After Life

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After Life
Genre Comedy/Drama
Running time 25–31 minutes.
Creator(s) Ricky Gervais
Writer(s) Ricky Gervais
Starring Ricky Gervais, Diane Morgan, Kerry Godliman, David Bradley
Country UK
Network Netflix
Original runs 8 March 2019 – Present
No. of episodes 12
IMDB Profile

After Life is a streaming television series created by Ricky Gervais. It premiered on 8 March 2019 on Netflix. The second series premiered on 24 April 2020. On 6 May 2020, Netflix and Ricky Gervais reached a new multi-project deal which included the renewal of After Life for a third series.


After Life follows Tony, whose life is turned upside down after his wife dies from breast cancer. He contemplates suicide, but instead decides to live long enough to punish the world for his wife's death by saying and doing whatever he wants. Although he thinks of this as his "superpower", his plan is undermined when everyone around him tries to make him a better person. It is set in the fictional town of Tambury, where Tony works as a journalist at the local free newspaper, the Tambury Gazette.


  • Ricky Gervais as Tony Johnson, head of feature stories at the local newspaper, the Tambury Gazette. Following the death of his wife, he is depressed and suicidal
  • Tom Basden as Matt, Tony's brother-in-law and boss of the Tambury Gazette
  • Tony Way as Lenny, photographer at the Tambury Gazette
  • Diane Morgan as Kath, the newspaper's advertising employee
  • Mandeep Dhillon as Sandy, a newly hired journalist
  • David Bradley as Ray Johnson, Tony's dad, who has dementia and lives in a nursing home
  • Kerry Godliman as Lisa Johnson, Tony's late wife
  • Ashley Jensen as Emma, a nurse working at Tony's dad's nursing home
  • Paul Kaye as Tony and Matt's psychiatrist


Series 1

Title Series Original Airdate #
Episode One Series 1 08 March 2019 1
Tony's cantankerous funk - which he calls a superpower - is taking a toll on his co-workers. Meanwhile, a new writer starts at The Tambury Gazette.
Episode Two Series 1 08 March 2019 2
Thinking he has nothing to lose, Tony contemplates trying heroin. He babysits his nephew and starts to bond - just a bit - with Sandy.
Episode Three Series 1 08 March 2019 3
Tony hires a sex worker - but it's not what you think. A trip to the comedy club turns awkward. The nurse gives Tony a piece of her mind.
Episode Four Series 1 08 March 2019 4
Tony pushes back on Matt's idea to go on a blind date. Also, Tony makes an introduction and issues an uncharacteristic apology.
Episode Five Series 1 08 March 2019 5
Brian (finally) convinces Tony and company to visit his apartment for a story. Meanwhile, Matt receives a distressing call from his son's school.
Episode Six Series 1 08 March 2019 6
Making an earnest attempt to be happy - or at least not miserable - Tony gives some long overdue recognition to those who have stood by him.

Series 2

Title Series Original Airdate #
Episode One Series 2 24 April 2020 7
Determined to be kind but still struggling to be happy, Tony attends a Zen meditation course with Matt, whose own marriage is on the rocks.
Episode Two Series 2 24 April 2020 8
Lenny's girlfriend's son takes a position at the Gazette. Sandy contemplates writing a gossip column. Matt gets iffy advice from his therapist.
Episode Three Series 2 24 April 2020 9
A turn of events at the paper hits Sandy hard. Roxy and Pat share a meal, and Tony tries to support Matt's desire to get back out there.
Episode Four Series 2 24 April 2020 10
Tony interviews a local woman addicted to corrective surgery. Later, he holds back the snark in hopes of cheering up Kath.
Episode Five Series 2 24 April 2020 11
The curtain goes up on the community theater revue and things go about as well as can be expected. Tony receives devastating news.
Episode Six Series 2 24 April 2020 12
Grieving over another loss, Tony asks his friends and co-workers for space, not sympathy. Later, he wrestles with what it means to move on.


The show has received positive audience reviews, with an overall rating of 8.4 on IMDB and 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Merrill Barr from Forbes said of the series, "Overall, After Life is one hundred percent a series to check out. It's the Ricky Gervais project people have been begging for, for a long time."

Josh Modell of AV Club states that After Life is a "dreary, sarcastic self-pity party that also manages—in a magic trick perhaps only Gervais is capable of pulling off—to constantly point out its protagonist's intellectual superiority" and that "as a meaningful meditation on grief, is dead on arrival".

Ed Cumming from The Independent wrote that "all I see is a series constantly looking for easy solutions" and that "the script has a habit of using swearing where a joke ought to be".

In a more positive assessment, the Daily Express deemed that "Ricky Gervais is exceptional in unbeatable comedy".

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