There’s an array of appealing TV programmes scheduled for January, and one in particular that I’m waiting for in excited anticipation; Season 3 of the comedy-drama After Life. I’m not one for watching series for a second time, there’s just so many great sounding offerings out there and my “Must watch,” list continues to expand. However, in preparation of the Ricky Gervais phenomenon gracing our screens again on Friday 14th January, I had no reservations in dedicating some free time to binge watching Seasons 1 and 2 of this multi award winning comedy again. And award worthy it most definitely is. Picking up the Best Comedy Series award in the TV Choice Awards, 2020, it has to be one of the most brilliant pieces of TV genius on our screens in recent times.
After Life evoked such a myriad of feelings the first time around, that I felt almost bereft myself when it ended. Written and acted with raw, poignant, relatable emotions, it made me cry in one scene and laugh out loud in the next. Gervais hits the bullseye as grieving man Tony, who’s dog, Brandy, prevents him from attempting suicide following the death of his wife, Lisa (Kerry Godliman). Stuck in the cruel cycle of bereavement, he tries to function in his job as a journalist amongst a team of misfits. The series see’s Tony battling to survive, navigate through therapy and caring for his father, alongside making unlikely friendships. Mixed with everyday circumstances, dark and often risqué humour, After Life connects viewers on a spectrum of levels.
Re-watching Seasons 1 and 2, I fell in love all over again with the storyline and the soul smiling love Tony has for his dog. Matched with the heart-wrenching, gut punching emotional vulnerability that Gervais’s character displays so profoundly, I championed his recovery with all my might. Amongst the scenes of breath-snatching sadness, are some of the most amusing, quick witted, one liners by quirky characters and an underlying message to never give up and to always cling onto hope.
If you don’t mind the odd swear word, After Life is a must. Brilliant, bold, belly laughingly funny and at 30 minutes per episode, definitely worth your time. If you haven’t already, binge watch Seasons 1 and 2. Or perhaps even indulge in them again in preparation for Season 3, which will be the final instalment of this cracking comedy-drama. I have high expectations for this series, and I’m certain it will hit the mark, we will see!
Get the hankies ready for tears of laughter and sorrow on Friday 14th January on Netflix.
After Life, rated 15. Series 3, Friday 14th January on Netflix.
Helen is a journalist for Radio Gateshead, a local lass who has spent the last two decades working in health and social care. She currently works for a local charity, managing service across the North East for vulnerable children and adults.
Her debut novel, The Dinner Club, is due for release in March 2022 and her writing has featured in a number of anthologies and magazines.