After Life on Netflix: Should You Watch?

Cheryl Greenway What's on Netflix Avatar

After Life season 1 Image: Netflix

Ricky Gervais has teamed up with Netflix again for a new limited series about grief and survival. After Life arrives on Netflix on March 8th but is it worth a watch? Here’s our review.

Ricky Gervais, most well known for creating The Office and for his acerbic standup, has delivered us a new comedy-drama that looks at a man in the throes of grief. Having successfully teamed with Netflix before with the series Derek, we see a lot of the same emotional pull strings here. We also see some of the same cast.

Gervais is Tony, a man who had a pretty perfect life. He was fun and in love with the world. But after his wife Lisa dies, Tony changes. After contemplating taking his own life, he decides instead to live long enough to punish the world by saying and doing whatever he likes from now on. He thinks it’s like a Super Power — not caring about himself or anyone else — but it turns out to be tricky when everyone is trying to save the nice guy they used to know.

Gervais really is at his best when he’s being a snide c**t, and there is no shortage of laughs when Tony lets loose on his unsuspecting victims. The trouble is, he begins to learn that “Super Power” of saying whatever he wants also has unwanted consequences.

One of my favorite parts of the series was Tony’s wife, Lisa. Played by Kerry Godliman (Derek) she’s the piece that lets you see what life was like before Tony was a miserable sod. Even though she isn’t interacting with any other actors, she manages to light up the scenes she is in.

The series has a stellar cast. Starring alongside Gervais is Tom Basden (Plebs, David Brent: Life On The Road) as Tony’s brother-in-law Matt, Tony Way (Edge of Tomorrow) as Tony’s best-friend Lenny, David Bradley (The Harry Potter series, Game of Thrones) as Tony’s dad, and Ashley Jensen (Extras) as a Nurse to Tony’s dad.

Also, starring is Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey, Doctor Who), David Earl (Cemetery Junction, Derek), Joe Wilkinson (Him and Her), Kerry Godliman (Derek), Mandeep Dhillon, Jo Hartley, Roisin Conaty, Tim Plester and Diane Morgan (David Brent: Life On The Road).

Is it worth a watch?

The show does go to some very dark places. Suicide is frequently mentioned along with alcohol and drug use. Tony is at rock bottom. There’s a pall over the entirety of the series.

With that being said, there are moments that are very touching. There’s regular laugh out loud moments and you’ll be left very satisfied with the series.

While this certainly isn’t groundbreaking material, what the actors did with it makes it worth your time. If you are looking for a watch that is emotional, funny, and ties up neatly, then this is it.

Written by

Cheryl has written for What’s on Netflix for over three years. She’s a confessed streaming addict and also runs a Netflix based community on Facebook with over 10,000 users. Cheryl specializes in documentaries and covers weekly additions for the US in addition to breaking news stories. She is the Weekend Editor for What’s On Netflix. Cheryl resides in Virginia, USA.

 Poster Rating: TV-MA
Language: English
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Cast: Ricky Gervais, Tom Basden, Tony Way
Season Additions:
  • - Season 3 was added to Netflix on January 14th, 2022
  • - Season 2 was added to Netflix on April 24th, 2020
  • - Season 1 was added to Netflix on March 8th, 2019