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Stewart Lee says Ricky Gervais' Netflix series After Life is 'one of the worst things ever made by a human'

Jess Hardiman

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Stewart Lee says Ricky Gervais' Netflix series After Life is 'one of the worst things ever made by a human'

Stewart Lee has said Ricky Gervais’ hit Netflix series After Life is ‘one of the worst things ever made by a human’, having discussed his fellow comedian’s move from humour into drama in a new interview. 

Lee, who is known for his deadpan style appeared on Rob Brydon’s podcast Brydon &, where he praised Gervais’ previous work with The Office before going on to say that he felt After Life was ‘abysmal’. 

The Netflix programme, which follows local news reporter Tony (Gervais) as he struggles to come to terms with his wife’s death, concluded earlier this year after three series. 

While the show has many fans among Netflix viewers, it seems Lee isn’t so keen. 

“I think The Office is brilliant,” he told Brydon. 

“I think Ricky’s comedy drama work is of diminishing returns to the point where it’s now abysmal. I think it must be very sad. 

Stewart Lee. Credit: Matt Crossick/Alamy Stock Photo
Stewart Lee. Credit: Matt Crossick/Alamy Stock Photo

“If you’re teaching drama or creative writing, how can you make a case for the things that make drama and creative writing good when After Life is a success? Because your kids could just go, ‘But none of those things happen in this!’ And yet, millions people watch it. 

“I think it’s one of the worst things that’s ever been made by a human.” 

When Brydon pointed out that Gervais has previously named Lee as one of his biggest comedic influences, the podcast guest replied dryly: “Well, I don’t suppose Robert Oppenheimer felt great about having created the atomic bomb.” 

After Life came to an end with its third and final season in January.

In an interview with LADbible at the time, Gervais was asked whether he ever had any intention of ending the show with Tony and Emma (Ashley Jensen) getting together.

There were numerous reasons why he didn't want Tony and Emma to get together. Credit: Netflix
There were numerous reasons why he didn't want Tony and Emma to get together. Credit: Netflix

"No, I didn't want that for lots of reasons," he replied.

"I think it would be too obvious. I think it would undermine all the things that we saw him and Lisa go through, in a way.

"I wanted him to be satisfied with his life, that's what I wanted. I also had no intention of a terrible ending for a few reasons, but I wanted it to be real and satisfying, but not perfect, not chocolate box.

"Even the relationship with Lisa, I didn't want it to be a coffee advert. I wanted it to be goofy and drunk and fun.

"They were friends and soulmates, and they had the best life."

He continued: "It is about finding something from beginning to end. One - it's a love story. But two, it asks the big question - when you lose everything is life still worth living?

"Again, without spoilers, I say yes."

Featured Image Credit: Soho Theatre/PA Images/Alamy

Topics: Celebrity, Ricky Gervais

Jess Hardiman
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