Roll up, roll up. All human life is here. And so, in After Life, the brilliant new Netflix series written by and starring Ricky Gervais, all human life was there. Or nearly all of it.
Gervais plays Tony, a journalist for a small rural free newspaper. Tony’s wife has recently died from breast cancer. He feels suicidal. The only reason he doesn’t kill himself is because his beloved dog can’t open a tin of dog food and, in the event of Tony’s death, would starve to death. This is his life.
Even with the incredibly high bar he sets, After Life clears it with something to spare. Impossibly, he combines terribly tragedy with high comedy, sometimes within the same scene. You don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Sometimes you end up doing both.
I’ve just binge watched the entire series of six shows, something I have never done. At no point did it sag or begin to flag. As TV goes, it was pretty well perfect. It was, without question, the finest work of his career. No plot spoilers from me: just watch it and if you can watch it all in one go. Unless you have a heart of stone, it will take you to another place and I promise you will come across someone you met, someone you know and someone you knew. After Life is truly great.