The Afterlife season 3 reviews are in - what do the critics say?

After Life season 3 out on Netflix: Critics give mixed reviews

A mixed bag from critics...

After Life season 3 is out on Netflix, and the reviews of the bittersweet comedy-drama from Ricky Gervais are in.

So what are the critics saying, and what do fans think?

Kerry with Ricky Gervais - and dog Brandy - in After Life
Ricky and Kerry in After Life (Credit: Netflix)

Afterlife season 3 reviews: What does the final series show?

Fans have followed After life for three series and laughed and cried in equal measure.

Office star Ricky, 60, features as Tony Johnson – a journalist at a local newspaper.

His world is shattered when wife Lisa (Kerry Godliman) dies from cancer.

Read more: After Life season 3 ending explained by Ricky Gervais as viewers are left confused and heartbroken

And it’s this element of the story that provides the heartbreak, as Tony goes from feeling suicidal and struggling to find meaning in everything, to slowly but surely healing.

Thanks to a hilarious cast of characters he’s able to find a path forward and, together with Brandy – he and Lisa’s dog – Tony has some decisions to make in this third and final series.

The Afterlife season 3 reviews are in - what do the critics say?
The critics gave it a mixed reaction (Credit: Netflix)

What do critics say?

Although After Life is a huge hit for Netflix – and anticipation was high for this final run – there has been a mixed reaction from reviewers.

Abby Johnson in the Radio Times praises the show for its depiction of grief, but not the story development.

“Even with the shift in Tony’s worldview that occurs in the finale, that acute sadness and gargantuan sense of loss remains ever-present, and further emphasises why TV shows about grief are few and far between,” she writes.

“It’s a tricky theme to navigate in a single season, let alone three, and while Gervais succeeded in making it bearable, even entertaining, in After Life’s premiere, it has stalled here.”

Louis Chilton was less charitable in The Independent.

He said: “Monologues about grief and recovery are painfully trite, painfully single-dimensional; it falls short of even syrupy fare like Ted Lasso.

“If you’re not already on board with Gervais’s shtick then this is unlikely to convert you – anyone looking for the usual mix of pseudo-ironic homophobia, fatphobia and sexism won’t walk away empty-handed.

“But it’s undeniably better than the serious parts of the script.”

The Afterlife season 3 reviews are in - what do the critics say?
Viewers loved the the After Life season 3 ending (Credit: Netflix)

“Resolutely human”

The Telegraph, meanwhile said it had the “emotional depth of a post-it note”.

However, there were some positive reviews in the NME.

Giving it four our of five stars, NME’s James McMahon says: “It’s not for those who are looking for a television show to make progressive points about gender or race or any of the other facets of the ‘culture wars’ that rage all around us.

“It’s not for those who want lightness nor grace, nor unproblematic viewing.

“And because of this, Gervais’ show is resolutely human.”

What kind of reviews did viewers give Afterlife?

It was different story on social media, where fans were universal in their praise for the show.

One gushed: “So, I’ve just finished watching all of the final series of #AfterLife on Netflix.

“This is without a doubt the best piece of work @rickygervais has ever produced. The emotion within the writing is phenomenal. An absolute masterpiece. #AfterLife3”

Read more: After Life 3: Ricky Gervais has written the worst thing ever to be shown on television

Another added: “#AfterLife is the most beautifully written television ever. @rickygervais — you are a genius. Thanks to @netflix for producing such content.”

Finally, a third wrote: “Finished watching season 3 of #AfterLife last night, and as usual there were lots of tears and laughs – often simultaneously.

“What a beautiful examination of loss, grief, love, hope and kindness. Tony’s character arc is an inspiration @rickygervais.”

So there you have it, a decidedly mixed reaction.

Critics were so-so, and viewers loved it. What do you think?

Series 3 of Afterlife is available to watch on Netflix now

After Life | Season 3 Official Trailer | Netflix

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Nancy Brown
Associate Editor