Ricky Gervais’ After Life crafts yet another brilliant series finale


Timur Markowitz

After Life struggles to hit previous heights until its expertly crafted series finale, a Ricky Gervais specialty.

After Life recently returned for its third and final season on Netflix, and Ricky Gervais is back once more in one of his most fascinating roles as Tony Johnson. After two fairly well received seasons, the third season is far more controversial, polarizing audiences and critics; while critics seem to despite this third season, audiences appear to be heavily enjoying it. On Rotten Tomatoes, season 3 has 45% on the critic reviews, yet 80% on audience reviews. It was always a show that received mixed reviews, but the disparity is far higher now between critics and audiences. On Metacritic, the season had a score of 40 yet on IMdB the entire series has an 8.5, and the average episode rating in the season is an 8.25.

  While a majority of audiences are happy with the outcome of the final season, most critics believe that this season is the worst yet. However, both views are understandable, as while the show returns for a satisfying finale, it brings little new to the show that was not shown in the first two seasons. Perhaps in their final season, the show’s formula has run out of appeal. For the most part, this season proves to be just barely necessary. At some points, the show is laugh out loud funny, however, generally its jokes do not elicit as much laughter as they should. 

  The show may rely on the same joke repeatedly (Gervais’ character saying and doing cruel things unapologetically), yet it is at times effective. Nothing in this most recent season is worse than the first two, yet until the finale there is nothing better than the first two seasons either; though funny, it failed to bring in something fresh and unique. 

  A rather unnecessary season is saved by a heartwarming and well created finale, which manages to create a satisfying conclusion to the British series. The finale is by far the best episode of the show so far, ending the protagonist’s story with a rewarding conclusion. Gervais is known for his expertly crafted series finales, each offering both emotion and humor, and After Life is no exception to this. Once again, Gervais has nailed the finale despite a rather uneven season. Infused with Ricky Gervais’ classic humor and distinct style, an uneven season is still worth watching for his excellent performance, and the half of the jokes that land. 


Rating: 3.5/5.