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After Life - Ricky Gervais

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  • I really liked Series 1 but 4 episodes in I've not been quite as fussed by Series 2.  The psychiatrist isn't funny, such a poor one note joke.  Neither is the theatre director.

    That said, the bits with Joe Wilkinson, Roisin Conaty and Diane Morgan have been good.  Oh and the graveyard scenes.
  • edited April 30
    Yes, I too thought that the psychiatrist character and scenes weakened the programme. I've no problem with foul language generally but the whole thing just seemed to be aimed at being unnecessarily distasteful for the sake of it. Bit like an awful meal you would never want to eat again. Not funny. Not clever. Didn't seem relevant to the rest of the show. I wonder if Frankie Boyle wrote that bit?
  • I think you don't like the psychiatrist because that is his character and how it is to be intended?
  • meldrew66 said:
    I never even twigged that Egan and Wilton's characters had the same names (Paul and Anne) as their characters in EDC. Thought I was smart picking up the link to EDC. Apparently not as smart as others then! Nice touch though. I have got the EDC box set at home. Will have to get back into it as I can't remember if Paul and Anne finally got together? I don't think they did.

    Funny thing is I'm "only" 40 so missed EDC first time around but stumbled across it a few years ago on some channel and got hooked.  Have never seen all the episodes and must by the dvds.  
  • Glovepup said:
    I think you don't like the psychiatrist because that is his character and how it is to be intended?
    You can not like a character and still think it's a good character, script, etc.


  • I've only just started watching afterlife and the moment I saw Penelope Wilton I thought about EDC and wondered if there would be a place in the show for Egan.

    Thanks for the spoilers!!

    ;-)
  • Is there a thread on Netflix generally?
  • On the final penultimate episode.

    Clever what he's done with Peter Egan and Penelope Wilton...even given the characters the same names Paul and Anne as their roles in Ever Decreasing Circles.

    I was about to post exactly the same. I don't think this is coincidence either. Just an extra little plotline for those of us old enough to remember that excellent, underrated sitcom. I hope this continues in series 3.
    Its not, Gervais is a huge fan of Ever Decreasing Circles and tried to work with Richard Briers before he died. He once claimed he would give up his repeat royalties for the Office if the BBC would repeat Ever Decreasing Circles one more time!
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  • edited April 30
    Stig said:
    Glovepup said:
    I think you don't like the psychiatrist because that is his character and how it is to be intended?
    For me, it isn't so much the character as the context.  I think Paul Kaye plays the part well and delivers some funny material. The trouble is though, that amidst a story where everything else is more or less believable, the psychiatrist isn't.  I'm sure there are psychiatrists in real life who have dodgy opinions which they occasionally proffer inappropriately, but never to such an extent and never so unrelentingly. As someone else said, in real life he just wouldn't get any repeat business. If he'd have been a character in a sketch show and every week the dodgy psychiatrist said something more and more outrageous, that would be funny. But in the context of After Life, it simply serves as a reminder that we aren't really immersed in a real story but are just watching the telly.

    I look at it differently.  


    It is quite subtle but Gervais' character Tony subconsciously learns lessons from each of the characters that he and the photographer turn up to interview for the paper each episode.

    They are initially portrayed as cranks, loons and oddballs but actually have deep and profound insight...all of which accumulates to help Tony through his journey and move along and away from the hate- filled and cynical point he commenced episode 1 series 1 at.

    Kaye's psychiatrist character is the juxtaposition as the geezer "have a shag and a beer and get over it" outdated macho approach to life and its challenges, that whilst might initially work on the superficial and short term basis ends up just plastering over the cracks, never resolving the underlying issues and perhaps even contributing to far greater troubles down the line.


    I think it is very subtly done but clever and shows that Tony is learning more from those "weirdos" and their strength of character, resilience in the face of adversity and outlook on life whilst not even realising.  Each interaction seems to give him something to learn from and relate to. 


    Kaye's character change from series 1 has shown his deterioration into this outlook and he's currently in the "good times"  stage of covering up his demons with booze, birds and bugle. 

    Won't be surprised if in series 3 (if there is one given that Gervais only ever does 2 series) that Kaye's character will further demise and become a quivering mess himself as a conclusion to the character's arc and further contrast to the overtly strange interviewees that actually teach Tony the really important lessons.
    I’ve been thinking about the psychoanalyst character and I think the only way this scenario could work would be if the psychoanalyst is actually an alternative version of Tony - ie their conversations were actually internal (like fight cub?). This could also be what’s happening when his brother in law talks to him - the psychoanalyst character is like a defence mechanism he uses to avoid answering difficult questions. As a result the advice he gives is actually the worst advice.

    However, the way it’s been written suggests that this isn’t what Gervais is thinking. (The scene with his wanker mates in the pub, for example)
    If it is, he’s done it well by teeing us up with this fake character that serves to exacerbate the problems Tony is having. But on the other hand, it detracts from Tony’s relatability - all of us empathise with the grief he’s suffering, which is where the show gets its power. We wouldn’t all empathise with a person accessing an alternative personality as a coping mechanism.

    I really doubt this is where Gervais is going, but it would explain the unfathomable presence of this dreadful character.
  • It's a cheap thoughtless character with such minimal depth, It could actually play a role in the fiction within a fiction show "When the whistle blows"
  • On the final penultimate episode.

    Clever what he's done with Peter Egan and Penelope Wilton...even given the characters the same names Paul and Anne as their roles in Ever Decreasing Circles.

    I was about to post exactly the same. I don't think this is coincidence either. Just an extra little plotline for those of us old enough to remember that excellent, underrated sitcom. I hope this continues in series 3.
    Its not, Gervais is a huge fan of Ever Decreasing Circles and tried to work with Richard Briers before he died. He once claimed he would give up his repeat royalties for the Office if the BBC would repeat Ever Decreasing Circles one more time!
    He did get to work with Richard Briers once, as Briers appeared as a guest at a celebrity awards ceremony, where a plastic look-a-like doll of Andy Milman kept going off, and interrupting the event in an episode of 'Extras' , second series I think.

    Ever Decreasing Circles was a magical show back in the late 80's, as a young lad I probably missed some of the humour, but the writing and casting was so perfect that it hardly mattered. 
  • I agree, i think the therapist is just an OTT character, take it light heartedly even if pointless. Rodney is bang on, he might be annoying but i wouldn't say its that bad and he does have some funny moments for me. 

    Might rewatch the series over the weekend, just to get a second outlook. I may have missed things or been doing something eg. poker with it on in the background, i didn't really think it lived up to series 1 but willing to eat humble pie if i find it better 2nd time around. Series 1 i think i saw maybe 3/4 times


  • I'm surprised Gervais has resulted to nabbing jokes from the Sunday Sport.
  • Last couple of episodes were very good.
  • edited May 6
    Ricky Gervais usually does well and ends things at the right moment and doesn't push things to much.

    I hope that by signing up for a 3rd of afterlife he hasnt pushed it 1 series to far


  • The Office-2 Series and 14 Episodes total
    Extras-2 Series and 13 Episodes total
    Derek-2 Series and 14 Episodes total

    Afterlife-3 series and 18 episodes

    Just really hope as I said that he has something in his head, and Netflix haven't just said to him they will only give him the deal if it includes a series 3 and now he is doing something he doesnt ideally want to do

  • edited May 6
    Ricky Gervais + mega deal with production company famous for allowing unchecked creative decision making = :neutral:
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  • edited May 7
    .
  • I'm not sure After Life needs a third series, I personally don't think it needed a second.
    It just sort of plodded along without an arc, which is unlike Gervais' previous material.

    I would love to see a Kev from Derek spin off or a Brian Gittings spin off.
  • can't see where he goes with a 3rd season tbh
  • Croydon said:
    can't see where he goes with a 3rd season tbh
    He has just started with the nurse though.  So there's a series there, reconciling his grief with feelings of falling in love again, plus all the other crazy shit going on around it.

    It's ok Ricky, you can have that one free!


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