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Review: After Life Season 2 Episode 1

April 24, 2020
4 min read
After Life Season 2 Netflix

‘After Life’ was one of the best shows to debut in 2019. Written and directed by Ricky Gervais, the maiden season introduced us to Tony (played by Gervais), who is heartbroken over the death of his wife, Lisa. Throughout six episodes, in which he uses every opportunity to lash out at the world, we find him getting a little better. By the end of the first season, Tony had started to welcome others into his life. It ended with him going out for a drink with Emma.

The first season’s finale had been presented in a way that showed that the story had met its end. Tony’s arc gets a proper resolution, and with hope on the horizon, the audience was assured that there would be no more suicidal thoughts for the protagonist, that despite his pain, he will eventually move on.

So, when it was announced that the series had been renewed for a second season, a lot of people questioned whether it was the right thing to do. The concern was mainly because the viewers never like it when their favorite shows unnecessarily extend their stay and ruin the streak of perfection. What remains to be seen is whether ‘After Life’ will follow this trend or transcend the brilliance of its first season. It is too early to tell if this season is here to impress or disappoint, but there surely is hope.

After Life Season 2 Episode 1 Recap

Tony’s relationship with Emma comes to a standstill when she observes that he is still not over Lisa. Matt’s marriage falls apart, and he tries to find a balance in his life by attending a yoga and meditation class. He visits the psychiatrist, but the man is still useless. Tony and Lenny interview Tambury’s oldest woman, and Brian takes over Julian’s job at the Gazette.

After Life Season 2 Episode 1 Review

‘After Life’ returns with its second season in the same tone that had defined its previous run. We return to the familiar and quiet surroundings of Tambury to find that a lot of things haven’t changed, as opposed to what the final scene of the first season had us believe. Let’s start with Tony. Previously, he found the courage to move on and asked out Emma. However, it had been too sweet to be realistic enough.

Tony is still not over Lisa, and in all honesty, he probably never will be. But he is making strides. His house is cleaner this time, in contrast to what we had seen in the first episode of the first season, and also has dog food and clean bowls. He’s still trying to remain zen, but people are not being easy on him.

Tony’s friendships remain the same, his work ethic is the same, and his sarcasm is pretty intact, though he only focuses it on the people who deserve it. What has changed about ‘After Life’ is that it is expanding its horizons. While the previous season had been wholly focused on Tony’s struggles, this time around, we also become privy to the lives of the people around him.

This approach also falls in sync with Tony’s state of mind. Previously, he had been focused only on his pain. He was so blinded by it that it made him oblivious to the problems that his friends had been struggling with. Now that he is starting to shed his self-centeredness, we see the story opening up more. In this episode, we get a look into Matt’s struggles, but in the coming episodes, we expect the spotlight to shine on other characters as well.

What is also promising about this season is that it stays in touch with the sentiments of the previous season but also keeps its eye on the future of the story. Of course, Tony will not simply forget about his dead wife once he starts going out with someone else. But in the last season, his hopelessness was so strong that the audience didn’t even know if he would make it by the end. There was no particular thing for him to work for. Now, however, he has Emma to look forward to, and he’ll have to be quicker about it, or he’ll miss the boat.

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