Afterlife is a British comedy-drama series created by Ricky Gervais. It debuted on March 8, 2019 on Netflix, and the final season was released on January 14, 2022. Film critics and viewers responded well to the series for their sincerity, humor and emotionality.
What is After Life about?
This series is a story about how a person can survive the biggest tragedy in his life – the loss of a loved one. About how a person can find the strength and meaning to live on, despite the pain and despair. About how a person can change for the better, thanks to the support and love of other people.
The series tells about the life of Tony Johnson (Ricky Gervais), he is a journalist for the local newspaper The Tambury Newspaper, is experiencing the death of his beloved wife Lisa, who died due to breast cancer.
Tony loses all meaning to live and is going to commit suicide, but changes his mind, due to his need: either there will be no one to feed his beloved dog, or he will be asked to sit with the child. He still decides not to lay hands on himself, but on the contrary, “punish the world” for the death of his woman, saying and doing whatever he wants, not paying attention to the feelings of other people. But all his ideas collapsed when the people around him began to pay attention to him and make him better every day.
Other characters also appear in the series, in varying degrees, influencing Tony’s life:
- his father, Ray, who has dementia and lives in a nursing home;
- brother-in-law Matt (Tom Basden), newspaper editor-in-chief and father of two;
- co-workers Lenny (Tony Way), Kat (Diane Morgan), Sandy (Mundip Dillon), and Brian (David Earl);
- psychiatrist (Paul Kay);
- postman Pat (Joe Wilkinson);
- nurse Emma (Ashley Jensen);
- acquaintance from the cemetery Ann (Penelope Wilton);
- friend Derek (Karl Theobald) and others.
The meaning of the movie “After Life”
The series not only entertains the viewer with its black humor and unexpected plot twists, but also makes you think about the important issues of life: about love and loss, about friendship and loneliness, about happiness and grief, about meaning and purpose, about forgiveness and acceptance.
The series shows us that life after the death of a loved one is possible, but for this you need to open up to the world and other people who can support, help and understand.
The series also demonstrates that each person has his own history and his own problems, which are not always visible on the surface, and the importance of being kind and compassionate to others. The series teaches us to appreciate what we have and not lose hope for what will be.
Explanation of the ending of the movie “After Life”
In the series’ final third season, Tony continues to struggle with his depression and loneliness. He tries to mend his relationship with Emma, but she leaves for Australia for work.
Tony tries to help his father, Ray, who is dying in a nursing home. He learns that his wife Lisa was pregnant by him before her death, but lost the child. Meets Ann at the cemetery and tells her about it. Ann tells him that he should move on and be happy for what he had with Lisa. She also tells him that he is not alone and that he has many friends and people who love him.
In the last episode, Tony comes to his father’s funeral. He says goodbye to him and reads the poem Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep, which Lisa recorded for him on video before her death. He is also dating his sister Laura (Kathryn Pearson), who is visiting from America. She tells him that she is proud of him and that he looks like their mother. She also tells him that he should be with Emma, who has returned from Australia. Tony confesses his feelings to Emma and kisses her. They leave the funeral together.
At the end of the episode, Tony is sitting on the bench with Brandy talking to Ann. He tells her that he feels better and that he wants to live. He also tells her that he is grateful that she was his friend. Ann tells him that she too is grateful for his friendship. They hug and smile. The episode ends with Tony petting Brandy and saying “Life is good”.
Reviews and reactions
The film has earned many accolades and reactions from critics and viewers of the series. On Rotten Tomatoes, Life After Death has a 75% critical rating and a 94% viewer rating. And on the IMDb platform, the series has a rating of 8.4 out of 10 based on more than 100,000 votes.
Critics praise the series for its sincerity, humor, emotionality and acting. For example, John Doyle of The Globe and Mail called the series “terrific” and “deeply touching”. James Ponywozhik of The New York Times noted that the series “combines violence and kindness, sarcasm and sensitivity”. Ed Power of The Independent praised Ricky Gervais for his “brilliant” performance as Tony.
Viewers also praised the series for its plot, characters, dialogue, and atmosphere. People who watched the series noted that it made them laugh and cry, as well as think about their lives.
Some even shared their personal stories about how they experienced the loss of loved ones and how the series helped them cope with grief. Many viewers expressed their gratitude to Ricky Gervais for creating such an instructive and inspiring series.