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”.
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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.”
I literally laughed out loud and cried my eyes out at the same time. The word genius is used too often but @rickygervais is a genius. He writes the most beautiful tragic characters who you hate and love in the same breath. https://t.co/dTzexKfCnI
— Brian Mcfadden (@BrianMcFadden) March 8, 2019
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.”
.@rickygervais I've just watched the first two episodes of #AfterLife It's excellent : sad and funny & when it's funny it's brilliant & really sad. It is a wonderful portrait, surprising, outrageous & personal. Terrific cast and Ricky you are superb. Onto ep3 later (-;)
— Peter Egan (@PeterEgan6) March 8, 2019
“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…
— Alison McAuliffe (@alisonmcauliffe) March 9, 2019
— Sean Ellis (@Sean_M_Ellis) March 9, 2019
— Andy Peache Lane ???? (@FletcherLane22) March 9, 2019
I knew #Afterlife would be good, but I wasn’t prepared for the emotional carnage that unfolded. I binged the whole series, and it has me crying to laughing in a matter of seconds. A true masterpiece.
— Jack (@jack_tosney) March 9, 2019
— Jamie Doswell (@jamiedoswell) March 9, 2019
Genius is applicable when it comes to #AfterLife dealing with subjects of death depression & grief with deft humour and humanity leaving you crying and laughing at the same time is no small feat! @rickygervais has done it again and bet himself Hav 2 rewatch #Derek need more ???? https://t.co/kBUIs8VKm0
— Maria Pasquarelli (@MariaPasquareli) March 9, 2019
— Adam Playford (@little_scamp85) March 9, 2019
— Lau (@LAURE_LOIA) March 8, 2019
Just when you think you can never have a unique viewing experience again, enter @rickygervais.
After Life had us equal parts hysterically laughing, and crying the next. Gut wrenchingly relatable.
And again with the brilliantly drawn characters. #AfterLife #RickyGervais
— Carly Austin (@CarlsAussie) March 9, 2019
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.”
— David Draycott ???????? (@D_Draycott) March 8, 2019
Watched #Afterlife in it's entirety & not since #MForMammy have I been an emotional wreck after watching or in the latter case reading. I've been where Tony's been, heck I'm still there & 2c the rawness of emotions on screen, my heart caved. Stunning piece of work @rickygervais
— ⓋCiara Fitz (OBE in Ollieland) #EndArklowSheepRace (@Kilts4me) March 8, 2019
Been binging #AfterLife by the brilliant @rickygervais and I’m mind blown by how he deals with serious topics like grief, addiction, suicide, and mental health and still make my stomach cramp from laughing. This is probably the best show to air on Netflix this year. Check it out!
— Sofie to Korea (소희) (@sofienyland) March 9, 2019
After Life is streaming on Netflix UK NOW