Critical Condition: After Life

After Life | Netflix, from Friday

☆☆☆☆ “No one does withering disdain quite like Ricky Gervais. Surveying his targets through narrowed eyes, the comedian unleashes eloquent abuse in a soft-spoken rush, like one long sigh of exasperation. Though this style of brilliant brutality is the centerpiece of After Life, the six-episode Netflix dramedy — created by and starring Gervais — is also unexpectedly moving, and a welcome throwback to the oddball sweetness of his most famous work, The Office.” — Entertainment Weekly.

☆☆☆ “After Life tells a familiar story. A bitter man, this time hardened by the untimely death of his wife, lashes out at a world he believes isn’t worth living in until he opens himself up to the possibility of a new and different happiness … What makes After Life so fascinating is that this version’s writer, director, and star is Ricky Gervais.” — Variety.

☆☆☆☆ “Ricky Gervais’s first sitcom since 2012’s Derek adds another misanthrope to a fine tradition … Although disguised by its sunny small-town setting, After Life looks to be A Christmas Carol reworked yet again, with Tony [Gervais] visited by his late wife (Kerry Godliman) on video instead of his partner’s ghost. Hopefully jokes will eventually arrive as he undergoes a Scrooge-like transformation.” — The Times.

☆☆☆ “After Life is often pitiless and hard to watch – but those are the moments Gervais’s earnestness shines most brightly. Suicide, assisted dying and the possibility of love after loss are all fed into the comedy mill.  And though the gags are occasionally absurdist,  the underlying sensibility never is.” — The Telegraph.

☆☆☆☆ “After Life is one hundred percent a series to check out. It’s the Ricky Gervais project people have been begging for, for a long time. The kind that hits his comedy stylings on the head so perfectly, it makes one realise that just maybe he always had something to say but needed time to figure out just how to do it in a format beyond the stage.” — Forbes.

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