The show saw Gervais play Tony, a journalist who becomes suicidal and depressed after the death of his beloved wife from breast cancer.
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Struggling to cope with his grief, Tony tries to embraces a ruder and more destructive personality, but finds himself undermined by the kindness of people around him.
The show received positive reviews from viewers and critics, with Gervais writing on Twitter: “You are the best fans in the world. Oh, and I’ve started writing series two.”
In an interview with RadioTimes.com ahead of the launch of the first series, Gervais said he wanted the audience to feel the “brutal honesty” at the heart of After Life’s dark subject matter.
“I think no harm can come from discussing taboo subjects and my only duty is to do it honestly,” he said.
“I just think, ‘I want to keep pushing it a little bit more’, because the problem comes, when you discuss these subjects, if you water it down for people because you think they can’t take it. And that’s offensive.
“So you do it honestly and brutally, and hopefully like never before, and people go, ‘That’s great’. It makes people think: they can be angry or they can like it a lot or whatever, but as long as it makes them think, they’ll enjoy the ride.”
The first series of After Life is available to stream on Netflix