I’ve long been a fan of Ricky Gervais ever since David Brent graced our screens back in 2001.
What is most unique about Ricky’s shows is that he champions the ordinary and the unseen. In The Office, it was the awkward middle manager who had cringeworthy people skills. In Derek, it was the intellectually-challenged volunteer at an old people’s home. And now we have After Life, the story of Tony, who recently lost his wife to breast cancer, and has taken the attitude of giving zero fucks, each and every day. He does what he wants, and says what he
Along the way, through his misery, he meets people that are invisible to most of us, but that turn out to be really good people: a heroin addict, an elderly widow, the nurses at the nursing home, the annoying woman at work, a sex worker, a bully at his godson’s school.
The show is a beautiful exploration of Tony’s journey through his heartbreak and how all he longs for is to have his wife back. The people around him continue to put up with the way he treats them and the misery he brings around with him because they know he’s a good person deep down. It just takes him a little while to find out that the world isn’t out to get him: there are good people in the world, and he can focus his efforts on being a decent human being and helping other people out along the way.