Ricky Gervais is back with his latest 6 part series, for Netflix, After Life.
Just having his name attached to a project has people assume controversy. There have been one liners that have come out of this series that have caused outrage amongst some groups. The thing is, the line taken on it’s own does sound controversial, but, if you give the series a chance, and actually watch the whole thing, you will see why that line works in the context of the whole piece.
“It’s always happened to me, but it’s not just me. If you deal with sort of taboo subjects, which I do, then someone, somewhere, is going to find something you say offensive. I’ve embraced it and I’ve pushed back, and as long as I can justify everything I do, you try and make it bullet proof. I assume as many people are going to hate this as love it – for whatever reasons.” Ricky commented.
I fall into the second category. After Life is one of my favourite things Ricky has done to date. It’s funny, dark, uplifting and starts many internal conversations that we need to have with ourselves.
There’s lots of social commentary throughout. Including our clickbait culture. “Everyone’s furious” says Ricky about the clickbait titles. “No we’re not! We don’t care and wouldn’t have known if you hadn’t written about it.”
The conversation comes back to people being offended. “When people say that joke is offensive, I want to go, ‘no, no, you found that joke offensive’. There’s nothing offensive about the joke, it’s subjective. You’ve got to own that emotion. That’s what being offended is. It’s having an emotion. If someone says, ‘I’m offended’, they may as well say, I’ve got a pain in my leg. I go, ‘what do you want me to do about it? Thanks for telling me but there’s nothing I can do about it’. Ricky continues, “What you mean is that you never want to hear something you don’t like ever again.” Kerry adds, “If you are offended, there are ways to avoid not hearing stuff.”
Our conversation moved from controversy back to what After Life does so well. It has the viewer constantly questioning what is important in life. For Ricky, that answer is simple, “The only success that matters is happiness”!
Before our time is up, I have one final question for him, will there be a season 2 of After Life? “I always do definitive, finite, and end, just in case I die the next day. But, I fell in love with the characters and I have started thinking about it. I’d love to do a second series.”
While Ricky starts working on season 2, we can all watch season one of After Life, when it drops on Netlix tomorrow.