We just finished watching the first season of the Netflix series After Life. It has received both critical acclaim and a resounding thumbs down from various viewers. It made me laugh and cry and truth be told get angry, very angry at the main character sometimes.
Starring Ricky Gervais as Tony Johnson it tells the story of a man whose wife has died and as a result, he has lost his will to live. Tony keeps watching videos of his wife and longing for the life they had together. He really doesn’t want to go on without her. Tony works as a reporter for a small local newspaper and the stories he covers had me laughing out loud they were so bizarre.
But be forewarned Tony is caustic, foul-mouthed, insulting and downright horrible to other people. He simply doesn’t care, engages in all kinds of self-destructive behaviour and makes questionable ethical choices.
Tony is well down the path of utter callousness and impeding suicide but……….. the kindness of the people around him who genuinely care about him, finally breaks through in heartwarming fashion. In fact, so heartwarming that my husband and I were compelled to give each other a huge hug during the season finale.
There is a second season of After Life which we haven’t started watching yet and in a way season one ends things so well I hardly think there is a need for another season. After Life reminded me a lot of the book A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. We also recently watched the movie, American Son. It stars the luminous Kerry Washington who I so enjoyed in the series Little Fires Everywhere. The story revolves around a couple who know their son has been involved in some kind of incident with the police. They are at the police station waiting to hear what has happened. Their brilliant talented son has been admitted to a first-class college. He is black and they are terrified that like many other young black men he may have been the victim of police brutality.
But be forewarned that American Son is based on a Broadway play and has been filmed like a play. All the action takes place in the police station and consists of dialogues between just a handful of different characters. In 2019 when the film came out it was criticized for being too heavy-handed when it came to the subject of racism. In the current political and social climate I don’t think it would be considered over the top at all.