TV Review: After Life Season 2

Ricky Gervais returns in his much loved Netflix series After Life as it returns to our screens for its second series.

Throughout the six-part Netflix series written, directed, and starring Ricky Gervais as the supposedly too far gone, tired of it all nihilist Tony shows that compassion for others always, and perhaps will always prevail, even if that means just chatting over a coffee to someone who needs it.

After Life’s second series picks up a little way down the road from where series one left off; Tony (Gervais) is slowly improving after the loss of his wife but is still struggling to care about living the rest of his life, which usually manifests in him needlessly being an ass to others. This is where Gervais’ comedy shines.

“Downplay you? How would that go?” He’d say, “I’d have to say he looks like something the police would drag out of a river.”

“Yea, but not the posh bit of a river. Somewhere near sewage works or something.”

Whilst After Life will draw you in expecting Gervais’ blunt and often an unshakingly honest sense of humour, it’s used by the comedian as a platform to muse almost philosophically on what it means to keep living after a death, making the series both entertaining and far more interesting than other’s in the same vein. 

Gervais is joined once again by all the supporting characters from the first series some with larger and more fleshed out parts this time than last, such as the absurd postman Pat (Joe Wilkinson), and the positively dull office colleague Kath (Diane Morgan) whom he never passes an opportunity to berate or cut down to size with funny remarks and diatribes.

All the supporting characters each have their own things going on in this series, including a few new faces joining the cohort to add new elements to the mix. Each lend themselves to tell an interesting story as well as offering laughs in their obliviousness to their oddness.

The theme of feeling alone and missing those you love may be especially felt in the current times, but likewise, that’s why After Life’s message of appreciating those that are there will resonate all the more.

Whilst being perhaps a little bit too meta at times, as if Gervais is trying too hard to make his own views known, this dark comedy is still a largely enjoyable way to kill an afternoon if you enjoy Gervais’ humour otherwise. 

Ultimately, After Life’s second series is a welcome addition to its first that entertains easily and shows itself to have more heart to it than you may expect. 

By Dominic Smith

Feature image: TechRadar

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