Why Ricky Gervais's 'After Life' is so important to me

Hey Guys! So I have a very different post for you today. As soon as I saw the series 'After Life' pop up as recommended on Netflix,...

Hey Guys!
So I have a very different post for you today. As soon as I saw the series 'After Life' pop up as recommended on Netflix, I knew I had to give it a watch. I'm a big fan of Ricky Gervais, mainly The Office but I think he's such a good writer, comedian and actor. After watching the trailer for this series, I thought it seemed very different from any other of Ricky's work. I love to binge-watch a series and considering that it has 6 episodes of around 30 minutes each, I literally watched it in a day!

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If you haven't watched it yet I'll give you a brief summary without spoiling too much! 
Tony (played by Ricky Gervais) is a journalist for a local newspaper and his life is turned upside down after his wife dies unexpectedly. His wife Lisa was literally his life and he doesn't know how to basically carry on without her. She has prerecorded some videos for Tony to watch after she passed to help him cope. As you can imagine though he doesn't cope very well and takes all his anger out onto everyone else that he meets. His dog is basically the only thing that is keeping him alive.
He goes around saying whatever he wants and whatever he thinks to the people he actually cares the most about.

The clever thing about this series is the ability to make you laugh one minute and then cry your eyes out the next.  The use of humour is very well placed and the fact that he can literally do or say anything that's out of the social norm actually sometimes shocks you while watching. For example, his father is in a care home and while Tony goes and visits him he will literally be so blunt whilst talking to him about his wife. It makes you feel so sorry for Tony, especially seeing him in his house just with his dog who he loves so much (very relatable). He is a grieving man and with the help from the videos from his wife and the concern of loved ones he tries to get his life back on track.

Why I think this series is so important to me is the representation of grief. I've never watched anything so relatable to how someone is grieving. Most shows that you watch will just gloss over the issue of grief and will pretend in a couple of months that person will be fine again and go back to a normal life. That isn't the case at all, which is definitely shown in After Life. I've unfortunately experienced grief within the last few years from losing a few loved ones. I know the pain of having to face life again without someone close to you being in it. It's so hard and I think there are so many different stages of grief and we see Tony going through the anger stage. He is angry at why this has happened to him and his wife and so he will take it out on anyone else in his life. This is what happens to people, even though it's just a show, it really accurately represents how someone would feel after losing their wife so suddenly. It's so refreshing to be able to watch something and for such a serious topic like grief to be so well played out. Everyone else around him can see what he's going through but no-one can help him except himself.

As I said before his dog is always by his side and what's basically motivating him to stay on earth and look after him. I think that this is such a powerful message and shows actually how much a pet can mean to you. I know that most dogs normally can tell when you're upset and will actually always be there for you and I know that's quite comforting when you're going through something like that.
Sometimes it takes the work of a stranger to get you to see what you're going through and that there's life at the end of the tunnel. For Tony, it was meeting a lady at the cemetery who had lost her husband. I think you take comfort from those who are going through the same or similar thing. She showed him how he could take back control of his life and even though he would never move on, I think you still grieve for the rest of your life but it does get a lot easier. Tony also meets a woman who is his father's carer, who he would like to date but probably would feel guilty to his wife. I think a lot of people would be able to relate to that, the fact of not being able to move on because you would feel so guilty. It's the process of life though and in the end, Tony realises that and things start to look up for him.

I think if you're going through grief or depression then I would actually highly recommend watching this series. As I said it does include humour but in the right way. I think it would have been so useful to me to watch this when I wasn't in a good place because it normalises life and how people react in different situations. I really do applaud Ricky Gervais for creating something like this because I think it's hard to get right without also offending so many people at the same time.
If you have Netflix, please give this a watch if you haven't already because I think that it's so important. I am also thoroughly looking forward to the second series which I hope will be out in the near future!
I know this has been quite a different post to what I normally write but I felt so strongly about this series that I just had to share it with you.
I hope you're all doing well,
Lots of love,
See you in my next post

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