After Life

7.9 / 10
28 min
Comedy
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9.5
" gives "After Life - Season 2" a 9.5."
Written by on 28 May 2020.
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After Life - Season 2

The first season still had some room for improvement. Criticism has been taken to heart because this season is even better. In particular, because Tony (Ricky Gervais, The Office) is just down. He doesn't lash out any more with cynical remarks. Tony is subdued, depressed and helps others without him even realizing it. Ricky Gervais portrays Tony magnificently.

All that positivity at the end of the first season doesn't continue into this one. Tony still struggles with his wife's death and that is why he has no room for new relationships. Still, some people managed to break through the wall he erected around himself and who still play a part in his life. The nurse (Ashley Jensen, Agatha Raisin) who takes care of his father who has dementia is one of those people. Although Tony still has feelings for her, he considers those feelings as a betrayal, a betrayal to the love for his deceased wife.

© Netflix


This season is even better.

Another person who managed to get through his wall is the prostitute Roxy (Roisin Conaty, Gameface) who regularly drops by. She has an unusual connection with him.
She feels at home with Tony because he doesn't have any prejudices against her job. He just doesn't care. His relationship with the eccentric postman (Joe Wilkinson, Sex Education) has its own peculiar dimensions. This character provides some comic relief. Just like the therapist who vents his own sexual frustrations on his clients. Wonderfully absurd portrayed by Paul Kaye, known as Dennis Pennis, but also known from TV series like Vera, Pulling and Game of Thrones. A role perfectly suited to Paul Kaye.

Tony's colleagues at the local paper are other anchors in his unstable life. When he is about to lose those people because the paper will be closed down, he comes into action in his own typical way. He frequently moves his colleagues to tears with stories about his relationship with his wife. Another important person in his life is the older woman Anne (Penelope Wilton, Downton Abbey). Anne has lost her husband and this enables Tony to open up about his own grief, because she went through the same thing. It gives the viewer more insight into Tony's struggles.

© Netflix


The most important 'person' in Tony's life, however, is his dog. She is the reason he gets up in the morning, the reason he still wants to go outside. The relationship with his dog prevents him from doing something drastic. Because of her, he is also able to force himself away from the constant watching of home videos of his wife.

After Life tells a dramatic story, but it is a story that continuously shows a glimmer of hope, sometimes unknowingly by and for Tony, but more often knowingly. There is a perfect balance between the drama and the humour. This season is a first-rate drama. Anyone who has ever lost someone can identify with the grief, the apathy and the fact that life goes on.

The only downside is that this season only consists of six episodes of a half hour each. However, the upside is that the story stays focussed on the message. Despite the fact that they are so short, there is so much done and said in these episodes that I can't imagine longer episodes would be necessary. It all fits perfectly together. So it's no surprise that Netflix already announced a third season for After Life.
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