United States

Ricky Gervais mixes comedy and grief in bittersweet 'After Life'

(CNN)Comedy and crippling grief might seem like strange bedfellows, but Ricky Gervais mostly makes the odd juxtaposition work in "After Life," a melancholy series that continues the writer-director-star's relationship with Netflix.Gervais' TV output has taken a darker turn since "The Office," with the brilliant "Extras" followed by the less successful "Derek." As an outspoken atheist, his new show deals with weighty subject matter -- namely, how to process death and loss without the comfort that religion brings to our understanding of them -- while still veering, sometimes awkwardly, into quirky comedic situations.Here, he plays Tony, a reporter for a small newspaper (the strange people he meets working on human-interest features provide m ...