them anyway. They’re missing the point. I miss doing nothing with Lisa”. Gervais, you genius. Despite the humour that really doesn’t hold back with language (a certain comment to a ginger kid comes to mind), Gervais has found the perfect balance between everything wonderful and absolutely shit with life, that just isn’t shown enough on television. The beauty of being so in love that you don’t even have to be doing anything in particular with that person – just being there with them – but the reality that life has the power to take that all away from us. It hurts, but it’s real – and I think that’s what the show values.
One thing I really hope doesn’t get lost in its popularity is the quality of the show itself; for a sitcom, the framing and camerawork were evidently carefully thought-through. However odd it might sound, it’s genuinely a nice show to watch, in that sense. But given the relatively quick turn around of season 2, I can only hope the cinematic quality of After Life hasn’t completely been lost…
Although the trailer doesn’t seem to show loads of new footage from the second season, we’re sure to see more of Tony’s character development, giving back to the people who helped him. Whether it’s cheering up his co-workers in the office, visiting his father (David Bradley) in the nursing home, or setting Daphne (Roisin Conaty) up with a postman literally called Pat (Joe Wilkinson); this season looks to be another gem. “When life takes a turn, hope is everything.” I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Season Two of After Life is available on Netflix from 24th April.
Last modified: 13th April 2020