After Life, Series 3, Review: Ricky Gervais’ sad film has the emotional depth of a post-It note

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Third and last series Ricky Gervaisis a very popular grief-com After life (Netflix) starts off great. As always, the episode begins with an old home video of Lisa (Kerry Godliman), who died of breast cancer before the first series began. In it, it is difficult to steer the boat on the oars, while it is filmed by her husband Tony (Gervais), the couple laughing and laughing and basically having a very nice and loving time. The laptop locks, but for once it’s not the gloomy Tony who watches the video and wonders how he can live without Lisa – it’s Emma (Ashley Jensen), Tony’s love interest, who wonders how he can compare to Lisa. It’s a gentle, subtle twist.

This is by far the culmination of another banal, enticing, soggy pudding of the series, drowning in its cynical cave of emotions and thin misanthropy, Tony lives in a world where, in his words, almost everyone is a “c-t” except him and his dog. It’s a show that doesn’t just want to have their cake and eat – Tony makes fun of everyone, but he and only he still sees the essential good in them – he wants to have his cake, eat it, spit it out, rub it in his face
then crying in tears demanded that you admire the baking.

The the complication really didn’t move forward (though three regular cast – Roisin Conaty, Mandeep Dhillon and Paul Kaye -, understandably), with Tony’s temporary relationship with angelic nursing sister Emma struggling to go anywhere. Tony still works for the Tambury Gazette and with open mouths distrustfully interviews local freaks.

She’s still shoveling red wine into her mouth while sitting on the couch with her dog in a brave fog of self-pity. He still spends his days insulting his colleagues – gentle photographer Tony Way, Lenny, weed boss Tom Basden, Matt, daring advertising lady Diane Morgan, Kath. He still ends each episode as he sits on a cemetery bench with the magical widow Penelope Wilton as she tells him how wonderful, kind and special he is.

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