In my preview for this, I said I was going to have to mentally prepare myself to cry some more. After watching the whole thing in a day, I can safely say that I didn’t prepare myself enough.
Season 2 pretty much starts where we left off. Tony is still going through the ups and downs of grief, Pat (Joe Wilkinson) is spending more time at Tony’s house than actually delivering his mail, and Anne (Penelope Wilton) is still waiting by her husbands’ grave for Tony to visit. It might not sound like much has changed – but that’s grief for you. There’s happy days, there’s sad days – and After Life continues acknowledges them all.
Whilst season one focused on Tony, this season introduces a whole load of new relationships and plotlines – Matt (Tom Basden) having somewhat of a crisis of his own, Emma (Ashley Jensen) flirting with another man at work, and Daphne (Roisin Conaty) and Pat going on a wonderfully awkward date. I want spin-off shows about all these characters now, please. There’s some questionable jokes about ‘the nonce’ (yep, it’s weird) from the therapist – but if you can manage through the uncomfortableness of all that, the show is almost as good as season one.
The show seems to flourish more in moments of reflection with Anne
It’s still as wonderful to watch as ever. If anything, the soundtrack has gotten better, especially in the last episode. Dave Thomas Junior’s track ‘Silence’ plays over a heart-breaking sequence only for a certain someone to show up at the door, when Sufjan Steve’s ‘The Only Thing’ kicks in, and I broke down in floods of tears. As I normally do when Sufjan Stevens comes on, to be honest.
Despite still being on his mission to give back to the people who helped him, the show seems to flourish more in moments of reflection with Anne. They might be more serious in terms of tone, but they’re some of the best bits. You shouldn’t drink alone, she tells Tony, taking the bottle of wine off him and having a swig herself (legend). After Life seems to slow down here – Tony doesn’t have his agenda against the world, here he’s with someone who seems to understand his struggles better than he does.
Whilst Netflix haven’t officially announced anything for season three yet, Gervais has said he’d love to do another season. With so many plots-lines left unfinished, I can’t see them getting rid of After Life that easily at all.
If you want to start season two, here’s a recap of what happened in the first season so you’re up-to-date whilst watching:
Last modified: 30th April 2020