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After Life - Ricky Gervais

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1 minute ago, JohnC said:

Grow up. 

 

Yes, they should.

 

...and come to terms with the fact that the world doesn't revolve around them and their over inflated sense of outrage and sensitivities.

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3 hours ago, DC Lemon said:

I doubt that was the result Gervais was aiming for with those jokes but going back to the point above about why is it okay to take the piss out of people with ginger hair, a lot of what Tony did wasn’t okay so it makes sense in that context. Where a smart retort is needed, all his sense of futility and bitterness has left him with is to call a kid a ‘tubby ginger cunt’.

 

That would be ok I guess if it wasn't for the fact I follow Gervais on Twitter (I liked The Office/Extras/Karl Pilkington stuff) and the one thing from this show that people have liked and commented on the most and which he has then retweeted a million times to promote the show is this clip.

 

Reading the comments it basically boils down to 'LOL Pedo!' and 'LOL Gingers!' I don't see Gervais tweeting "Well actually the context of this clip is..."

 

My original point wasn't just levelled at Gervais. 'LOL Gingers!' is something I have noticed across multiple TV/film comedies over the years for cheap laughs and I don't see how it's acceptable when other uncontrollable human attributes aren't. 

 

Let's pretend the kid in the playground was Black or Asian or a Muslim for example. What would Gervais' character retort have been then? Exactly. The scene wouldn't exist because he wouldn't be able to write it without offending people. But it's ok to offend fat people or ginger people. Fuck those people. 

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17 minutes ago, AI1 said:

 

That would be ok I guess if it wasn't for the fact I follow Gervais on Twitter (I liked The Office/Extras/Karl Pilkington stuff) and the one thing from this show that people have liked and commented on the most and which he has then retweeted a million times to promote the show is this clip.

 

Reading the comments it basically boils down to 'LOL Pedo!' and 'LOL Gingers!' I don't see Gervais tweeting "Well actually the context of this clip is..."

 

My original point wasn't just levelled at Gervais. 'LOL Gingers!' is something I have noticed across multiple TV/film comedies over the years for cheap laughs and I don't see how it's acceptable when other uncontrollable human attributes aren't. 

 

Let's pretend the kid in the playground was Black or Asian or a Muslim for example. What would Gervais' character retort have been then? Exactly. The scene wouldn't exist because he wouldn't be able to write it without offending people. But it's ok to offend fat people or ginger people. Fuck those people. 

 

This is Gervais' comedy. It's always LOL disabled people! Or LOL gingers! Or LOL trans people!

 

 Gary Shandling absolutely called him on it in his interview:

 

 

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there are other interviews where Shandling explains that interview - he was expecting to shoot extras in a low key interview for the Larry Sanders DVD and that message hadn't got to Gervais via the producers who thought they were doing a meet and greet for BBC first.

 

Shandling explained how there were both effectively making their own show at the same time, which is why it comes across so oddly.

 

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Not seen that interview since it aired, amazing.

 

Finished AfterLife last night, I liked the show as a whole but I can't imagine it will leave lasting memories unless the issues presented are closely relatable. Was looking at the responses on twitter and it's overwhelmingly positive, seems to have made a positive connection to many.

 

Just for me, many of the emotional bits were a bit too much on the nose in a similar way to Derek. I think in particular the US audience love that and to them to have edgy dark humor with deep emotional undertones is pretty refreshing.

 

 

 

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On 09/03/2019 at 12:34, dave7g said:

Watch Humanity. The whole point if it is that you should be allowed to joke about EVERYTHING as long as it's not done in a hateful way.

Shame then that Humanity is a joyless, embarrassing, hateful piece of work.  

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Thought this was mediocre. Watchable, but maybe that was more down to the supporting cast than Gervais. 

Also thought it trivialised some of the issues involved - like depression. Tony's sudden reversal and redemption (which of course was obviously going to happen from the start, for anyone familiar with Gervais's shows) was cheesy as fuck, like he pressed a switch and turned off his depression. (The way he says "I'm not mad anymore" to Ashley Jensen's character when he asks her out was just rubbing this in our faces.) 

Philomena Clunk was wasted - "dippy and banal" are her trademarks but usually in a funny way. Sure, she was supposed to be playing a character who was fundamentally boring, but that's no reason for her not to be entertaining to the audience. Same goes for David Bradley who has also made a career out of playing unpleasant characters, but I just didn't feel he was well-written in this. 

I preferred Life's Too Short and Derek, which I know a lot of people hated - they weren't a patch on the Office or Extras but at least they both gave me a few belly laughs. 

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Three episodes in and I think this is fantastic. Haven't really read up much on this and it was all the better for it. Really dark in places but some real black humour. My girlfriend was almost crying but is keen to see the rest. 

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29 minutes ago, Skull Commander said:

Three episodes in and I think this is fantastic. Haven't really read up much on this and it was all the better for it. Really dark in places but some real black humour. My girlfriend was almost crying but is keen to see the rest. 

 

It gets better I think (darker) from there.

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Watched the last episode tonight and I thought the whole thing was a joy. The writing was tight and the episodes went past in a flash. I really enjoyed all the support performances too. I personally thought Philomena Cunk (Diane Morgan) was great and delivered a quietly perfect performance - good to see her playing against type.

 

Setting this at a local newspaper was a masterstroke and all the parochial news stories were warmly charming and provided a sort of ordinary grounding which undercut some of the darker material.

 

I didn't think Gervais was capable of these kind of heights after a few duff projects. I laughed a lot and had a tear in my eye a lot. Superb.

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On 09/03/2019 at 10:55, Isaac said:

Gervais is dead to me after he said this in his Netflix special last year (about Caitlyn Jenner):

 

He is peddling Jim Davidson-level transphobic shit and deserves to be cancelled. It's a 15-minute opener that gets its jokes from repeatedly referring to Caitlyn Jenner as "Bruce" and punching down at the trans community for shit, cheap laughs. He's done.

 

A few thoughts on your comments, Gervais and my impressions of After Life: 

 

I loved The Office and the early Gervais, Merchant & Pilkington podcasts. And I do mean loved. I watched, re-watched, listened and re-listened to them again and again. Those episodes were dense, extremely funny, and often warm and touching. To me at least, they represented top tier original British comedy. I also found them comforting, and watching / listening to them got me through a few dark times.

 

Since then, to my dismay, Gervais hasn't made anything as good. Each series has had some good ideas, but they've felt like a collection of scenes strung together around these ideas, each scene containing some of Gervais' trademark edgy gags. Often, those edgy gags were incongruous to the scene, episode or narrative. It just didn't really work. 

 

But it's been worse than just badly constructed comedy, it's also been Gervais' style and persona that has gone wrong. He's gradually become more self-centred, self-important and lacking in awareness. Sometimes, he's just been plain mean.

 

I won't go through everything in detail, but these were some things that really bothered me: in Extras he seemed obsessed with showing off his newly-found celebrity friends, in Life's Too Short he tried to see how how far he could take the piss out of a dwarf while keeping the viewers on side (answer: not long for me), and in Derek he cast himself as a person with mild learning difficlties in an effort to garner sympathy and evoke emotional reactions that were largely unearned by the narrative.

 

I broadly share your views on Gervais' recent Netflix standup special (his transgender comments), and he's also said a number of similarly unpleasant things on Twitter over the years. His targets are sometimes vulnerable groups, and his reasoning when challenged has simply been that it's OK to laugh at anything and everyone; it's just jokes, no-one gets hurt. 

 

But I don't buy that, I believe that the target and sentiment of a comedian is important. I like my comedy to come from a place I believe in. I can laugh at something in bad taste but I don't like it when I feel like the person really thinks the awful stuff he jokes about. Laughing then feels like I'm agreeing with his views. And over the years Gervais has continued to choose some weird targets for his edgy and tasteless jokes, to the point that I wonder whether he actually believes this stuff.

 

Anyway... today I've watched 2 episodes of After Life... and so far I think it's the best thing from Gervais for a very long time. 

 

So far it's dealt with death, depression and suicidal thoughts in a way that feels genuine. It's something I can relate to a bit, anyway. Yes, it's trying to evoke an emotional reaction from the viewer but I haven't so far felt like those emotions are unearned, like I did in Derek. It feels pretty real, and these scenes fit the narrative.

 

As others have said, the cast is great. Someone earlier said that it's got a gentle vibe to it, like The Detectorists. I agree with that, and those acting around Gervais make the scenes work with understated and realistic performances. The guy who sits opposite Gervais at his place of work is wonderful, a beautifully drawn character: real as you like, flawed, charming and it's just engaging watching him interact with Ricky's character.

 

Yes Gervais is a prick in it, but it fits so much better in this because he is knowingly acting a prick. The jokes are on him, so far at least. And he's meant to be a prick; as a character he's clearly damaged from what happened to his wife, making the viewer understand better where his prickishness comes from.

 

Maybe I'm reading too much into the first two episodes, and maybe all those episodes of The Office and his podcast built up a little too much goodwill in my mind... But I wonder if this is Ricky saying that he knows he's fucked up in the past, and part of that is because somehow he's a bit fucked up himself? That doesn't make what he's said before OK, but it does remind me that most people are a bit of a mess, sometimes.

 

Regardless of my disgraceful and deluded Gervais-apologism, if you can bare it Isaac, give an episode of this a watch. It might surprise you.

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Watched it all in one sitting so I can't argue that it isn't at least compelling viewing, I really enjoyed it on the whole despite the characters lacking any real depth. It was good.

 

To me it almost felt like the antidote to Humanity which was completely lacking in joy and compassion. Humanity was like Gervais' character from After Life doing stand up, ranting at the world and going out of his way to upset and offend people, because he'd rather be dead.

 

After Life on the other hand worked because it had context, we understood why he was like that and we could still see the, uh, humanity within him, and empathise with him. 

 

Spoiler about the junkie.

Spoiler

Did anyone else find the story line of him basically funding the death/suicide of that character, and then acting seemingly unaffected, slightly incongruous? Not sure what to make of that and it felt a bit off. Despite his own nihilism it still seemed a bit of stretch that he'd let him kill himself, and against character.

 

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This is very good, lots of formulaic Gervais traits but who cares. Only one of his shows I don't like is Life's too Short, despite moments of greatness.

 

His movies and recent stand up however... nah.

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12 hours ago, NickC said:

 

A few thoughts on your comments, Gervais and my impressions of After Life: 

 

I loved The Office and the early Gervais, Merchant & Pilkington podcasts. And I do mean loved. I watched, re-watched, listened and re-listened to them again and again. Those episodes were dense, extremely funny, and often warm and touching. To me at least, they represented top tier original British comedy. I also found them comforting, and watching / listening to them got me through a few dark times.

 

Since then, to my dismay, Gervais hasn't made anything as good. Each series has had some good ideas, but they've felt like a collection of scenes strung together around these ideas, each scene containing some of Gervais' trademark edgy gags. Often, those edgy gags were incongruous to the scene, episode or narrative. It just didn't really work. 

 

But it's been worse than just badly constructed comedy, it's also been Gervais' style and persona that has gone wrong. He's gradually become more self-centred, self-important and lacking in awareness. Sometimes, he's just been plain mean.

 

I won't go through everything in detail, but these were some things that really bothered me: in Extras he seemed obsessed with showing off his newly-found celebrity friends, in Life's Too Short he tried to see how how far he could take the piss out of a dwarf while keeping the viewers on side (answer: not long for me), and in Derek he cast himself as a person with mild learning difficlties in an effort to garner sympathy and evoke emotional reactions that were largely unearned by the narrative.

 

I broadly share your views on Gervais' recent Netflix standup special (his transgender comments), and he's also said a number of similarly unpleasant things on Twitter over the years. His targets are sometimes vulnerable groups, and his reasoning when challenged has simply been that it's OK to laugh at anything and everyone; it's just jokes, no-one gets hurt. 

 

But I don't buy that, I believe that the target and sentiment of a comedian is important. I like my comedy to come from a place I believe in. I can laugh at something in bad taste but I don't like it when I feel like the person really thinks the awful stuff he jokes about. Laughing then feels like I'm agreeing with his views. And over the years Gervais has continued to choose some weird targets for his edgy and tasteless jokes, to the point that I wonder whether he actually believes this stuff.

 

Anyway... today I've watched 2 episodes of After Life... and so far I think it's the best thing from Gervais for a very long time. 

 

So far it's dealt with death, depression and suicidal thoughts in a way that feels genuine. It's something I can relate to a bit, anyway. Yes, it's trying to evoke an emotional reaction from the viewer but I haven't so far felt like those emotions are unearned, like I did in Derek. It feels pretty real, and these scenes fit the narrative.

 

As others have said, the cast is great. Someone earlier said that it's got a gentle vibe to it, like The Detectorists. I agree with that, and those acting around Gervais make the scenes work with understated and realistic performances. The guy who sits opposite Gervais at his place of work is wonderful, a beautifully drawn character: real as you like, flawed, charming and it's just engaging watching him interact with Ricky's character.

 

Yes Gervais is a prick in it, but it fits so much better in this because he is knowingly acting a prick. The jokes are on him, so far at least. And he's meant to be a prick; as a character he's clearly damaged from what happened to his wife, making the viewer understand better where his prickishness comes from.

 

Maybe I'm reading too much into the first two episodes, and maybe all those episodes of The Office and his podcast built up a little too much goodwill in my mind... But I wonder if this is Ricky saying that he knows he's fucked up in the past, and part of that is because somehow he's a bit fucked up himself? That doesn't make what he's said before OK, but it does remind me that most people are a bit of a mess, sometimes.

 

Regardless of my disgraceful and deluded Gervais-apologism, if you can bare it Isaac, give an episode of this a watch. It might surprise you.

 

Thanks for this post, I appreciate the effort you put into it. 

 

I may give it a shot, I just think that this is another way of him having his cake and eating it. His comedy is often him playing a character who means well but actually makes jokes at the expense of minorities and vulnerable groups. Yes, he can write a comedy where he has some plot justification for being an arsehole, but that doesn't excuse his standup, or how he's constantly an arsehole on Twitter. 

 

I think he is a lot closer to his characters than he'd like to admit. Stuff like this is beyond the pale:

 

 

 

 

"I can joke about whatever I like, no matter how offensive, and you can't get upset if someone else finds it funny" is literally an argument straight out of Jim Davidson's playbook.

 

But I'll give it a watch. I do find it hard to divorce the art from the multi-millionaire successful heterosexual cis white male punching down though.

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Jim Davidson is a sexist, racist unfunny dinosaur that made knock knock jokes.

 

There's no comparison.

 

What the fuck does it matter if he's white, male and straight by the way? That's not his fault.

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None of that matters one bit he's still making jokes discrediting transgender people jokes that aren't funny, but nasty. Same thing with cot deaths and dead babies, there's just nothing funny about it.

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Just now, dave7g said:

The cot death jokes were about him, and how he was unfit to be a father.

Tbh he just came across as depressed and looking to offend, again like Tony in After Life, but in Humanity it was all nihilism and lacked the pathos.

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Been thinking about this and wondering if my initial review was too harsh. As someone else said, I did watch it all the way through in one sitting too so I must have found it compelling. 

And I have found myself chuckling to myself when I recalled a couple of the jokes since. A postman called Pat, being the example that comes to mind now. 

Did no one else think the "redemption" came very suddenly, in a jarring manner , though? Just wasn't believable to me. 

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1 hour ago, Stanley said:

None of that matters one bit he's still making jokes discrediting transgender people jokes that aren't funny, but nasty. Same thing with cot deaths and dead babies, there's just nothing funny about it.

For you.

 

Good thing about humour is that there are no hard and fast rules about what is and is not funny.

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4 hours ago, PeteBrant said:

For you.

 

Good thing about humour is that there are no hard and fast rules about what is and is not funny.

Did I need to clarify it with IMO?

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Ugh 2 minutes in and I already fucking hate it. Gervais's dead wife saying essentially "you're annoying but you've got a good heart". 

Thats such a fucking manipulative Gervais device. "Well I didn't say it, she did". 


he's such a fucking narcissist. He's been doing this for years. Writing characters that love him despite his obvious flaws. Off you fuck Ricky. Not watching.

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I am another that just watched it in one sitting and frankly I loved it. It hit me hard at times and was funny, properly funny and I have a patch history with his work so I was genuinely surprised by it - if I’m honest I watched it by mistake and went in without knowing anything about it!

 

Ohh, I’m ginger too...

 

Spoiler

Hopefully I’ll get a Raleigh chopper :wub:

 

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On 10/03/2019 at 12:32, AI1 said:

Let's pretend the kid in the playground was Black or Asian or a Muslim for example. What would Gervais' character retort have been then? Exactly. The scene wouldn't exist because he wouldn't be able to write it without offending people. But it's ok to offend fat people or ginger people. Fuck those people. 

 

His safe space for lazy race gags is usually Chinese people. To be fair he's not the only one.

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