TV Review: Afterlife

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Ricky Gervais is back in an all-new slightly odd dark comedy! Self-hatred, drug abuse and overcoming misery, the new Netflix series Afterlife brings together a perfect blend of laughter, sadness and heart-warming moments that will leave you wanting to binge watch the whole series in one.

The 30-minute six-part series, written by Gervais, is set around a grieving Tony (Gervais), whose wife has just died of cancer. She leaves him some emotional video messages to keep him going, such as reminding him to feed the dog, put the recycling out, and just to try and be happy in her absence. Not helping the situation is Tony’s dead end job, writing stories about people for his local newspaper. His workmates are a mixed and funny bunch, but all nicer than Tony. They all try to lift his spirits in the wake of his tragedy, which is something that he acknowledges in the last episode. Tony’s dad is senile and is cared for in a home by a cheery life-loving nurse (Ashley Jensen), who Tony eventually asks out as he slowly comes to terms with his wife’s death.

Is it funny? The jokes are completely absurd, borderline shocking. Jokes surround prostitution, paedophilia, violence against children and the C word float around a fair bit; all of the stuff that makes up a successful dark comedy. This works in Tony’s favour as he doesn’t want to be loved, and actively seeks our disproval and disgust. He smokes heroin just to get through the day, and his daily routine is misery and failed suicidal propositions.

However, in good British comedy fashion, with the help of his work colleagues and new friends (a prostitute and a postman to name a few), Tony somehow manages to overcome his dark thoughts and starts to appreciate life again amongst his grief.

A must watch if you are in need of a laugh and a little pick me up!

Sadie Fox

Image: Netflix