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5 meaningful quotes from Ricky Gervais Netflix show 'After Life'

Netflix recently unveiled After Life’s third and final season trailer to bid an emotional farewell to the bittersweet comedy series starring Ricky Gervais. The series will premiere on Netflix on January 14th, 2022, marking the end of a new beginning as Gervais will commence a new production with the streamer.

According to the trailer, Gervais’s Tony will be seen pondering over a lot of memories and regrets in his life while thinking of conceding to his father’s last wishes and scattering his ashes on a trip. 

Starring Gervais and Penelope Wilton, among others, the third and final season will see yet another set of delightful interactions surrounding life, God, death, love and the afterlife before coming to an emotional close with its cynical and hilarious protagonist at the centre. 

While highlighting the despair and bleakness of the world, the show traces the heartwarming, cathartic journey of the protagonist in the wake of the miserable tragedy he faces. As he balances his pain, grief and depression with some zany humour, his character utters some of the wisest and most thought-provoking quotes that leave a huge impact on the viewers. 

In his most defining work, here are the five most meaningful quotes from Ricky Gervais’ Netflix show After Life:  

5 meaningful quotes from Ricky Gervais Netflix show ‘After Life’

“You can’t feel sorry for yourself. You’ve got to keep going.” 

Being one of the most poignant moments of the entire show, the quote reflects the spirit of not giving up. This is something that we probably tell ourselves more often than not in moments of distress or pain and feels even more prevalent in these circumstances. 

Ricky Gervais loses his spouse in the series and wallows in his misery. No matter how sad one is, the quote motivates one to alleviate their pain and try to keep going in life by making an effort to move on from their individual pain. 

“We’re all screwed up in one way or another. It sort of makes you normal.” 

This quote is cynical but quite true. Nobody is perfect, and people are fundamentally flawed. The quote says that it is “normal”, and the flaw is what makes one human. It’s of warm comfort to Tony during his most desperate times.

Ricky’s character, Tony, has a lot of regrets – something that shall be more deeply explored in the third season. This quote makes one mindful of one’s mistakes and flaws and says that it is OK to be a certain way. 

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” 

In one of the more emotional scenes, Tony and Penelope Wilton’s Anne, the widow whom he befriends at the cemetery, are having a heart to heart on the park bench when he recalls this old Greek proverb. This is a great synthesis of all the media Gervais has previously worked on, including his standup shows, podcasts, TV series and more. 

Old Gervais fans will recognise this quote to be something that was told to Gervais on one of his old podcasts by his former creative partner Stephen Merchant. It is indeed interesting to see him bring it up here in this scene that leaves a deep-seated impact on the atmosphere. 

“Humanity is a plague. We’re a disgusting, narcissistic, selfish parasite, and the world would be a better place without us.” 

The full quote reads, “Here’s what’s what: humanity is a plague. We’re a disgusting, narcissistic, selfish parasite, and the world would be a better place without us. It should be everyone’s moral duty to kill themselves. I could do it now. Quite happily just go upstairs, jump off the roof, and make sure I landed on some c*nt from accounts.”

In one of his most cynical and nihilistic declarations, Tony says the above to his new co-worker when his brother-in-law cum boss asks him to show her the ropes. While we cannot help but echo his statement on certain occasions, the change in his worldview and opinions between the first and final episode of the show is cathartic and moving. 

“We’re not just here for us; we’re here for others.” 

What makes After Life special is the connection it manages to forge with the viewers. The show is not just about Tony and his grief but also about the people around him, his reality and how he has a positive effect on them, helping him find the purpose of his life. 

The theme of the show urges Tony, and in turn, the viewers, to make the most of their time and make each second count by being kind, giving and loving. It is a beautiful message and something the world needs to follow desperately in present times.