Praise for After Life, Ricky Gervais’ first new TV series in five years is pouring in on Twitter, with fans heralding it as “brutal, poignant and hilarious”.
The comedy drama follows Tony (Gervais), a local newspaper journalist who decides to do and say whatever he wants in the wake of his wife Lisa’s death. It is a brutally honest portrayal of grief, that manages to mix in the comedian’s typical outrageous humour, too.
Many viewers were impressed with the way in which the show toggled between the light and the dark, leaving them “laughing, then crying, then laughing again.”
Among those to share their opinion on Twitter were former Westlife singer Brian McFadden and Downton Abbey star Peter Egan.
“I literally laughed out loud and cried my eyes out at the same time,” McFadden wrote. “The word genius is used too often but Ricky Gervais is a genius. He writes the most beautiful tragic characters who you hate and love in the same breath.”
Egan, who starred in last year’s Hold the Sunset, also chimed in.
“I’ve just watched the first two episodes of After Life,” he wrote. “It’s excellent: sad and funny and when it’s funny it’s brilliant and really sad. It is a wonderful portrait, surprising, outrageous and personal.”
“Thank you Ricky,” Alison McAuliffe tweeted, “brutal, poignant, hilarious… crying and laughing for different reasons at the same time.”
In fact, quite a few people were crying and laughing while watching the show…
And lots of viewers were impressed with the way in which Gervais deals with serious topics, like grief and depression, in the show.
“Watched After Life in its entirety and not since M For Mammy have I been an emotional wreck after watching or in the latter case reading,” Ciara Fitzgerald wrote. “I’ve been where Tony’s been, heck I’m still there and to see the rawness of emotions on screen, my heart caved. Stunning piece of work.”
David Draycott added: “themes of depression, grief and suicide – brilliantly balanced with the usual awkward, sharp humour. Pure Gervais. Loved it.”
After Life is streaming on Netflix UK NOW