This is a Netflix Original Series about a guy that’s dealing with life after the passing of his wife due to cancer. This second season hits many of the same notes, while doubling down on the emotional aspects. Tony (Rick Gervais) is no longer a complete asshole to everyone, and that’s largely the tone of the series. It’s more about helping out others, and building upon existing relationships.
It doesn’t necessarily do anything new, but each episode leaves you with a sorrowing little bit that hits harder than the first season did. I found this to be an improvement over the initial one, but at the same time this really wasn’t anything too particularly enticing to watch. It had some decent comedic bits, and I suppose good hearted moments as Tony tries to improve the lives of others. The core group of friends do get some more screen time, but not necessarily much character development.
I also feel that they’re wasting a lot of the talent of the cast, by not really having them serve any kind of actual purpose in the story. They’re mostly just pawns around the world that is Tony living his day to day and just trying to stick around a little bit longer. I do find it intriguing that there’s still an edge of existence that the character clings to, and that carries this show for me.
The acting was generally solid here, there’s a varied and fun cast. Again, I just wish they were used more or had some sort of important purpose. There was a nice mix of various characters heading in new directions, but we don’t really get to dive into that too much. It kind of skips along with those story aspects being hidden in the background.
I’m almost more intrigued to see other perspectives, as the moping detracts from an interesting setup. That being said, again they really did hit those emotional elements well. It’s almost manipulative to some degree, with each episode ending on a really sad note that almost over clouds anything that happened within said episode.
Another big issue that I have with this series, and it continues to be a problem for me. It’s that nothing really happens in each episode. It’s a lot of meandering, and not a whole lot of progression. I could mention small story lines in this season, but they don’t go anywhere. Even the lead’s journey feels as though it could have gone by quicker than it does, despite hitting some rather big plot points and shifts in the world around Tony.
After Life Season 2 is a minor improvement over the original series, with a better emotional hook yet still not a whole lot of progression. There really isn’t much that goes on in this show, it’s just such a small step forward and it’s almost boring to a degree. I did find that these episodes flowed by much better than the first time around, and hopefully if more is coming down the road they begin to use the full cast more.
I like the surrounding selection of characters, and some new perspectives might be interesting to see. I get why they have the one focal point, I’m just mostly tired of seeing it. It certainly was more sorrowing, and I appreciate that depth. I also felt that Gervais gave a fairly good performance. It’s just that this new angle of happy all the time feels too different from what came before.
I know there’s this over hanging arc of sorrow in the backdrop that creeps in, but maybe we didn’t see that enough to keep this entertaining. It’s a selection of episodes that goes by, and not a whole lot really does happen as it feels like another small segment of this story.
After Life Season 2 Review at Home with Streamed Viewing