Ok so I would like to get it out there first that in truth I’ve never been a huge Ricky Gervais fan (which stems from seeing a clip of one of his stand up shows where he takes the piss about M.E ……….no, I’m not just a bit bloody tired!) anyway, I wanted to be honest and say that up front now.
My son however is a MASSIVE fan of him and watches (and re watches) both The Office and Extras some of which I love……..favourites being the Sir Ian McKellan and the Ross Kemp ( super army soldiers) episodes. I even a few years ago managed to get BBC audience tickets for a recording of him doing the David Brent song to be used in a show, so you know that shows a mothers love doesn’t it? On said outing my son lost his wallet and had to back into the studio to look for it, everyone else had gone and because we had been delayed leaving we were lucky enough to see Ricky Gervais come down the corridor past us………………………we didn’t stop and ask for a picture but did the casual look and nod instead………..honestly I think my son would have died of embarrassment had I asked for a pic but looking back I really should have for his benefit at the time.
Anyway getting back to After Life on Netflix, it’s both written and directed by Gervais, I had seen the chat on Twitter etc about it but hadn’t actually pressed the button to watch. My son today said I should watch it by adding – just see what you think of the first episode. As I’ve mentioned before my youngest ( who’s 18) has great taste in films which is where these reviews have started from, if you haven’t already read my introduction post.
I did not set out today to binge watch After Life, but binge watch it I did because I literally COULD NOT STOP WATCHING. There are only 6 episodes at less than 30 minutes each. I started and I had to finish. You will cry (unless you have a heart of stone), you will laugh, you will want to punch him in the face one minute and hug him the next! It’s funny, endearing, heartbreaking and yet heartwarming and uplifting all at the same time. I dare you to not cry when he is watching her video messages to him…………I DARE YOU! It’s totally relateable to everyone, from those in the same position after losing a partner, to those who have never lost anyone but can only imagine what the pain would be like. It makes you grasp the ‘what if’s’ and gets you to take stock and be thankful for what you have. It makes you understand that everyone generally has something going on whether you can see it or not and that some people can be arseholes for a reason. It also teaches you that actually you really don’t have to be an arsehole if you put your mind to it! All the characters are integral to what is going on around Tony (Gervais), and they teach you not to judge ( we are all guilty of that – I mean, c’mon just look at my first sentence above!). I love the relationships between them all but especially the conversations on the bench with Anne (Penelope Wilton- who I adore anyway).
All that and I haven’t even mentioned the gorgeous dog that stars in it too ( an absolutely gorgeous pooch) and if you’re a bit sensitive with expletives being banded about then be warned the c- bomb is dropped on numerous occasions!
In truth, it broke me but I was left in awe of how a programme dealing with profound and overwhelming grief could leave you feeling uplifted and positive at the same time. Life definitely is for living.
If you haven’t watched it then you really must, and if you have watched it I would love to know what you think.