Baffled that anyone could possibly believe After Life is anywhere near the same level as The Office or Extras. It's painfully clear that Gervais (who I'm actually a massive fan of) really struggles without the contributions of Stephen Merchant as a co-writer. For me, as with Derek, there is absolutely no subtlety in the script. Instead of talking heads routinely telling us that Derek is a nice person, we have numerous characters routinely telling Tony that he is a nice person. We require constant reminders from Tony that his wife has died and he is very sad and he wants to kill himself. For me, it didn't ring true as a particularly realistic depiction of depression. Somebody is saying something half-poignant, so let's play some slow instrumental music over it to make sure that the viewer is left in no doubt that this is VERY sad. This Tony guy seems very grumpy at the moment, so let's insert another flashback of him playing an irritating prank on his wife to make sure that the viewer knows he used to be hilarious and that they had a fun relationship where she called him a c**t and a fat twat all the time.
Less is more, but I'm not sure whether Ricky fully grasps that notion.
The junkie storyline comes to a very unsatisfactory end. It isn't mentioned again. He isn't found out or punished for what he did. Therefore, what is Gervais trying to say about the decision that Tony makes? Does he approve of it?
On the plus side, there are some very nice moments, good performances all-round, and I especially enjoyed the scenes with his father at the care home. I shed a tear on more than one occasion. So I'm not saying that this is bad. I actually thought it was pretty decent and an overall improvement on Derek. But his best work of all time? Absolutely not. Worthy of the widespread praise? Not quite. 6/10