SPOILER WARNING: Plot and ending details for “After Life” follow 

Ricky Gervais’ existential Netflix comedy After Life first aired in March 2019 with six episodes, and then the second season with six episodes, premiered on April 2020. The streaming giant renewed the Ricky Gervais-led comedy for a second season only after a month of the show’s debut. 

The second season was lauded upon release for making the viewers laugh and cry in one sitting—sometimes in the same scene. There was plenty of room for story development and some unanswered questions that paved the way for a third season. 

Recently, The Office star took Twitter to confirm that the filming for Season 3 had officially begun, and ever since, Gervais has been giving fans a glimpse into the BTS of the show every day. 

What Is 'After Life' About?

Created, produced, and directed by Gervais, After Life revolves around Tony Johnson's Gervais, a journalist for a local free newspaper in the UK, who had a perfect life until his wife Lisa suddenly dies from breast cancer. 

Tony contemplates taking his own life but becomes a bitter man hardened by the loss and grief. He punishes the world with his caustic words and attitude, and feels empowered not having to think about the consequences for once in his life. 

The widower stubbornly clings onto his new outlook on life but realizes it is tricky when everyone around him is trying to save the nice guy they used to know. He finally realizes that he can’t and doesn’t want to live like that anymore and starts looking at the possibility of finding a different kind of happiness. 

In the second season, we see Tony trying to pull himself out of the depths of despair and improve his outlook on life by opening his awareness to the grief of others and having a greater appreciation for those around him. 

A Roaring Success

Gervais, who wrote iconic comedies The Office and Extras, admitted he struggled to bring After Life to life because of the complexities of what grief, depression, and guilt does to us all. The reaction to dark comedy-drama has been profound

The show seems to have struck a chord with people, especially the grieving ones, and now they approach Gervais to talk about grief rather than ask him to do the David Brent dance. 

It’s not just the sheer number of people loving it; it’s the intensity of the love. I didn’t know so many people were grieving. I suppose people rarely come up to you and say, “I’m grieving.” But now people come up and say that the show has helped them. I’ve never had that before.

After Life is the most-watched British comedy series on Netflix and topped the streaming site’s charts with 72 million views.