Afterlife

Dear god

 

just finished it.

 

Absolute fooking masterpiece. I cant stop crying

Isn’t it sublime. 
Devoured series 3:1/3 last night. 
Laughed properly and joyfully. 
if you haven’t caught up with this yet, treat yourself to the gift. 

its incredible.

 

The pub scene in series one (or 2?) is probably the most I've ever laughed at TV, but the series as a whole is the most I've ever cried.

 

I was expecting a different ending mind you. Heartbroken that its fninshed

The dog is my nominee for the BAFTA. If you love dogs, you will purr at Antilly (actual name). 

I still think Wilson in Friday Night Dinner should be getting a posthumous BAFTA.

Gervais loves dogs too. But then what normal person doesn't? Anyone bitten by one as a child has a veto on this.

I really like that Gervais is so confident and established in his own right that he can retain complete control of the story.  It means there is a real range to the output. While you can get some duffers as a result (eg Derek), you also get some absolute gems such as this programme. No Netflix execs telling him to make it more mainstream. No safety net of a guaranteed happy ending. Just a sad man coming to terms with the loss of his wife in a very human and relatable way. 

They’ve got rid of Mandy tho :( 

It’s good. A tad repetitive in places, but done with a light enough touch. The humour is very Gervais, so it either works for you or it doesn’t. Poignant in the end. 

First series was genuinely awesome and anything but saccharine.  Problem is you can't keep having Tony do awful things and hold audience sympathy over multiple series.

Fleabag (which obviously covers many of the same themes from a different angle) had a similar problem.  We can accept people being in pain/raging against the dying of the light but we all want redemption stories in the end. At the same time though it also kinda feels like a cop out. 

 

Some funny bits but the drama falls a bit flat for me. He isn’t a good enough actor to carry those scenes. 

I watched it all for completeness but skipped through quite a bit, especially any videos of the first wife 

 

Enjoyed the Tim Key date

Series 1 was just about watchable.  2 less so.  3 absolute trash - he was too affected by people on Instagram saying it helped them etc and changed it from a reasonably good comedy/drama to a collection of badly-acted aphorisms accompanied by "emotive" music (just in case the point hadn't been sufficiently rammed down your throat already).

All three seasons of Afterlife are accurate, spot on. If you are lucky enough not to have lost the loved one, then you wouldn’t understand the deapths of it. It is admirable what Ricky has created and this helps to those who cope with grief.

My problem with it was lack of progression, I couldnt event work out the timeline- is every series set over the same summer?

I have just finished season 3 and thought the whole thing very powerful, especially season 1. 

However:

1. too much/many content/characters are recycled from the Office and Extras

2. there are too many people telling Tony (i.e. Gervais) how lovely he is too many times

3. there are a few times where Tony asks someone to go for a coffee, for them to have a chat, and within 10 seconds he is talking about himself and the other character thanks him for sharing. Too self-indulgent

4. Diane Morgan is woefully under-used 

5. Generally there are too many gross male characters at the expense of female characters (apart from Jensen and Wilton)

I agree with Kimmy re the elements of the Office, etc and the use of the c^^^ word. But Ricky is showing how some people become invisible as a consequence of life changing events and maybe it was easier for him to present it from the man’s point of view as it is easier for him to relate to it when creating the character. 

I thought the first two seasons created an expectation that everything would be worked out in season 3, which he couldn't resist so it all became a list for ticking off, and began to frustrate me a bit. i still think the treatment of competing stresses - blind to anything but his own woes then gradual examination of others' lot - was a good device.  I thought the characterisation was good in all but the Dennis Pennis psychotherapist chap which I found to be exaggerated to stupidity. 

As someone who loved The Office and Extras

I found this to be unutterably awful, unwatchable sh1te.

I just about managed S1 with a few laughs and a bit of an arc but then when he reset everything at the start of S2 I just couldn't face any more of it... gave up halfway through, tried to carry on the other night but it's just absolutely terrible in terms of acting and writing. Don't understand the reaction it's had.

Watching Outlaws recently then comparing to this, the inescapable conclusion is that Merchant must have been the key talent behind the aformentioned shows to a greater extent than previously realised... else Merchant brought a synergy that RG cannot come close to unlocking without him

There is crying to be had.

 

Gaga - the David Earl hoarder character - his stand up routine? Now come on, that was proper funny, or are you even saying no to that?

S 3 was a bit disappointing. Some really clunky scenes, like the boy in the chemo ward. Good music though. Spent more time Shazam-ing than either blubbing or laughing. There is a limit to how many times you can watch Tony watch videos of his dead wife and laugh at his exuberant use of the aunt word. 

 

 

I am halfway through S3.

There does seem to be this thing where he starts off each season as an irascible and miserable bloke who seems on the edge of suicide and then has this redemptive arc with him ending the season with hope. Then it just resets at the start of the next season.

It really seems like flogging a dead horse. It would have been better if it was one season or even just a one off feature length thing. There is this huge amount of not much happening you have to get through and the occasional jokes are not sufficient compensation.

Gervais really created an issue for himself by making two of the best sitcoms ever at the start of his career. Everything else is just going to come up short.

In retrospect I think the Office was one of the most ground breaking and influential sitcoms ever but not one of the best because it has not stood the test of time, rather like the Young Ones you had to be there and I find virtually unwatchable now because the cringe factor is too high and too many of the characters too dislikeable for a comedy (the US office corrected this).  Extras on the other hand is as funny as ever.

I would say Extras has probably aged worse in many ways.

You certainly wouldn't get away with the episode where he stars in A Month of Summers now. The Finchy mk2 character Steve Sherwood is pretty horrendous and the whole thing just reeks of homophobia under a defence of irony that wouldn't stand now...

Office is a period piece but still very relatable in its depiction of interpersonal dynamics and the existential struggle of a 40yo man struggling to handle his life and job while putting on a facade of being a Renaissance man/success... for me the bit where he begs Neil and Jennifer not to make him redundant is a far more moving and poignant bit of acting than anything in After Life or Derek.

David Earl is funny in AL yes and there are funny individual bits in it but there is no proper arc to link it altogether. It's like each episode is almost standalone ; just more of him mourning his dead wife , using the c word, the piano telling you how to feel , absolutely zero character development and the whole thing just revolving around him (other characters like the slurpy yoga instructor are there purely to be the butt of a lame joke that he's already done before better in a previous sitcom/stand up).

Its actually a chore to watch and I never thought I'd find myself saying that about anything involving RG