Netflix’s bittersweet series After Life has launched its second season and if you were hoping that writer/star Ricky Gervais was going to go a little easier on his character Tony this time around, think again.
**Warning – spoilers follow!**
The fifth episode of season two sees Tony, still grieving the loss of his wife Lisa (Kerry Godliman), discover that his father Ray (David Bradley) has also passed away, after living with dementia.
Hasn’t poor Tony suffered enough? Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press, Gervais revealed that he wanted to reflect the chaos and unpredictability of everyday life by having Tony suffer another major blow.
“S**t happens,” he explained. “As fun as that character [Ray] is to be around forever, I think sometimes you have to look at the brutal realities, or the brutal possibilities – and that’s what drama is, it’s conflict.
“[You think], what’s the worst thing that can happen? What’s the best thing that can happen? And sometimes they happen close to each other, it’s a simple as that – you’re having the best day and then you get an awful text… it’s life.
“So ‘it happens’ is the answer. It happens.”
It’s an answer we can accept… provided nothing bad happens to Tony’s dog in After Life season three.
There’s always the possibility, too, that the Ray character could reappear in any future season by way of home video footage, a la Lisa – with Gervais insisting that Tony’s late wife would continue to be “integral” to After Life going forward.
“She would be integral,” he said. “It’s such a rich vein: the wife he’s lost, and all the guilt, and moving on, and her vs. someone else… it’s like, who could compare with this perfect wife? She’s never gonna make a mistake… so [it’s] all those things.”