Here's when After Life Season 2 premieres on Netflix, who stars with Ricky Gervais and everything about the new comedy series

Monday, 20th April 2020, 1:55 pm
Updated Monday, 20th April 2020, 1:55 pm

The second season of Ricky Gervais' surprisingly heartfelt grief comedy After Life heads to Netflix this week.

The second series of the Netflix show once again follows journalist Tony (played by Gervais), who is suicidal following the death of his wife, Lisa (Kerry Godliman).

Here's everything you need to know about it:

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

What is After Life about?

With only his pet dog to live for, Tony says and does whatever he wants, as he no longer cares about what happens to him.

In Season 2, we see Tony decide to try and become a better friend and colleague.

He realises that everyone is grappling with their own problems - especially after learning the Tambury Gazette, where he works, faces possible closure - but he's still really struggling with grief.

Despite its heavy subject matter, After Life is far from being nihilistic or pessimistic about the world.

It’s almost sunnily optimistic, with a touching faith in the redeeming goodness of others; those hoping for a new cringe-comedy classic along the lines of The Office or Extras might be disappointed.

'I wanted it to be real'

The idea for the show came from reactions to Gervais' divisive stand-up.

“You can’t make a joke that someone, somewhere, won’t find offensive, so you shouldn’t try," he told Yorkshire Evening Post.

"I thought, ‘That’s perfect. I can create a character that can say all the things that polite people are afraid to say; he’s got nothing to lose’. He can’t be threatened by human resources, ‘cos he goes, ‘I’ll kill myself’.”

Gervais knows full well that some people might be offended by his comedy, but said he "didn’t want to make [After Life] a vigilante thing; I wanted it to be real and I wanted it to be a comedy."

"Even though it was dark, and I wanted people to feel sorry for him and I wanted it to be real," he said.

“To start a sitcom with a woman in chemo leaving a message and you know she’s dead - that’s not Terry and June."

In reference to a memorable scene in series one when Tony walks past the local school and threatens a kid with a hammer, Gervais said, "that’s what also makes you want to root for this man who’s nasty to everyone - even kids.”

“Parents have told me, ‘The thing with the hammer? I’ve wanted to do that’. “It’s like, if your kid’s being bullied, the rules go out the window."

Who else is in the cast?

Gervais has surrounded himself with considerable comic talent once again in Season 2.

Diane Morgan is cast against type as the office hippie, Ashley Jensen plays the nurse Tony fancies and Joe Wilkinson is the oddball postman.

Roisin Conaty plays the local sex worker.while Paul Kaye is an unconventional psychotherapist, and Penelope Wilton the bereaved widow with whom Tony shares a graveyard bench.

When can I watch it?

After Life series 2 launches on Netflix on Friday 24 April.

If you need to catch up on the first series, Season 1 is available in full on Netflix now.