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After Life

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I was surprised to see no forum for this Ricky Gervais Netflix show yet, so I'll take the liberty of starting one. I wasn't sure which genre to put it under, but I guess "dark comedy" might describe it best. What's everyone's opinion? I've only seen the first two episodes but I love it. 

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I loved it! Such an amazing show. Only about 180 minutes all total and all those emotions.

Brilliant.

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I'm disappointed that this has so little attention.  I thought it was an exceptional show.  It covered the full range of emotions and though so much was tragically sad, it was also funny and I actually laughed out loud - rare to do that when I'm alone!  I think Ricky Gervais is too abrasive for some people - I don't take him that way at all.  It takes looking below the surface to see that what may sound mean to some, isn't really.

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I went searching for reviews and it seems to me the consensus is : Reviews from "professional" critics are mixed but the 'regular' people seem to get it, and enjoy it immensely. To quote a comment from IMDB: "He speaks right to the dark, sad, and angry part in all of us. He also shows us that everyone is beautiful." 

I got teary-eyed for the first time in only the second episode, when the man who received multiple identical birthday cards referred to his late wife and said something about how nice it was to have somebody to share things with. I also LOL'd (more of a Snorted Out Loud, really) at so many other parts of it. 

I'm pretty cynical by nature but this series 'gets me in the feels'. I think it's genius. Maybe you have to be a Ricky Gervais fan, IDK. I think it's honest, insightful, and beautifully cast and acted.  

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I loved it. It was such an honest portrayal of life and loss. I need to watch it again just to appreciate the characters and acting, which was amazing.

Did anyone else think Tony giving the money to Julian was morally questionable/wrong?  

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I just watched it in an afternoon and loved it. I thought it was so poignant, and ultimately really uplifting.

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I'm really enjoying it, but not able to binge it in one go, as I keep crying. There are very funny bits too - I think most people can relate to (at least once and awhile) wishing they could just blurt out whatever dark angry thing is on their mind, and not give a shit about propriety.

Plus, there's a dog, and the dog is awesome!

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I just adored this. It was so very well acted. Ricky Gervais was a revelation in this role. Penelope Wilton is a pleasure. I laughed and I cried. And the dog. I love German Shepherds, especially the bi-colored ones and the pure black ones.

i hope there’s a second season, although this season ended on an

Spoiler

optimistic note.

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On 3/13/2019 at 12:13 AM, non sequitur said:

Did anyone else think Tony giving the money to Julian was morally questionable/wrong?  

I don't think I'd ever do it, but I understand Tony's rationale - he probably truly thought this would end Julian's suffering, which is what Julian said he wanted. Tony was so much in his own pain, I imagine he thought he helped him?

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On 3/14/2019 at 4:25 PM, Jade Foxx said:

I don't think I'd ever do it, but I understand Tony's rationale - he probably truly thought this would end Julian's suffering, which is what Julian said he wanted. Tony was so much in his own pain, I imagine he thought he helped him?

I agree. I was horrified when he gave him that money, but also think that his reasoning was he felt badly that the choice to live or die was something he kept as his failsafe exit and Julian didn't have that same autonomy.

He realized in his brother in laws office that he had stepped too far though. 

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I totally adore Ricky G. and loved this show, but I agree with some of you guys, his giving Julian the money to buy drugs to off himself was totally evil. Outside of that little snag, a wonderful cast, and good to see some of his old gang in this series. He is a genius. My sick little fat man, I love him.

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Oh, I totally agree that giving Julian that money was actually meant as something helpful, as horribly wrong as it was. 

On a rather superficial note, I keep forgetting to note if the credits mentioned where this is filmed; I'm assuming the exterior shots are an actual village? It's so charming and then to find out there's a beach within walking distance? I want to go live there. 

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3 hours ago, littlecatsfeet said:

On a rather superficial note, I keep forgetting to note if the credits mentioned where this is filmed; I'm assuming the exterior shots are an actual village? It's so charming and then to find out there's a beach within walking distance? I want to go live there. 

I'm curious about this too - it looks so adorable wherever it was filmed. My guess is that it's probably just a bunch of different locations cobbled together to look like one community, which is how it goes with most film/tv shoots. And the cute town scenes are probably nowhere near a beach. But I could be wrong!

Edited by Cheezwiz
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3 hours ago, littlecatsfeet said:

Oh, I totally agree that giving Julian that money was actually meant as something helpful, as horribly wrong as it was. 

On a rather superficial note, I keep forgetting to note if the credits mentioned where this is filmed; I'm assuming the exterior shots are an actual village? It's so charming and then to find out there's a beach within walking distance? I want to go live there. 

Location guide for the show.

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Ahhh this was such a gem of a show. I laughed, I cried—just lovely. I of course would watch if there was a second season, but this is a rare instance where I almost hope they don’t. They really told a brilliant little story there in 6 short episodes, and wrapped up the story quite well at the end. 

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Yeah, I agree, I think that's the end of this show....Ricky knows when to wrap it up in a fine bow.

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12 hours ago, biakbiak said:

Thank you! Even though I knew the "incredibly charming English village within a stone's throw of the ocean" setting had to be too good to be true, it (Hemel Hempstead) does indeed look lovely. Their Wikipedia page needs updating, though: There's no mention of After Life,  although it has been used as a setting for other TV shows & movies. 

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Husband and I binged this on Saturday night and we both loved it.  We have very different tastes so it is a rarity to find something that both of us loved watching so much.  We always give a rating to what we watched afterwards and halfway through watching this, he said to me "I give this an 11 out of 10."  I recommend it to any couples looking for a wonderful 'date night' show.  We both laughed, we cried and we reflected on our own relationship.  Ricky Gervais is brilliant. To be able to pull off being funny and thought-provoking at the same time is not easy and he manages to do both while dealing with even the most serious, poignant moments in all of our lives.

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On 3/13/2019 at 2:13 AM, non sequitur said:

I loved it. It was such an honest portrayal of life and loss. I need to watch it again just to appreciate the characters and acting, which was amazing.

Did anyone else think Tony giving the money to Julian was morally questionable/wrong?  

I had a problem with it, but I think it was well-intentioned.  ( The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, so they say...)  I have to let it go though, because I do not think he is an evil person.

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On 3/12/2019 at 4:36 PM, littlecatsfeet said:

"He speaks right to the dark, sad, and angry part in all of us. He also shows us that everyone is beautiful." 

I echo these sentiments exactly and I'm not a Ricky Gervais fan. I think his general sense of humor is mean-spirited. A prime example is how he makes fun of his partner Jane on his Twitter account.

However, I can only imagine losing someone you love that deeply and having to live on without them. I don't think I'd be a well-adjusted human after a loss like that either. My favorite aspect of Tony's character was his love for his wife. His monologue about how he wasn't interested in a career because all he ever cared about was spending time with his wife was beautiful and poignant. Too many times, one person in the relationship can be the butt of jokes or mean-spirited comments, but none of that was present in this show which made me love it more.

Regarding giving the money to Julian so he could OD, I just kept thinking, "I don't know if I could live with myself for being the cause of another human's death even if they wanted to commit suicide at the time." I truly believe that Julian could have changed his mindset with rehab and counseling. I can understand the feeling of being so far down the hole that you can't see the light because I've been there myself which is probably why I believe Julian could survive it too.

This show was a joy start to finish. If Ricky's work continues to evolve like this, then I look forward to watching what he comes up with next.

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Catfi9ht, have you ever watched Ricky's Netflix series "Derek"? It is surprisingly tender and heartfelt. The title character (Gervais, of course) works in a nursing home and may or may not be mentally challenged himself; he sees only the good in people and is kind and thoughtful to others. I think it's on a par with After Life as far as being able to move you emotionally. It shows you a sign of Ricky you might not expect. I'm not sure if it's still on Netflix, but here is the IMDB page: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2616280/

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I haven't finished it but I thought it was excellent. My relating was the scene where Gervais is hanging out at the hospital and sees his wife's room. I live in a relatively small town and you better I believe  I am acutely aware of all the rooms my loved ones suffered in. 

But have to say.. the show was really helped out by that dog. Very pretty. 

Roisin Conaty was wonderful as the sex worker. She had her own short show on Hulu which cracked me up, called Gameface. 

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3 hours ago, BooBear said:

But have to say.. the show was really helped out by that dog. Very pretty. 

I should have mentioned that beautiful dog.  She added so much, not only a pleasure to watch her, but she showed that Tony still cared about something and could put his suffering aside for the benefit of someone else.

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Ok so now I saw it all. 

  • I thought the final episode was a little schmaltzy.  Too much all at the end.
  • Thought the scene where Matt was legit upset was touching. You could see the realization on Tony's face that he was hurting people he loved.
  • I checked out Derek last night - same cast pretty much.
  • Perhaps because these are people Gervais worked with before you just felt that he liked them all. Even when he would make a joke it seemed obvious he liked them all. 
  • Brian was sad.  Thought they should have gotten him help. 
  • I don't think they should make anymore. I think it was the perfect "life lesson" about getting over great grief.

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Dogs, or pets in general, are so helpful to people grieving the loss of loved ones. I was glad to see the dog in this show.  I really loved this show and am so glad to find that everyone here also enjoyed it.  I haven't found any friends who have watched it yet, but I thought the show was just perfect.  The baby that looked like Hitler, for whatever reason, just cracked me up.  All the people who wanted to be in the little newspaper.  

It really was just perfect. Great cast, great acting, great storytelling. 

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Pretty sappy ending in the cemetery scenes with Oenelope Wilton and I also feel it was a mistake for Tony to give Justin money to buy enough heroin to overdose (he will live with that forever), but otherwise good as we love Gervais in the MML house. Sort of a mini-Office thing going on in the newspaper office. I would love a prequel with Lisa and Tony.

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On 3/14/2019 at 2:15 AM, Cheezwiz said:

I'm really enjoying it, but not able to binge it in one go, as I keep crying. There are very funny bits too - I think most people can relate to (at least once and awhile) wishing they could just blurt out whatever dark angry thing is on their mind, and not give a shit about propriety.

Plus, there's a dog, and the dog is awesome!

This is where I am. I just watched the first two episodes, and I'm still crying. I'll pick it back up, but, yes, it's that gut-wrenching to me.

But funny too. And the dog is lovely.

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On 3/13/2019 at 2:13 AM, non sequitur said:

I loved it. It was such an honest portrayal of life and loss. I need to watch it again just to appreciate the characters and acting, which was amazing.

Did anyone else think Tony giving the money to Julian was morally questionable/wrong?  

My husband and I just saw this episode tonight, and it sparked this exact discussion between us. It's a hard question to answer. On the one hand, I can see that Tony understands how Julian feels and recognizes that there's little chance that Julian's life will ever improve. That would seem to suggest that giving him the money was a kindness. On the other hand, where there's life, there's hope, and there's no reason to believe that Julian couldn't get himself together with the proper help and encouragement, so giving the money to someone in Julian's state of mind could almost be argued to amount to manslaughter. I can see both sides of it, and I can't decide what's right.

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By the way, is there anything Ashley Jensen isn't in right now? We're watching her in After Life; we're watching her in Catastrophe; I'm watching her in Agatha Raisin; we just recent finished watching her in Love, Lies and Records.  I live in the Chicago area and I fully expect to turn on the local news tomorrow night and see her at the anchor desk. The woman is ubiquitous! 

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On 3/14/2019 at 1:12 PM, javaluvr said:

I just adored this. It was so very well acted. Ricky Gervais was a revelation in this role. Penelope Wilton is a pleasure. I laughed and I cried. And the dog. I love German Shepherds, especially the bi-colored ones and the pure black ones.

i hope there’s a second season, although this season ended on an

  Reveal spoiler

optimistic note.

Ooops can't read that spoiler yet, not finished, but wanted to say I know somebody that isn't a fan of Brandy (Anti) - my dog! He tries to bite her thru the television screen whenever she's on. He does have a bad history with black German Shepherds though, especially the female ones, so I won't hold it against him.

On 3/19/2019 at 12:26 PM, Catfi9ht said:

I echo these sentiments exactly and I'm not a Ricky Gervais fan. I think his general sense of humor is mean-spirited. A prime example is how he makes fun of his partner Jane on his Twitter account.

However, I can only imagine losing someone you love that deeply and having to live on without them. I don't think I'd be a well-adjusted human after a loss like that either. My favorite aspect of Tony's character was his love for his wife. His monologue about how he wasn't interested in a career because all he ever cared about was spending time with his wife was beautiful and poignant. Too many times, one person in the relationship can be the butt of jokes or mean-spirited comments, but none of that was present in this show which made me love it more.

Regarding giving the money to Julian so he could OD, I just kept thinking, "I don't know if I could live with myself for being the cause of another human's death even if they wanted to commit suicide at the time." I truly believe that Julian could have changed his mindset with rehab and counseling. I can understand the feeling of being so far down the hole that you can't see the light because I've been there myself which is probably why I believe Julian could survive it too.

This show was a joy start to finish. If Ricky's work continues to evolve like this, then I look forward to watching what he comes up with next.

I very much enjoy Ricky Gervais as a comic and I loved his hosting gigs at the Golden Globes. I actually found it funny that big name stars (that I actually like) were really offended at not being sucked up to and treated with kid gloves. Unlike you, catfi9ht, I don't think any jokes about his partner are mean spirited. They have been together more than 35 years and in an interview I read with him, he talked about how lost he would be without her and it seems to me that this entire show is a love letter to her.

I do prefer the American Office though, and that puts me at odds with most people I know that have watched both. Though to be fair, I didn't get very far thru the English one. I tried Extras and thought it was okay, but this is the one that I am invested in, perhaps I like black comedy more than satire. So this is the first TV show of his that I have actually watched more than the first episodes and I loved it! I realized how fond I was of it at the conclusion of the one that he tried heroin with, I think maybe episode two?

Definitely on the side of those that think giving Julian enough money to buy drugs to kill himself is definitely wrong, but I don't think he is thinking clearly. He is in a big dark depressive hole and believes he is giving Julian an out. So...Not Criminally Responsible?

Love the scenes between little George and Tony (Gervais). I'd love to see him play a teacher in a comedy.  I think he'd be brilliant at it, kind of like Gerry Dee but with a darker streak. 

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7 hours ago, PrePreBabylonia said:

Love the scenes between little George and Tony (Gervais). I'd love to see him play a teacher in a comedy.  I think he'd be brilliant at it, kind of like Gerry Dee but with a darker streak. 

This is a BRILLIANT idea! Although I seem to recall him saying in interviews that he's not particularly fond of kids, so that kind of premise it may not occur to him. The comedic possibilities are endless.

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Gervais is actually on a quiz show called Child Support (https://abc.go.com/shows/child-support) where he wrangles five of so lower grade-school kids for their answers to Jeopardy-level questions, while Fred Savage hosts an adult faced with the same questions. Gervais is funny and comfortable with the kids—although I don't see him in a teacher role, I could see him being a headmaster and dealing with kids, parents, and school staff. Heck, I think he’s thoughtfully funny no matter what.

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6 hours ago, MakeMeLaugh said:

Gervais is actually on a quiz show called Child Support (https://abc.go.com/shows/child-support) where he wrangles five of so lower grade-school kids for their answers to Jeopardy-level questions, while Fred Savage hosts an adult faced with the same questions. Gervais is funny and comfortable with the kids—although I don't see him in a teacher role, I could see him being a headmaster and dealing with kids, parents, and school staff. Heck, I think he’s thoughtfully funny no matter what.

That sounds like a great show~ I think Fred Savage is enormously talented. He was one of my favourite SNL guest hosts. He did an amazing Church Lady beside Dana Carvey - I think it was Church Lady and her mini clone. It would be interesting to watch them together.

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13 hours ago, PrePreBabylonia said:

That sounds like a great show~ I think Fred Savage is enormously talented. He was one of my favourite SNL guest hosts. He did an amazing Church Lady beside Dana Carvey - I think it was Church Lady and her mini clone. It would be interesting to watch them together.

I agree about Fred Savage! He was in one of my all-time favorite shows, The Grinder—he masterfully played the hard-working brother against Rob Lowe’s “prodigal son” role. So funny, so hard to play.

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On ‎3‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 9:22 PM, MarysWetBar said:

He realized in his brother in laws office that he had stepped too far though. 

I also think this was where we saw that he really did care about something - the boy. He was all "Eh, I figured he would kill himself" until his brother-in-law said that if he knew that, he wouldn't let him see George anymore. You could see how badly the thought of that devastated Tony.

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5 hours ago, SHD said:

I also think this was where we saw that he really did care about something - the boy. He was all "Eh, I figured he would kill himself" until his brother-in-law said that if he knew that, he wouldn't let him see George anymore. You could see how badly the thought of that devastated Tony.

I thought that scene was a really interesting commentary on how society works, too. His brother in law made him say he didn't know what Julian would do...even as they both sat there, clearly realizing it was bullshit, he still made him say it. He had to hear him say it.

It's kind of like the "apology tours" we (society) make celebrities go on when they've stepped out of line somehow. It doesn't matter if they're really sorry. The point is that we need to hear them say it. It's the ritual.

I just loved that scene for the way it subtly played out the idea of Tony having to stick to the social contract in that one regard, because of the consequences, even if he'd rejected it in most instances.

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I thought it was something really special. You rarely see a show that can combine the melancholy, harsh realities, and true observations on the human condition so deftly in the same episode, let alone show. Gervais does best when he's left alone to create, and it looks like that's what happened here. I'll be tuning in for season 2. WELL DONE.

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Just finished it!  Loved it.  So glad there will be S2.  All of the actors were fantastic.  I cried at the scene with his dad in the nursing home because it was so similar to an experience I had.  My grandmother had dementia, had just about forgotten all of her kids and grandchildren. On Christmas Eve the year before she died, my mom and I drove her back to her residence after our family party.  We were helping her get into bed and she looked at me soo intently. I saw the light  in her eyes come on like a switch.  She grabbed my hand and said, “You’re my beautiful  girl! “. That’s what she called me when I was little.  I was 40 when this happened, and I cried like a baby.   I am so grateful I went with my mother that night.  But, just like the dad in this show, that moment of clarity and love was gone in a second.  One of the aides came in and my grandmother called her an “fucking prostitute” in Italian.  She called them all horrible names, but we kept telling  all the very nice, sweet, patient Jamaican aides that Nonna was saying “pretty ladies”.

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