Best After Life Episodes Ranked

Best After Life Episodes
Image Source: IMDB

Man, I love Ricky Gervais. Whether it’s the Office (though the US one is better) or Extras, Gervais has consistently delivered comedic series. I’m still convinced that Tony isn’t a character but just Ricky Gervais somehow turned up to eleven. Anyway, with After Life series 3 now on Netflix, what better time is there to rank the show’s best episodes? Before the list properly begins, here is some history about the TV show.

History Of After Life

After Life first debuted on Netflix in March 2019 and ran for 3 seasons of 6 episodes. After Life follows Tony, a newspaper writer, who adopts a gruff persona after his wife died. Unfortunately, this proves hard for Tony to keep up. Besides lead star and writer Gervais, the cast features Kerry Godliman, Tracy Anne-Doberman, Joe Wilkinson, Tony Way, and Diane Morgan amongst others. Due to its great performances and cast, After Life has become one of Netflix’s biggest series. Probably also due in no small part to Gervais. Also, SPOILER warning for some Season 3 episodes. So without further ado, here are the best episodes of After Life.

Best After Life Episodes

10. Episode 2 (S1, E2)

Kicking off the list of best After Life episodes is the second ever episode. This episode sees Tony and Lenny working on a story about a boy who can play one recorder in each nostril at the same time. Yes, seriously. This is why we love After Life. The other main highlight of this episode is Tony meeting a nice widow, Anne, in the graveyard. This interaction with Anne is especially great as it continues across multiple episodes and provides great character development for Tony. 

9. Episode 5 (S2, E5)

Next in the best After Life episodes is Season 2, Episode 5. During this episode, it’s the opening night of the Tambury Players revue and it goes about as well as an After Life viewer would expect it to. Anyway, the other reason this episode makes the list is Tony receiving the news that his dad passed away. Again, this sees another excellent performance by Gervais as Tony has to deal with another loss within his family.

8. Episode 1 (S1, E1)

And here is the first ever episode of After Life. The opening episode sees Tony and his cantankerous funk (or superpower depending on who you ask) is starting to take its toll on his co-workers. Not even a new writer at the Tambury Gazette can stop Tony’s ‘superpower’ which as mentioned above can about after the death of his wife. As all opening episodes should, this hooks you in and makes you want more from Tambury’s resident ‘superhero’. 

7. Episode 5 (S3, E5)

This episode sees Anne and Tony having a great heart to heart about moving forward. This continues to provide another layer to Tony’s character. Another highlight includes Tony and Matt’s conversation after Matt suffers a health scare playing squash of all sports. This is really just Tony making fun of Matt’s hospital gown. Also, this episode sees James finally stand up for himself. Overall, a very good episode with some wonderful performances throughout. So just another After Life episode then.

6. Episode 6 (S1, E6)

Next up on the best After Life episodes is Episode 6 from Series 1. Series 1’s finale sees Tony making a genuine attempt at being happy (or at least not being miserable). Also, Ricky Gervais’s laugh is actually so heartwarming. Anyway, Tony’s attempts to give some long overdue recognition to those people who stood by him. Brilliant stuff right there.

5. Episode 5 (S1, E5)

At the halfway point of the best After Life Episodes is the penultimate episode of Series 1. So what happens in this episode? Well, after many attempts Brian finally convinces Tony and Lenny to view his puppet show for the paper. Also, this episode sees Tony nearly losing the ability to see his nephew after, checks notes, threatening his bully with a hammer. Damn, that escalated quickly. This episode is already great even without Matt and Tony’s great heart to heart about him being able to visit his nephew. Wonderful.

4. Episode 3 (S3, E4)

So what happens in Episode 4 from Series 3? Well, Matt is determined to find a sport he can beat Tony at. This proves to be surprisingly difficult. Poor Matt. Anyway, this episode also features Lenny and Tony being brilliant even before Lenny asks Tony to be his best man. That’s not even mentioning Kath’s ‘fun’ date with a teacher. All of that is before yet more development for Tony and Emma’s friendship. Damn, that’s stacked.

3. Episode 3 (S1, E3)

Kicking off the top three best After Life episodes is conveniently an episode 3. Series 1, Episode 3 to be precise. So what happens here then? Well, Tony hires a sex worker. No, not for that reason. He hires her to help clean his house…. Seriously. Other highlights include a show at a comedy club getting awkward very fast and Emma giving Tony a piece of her mind. Again, another brilliant episode.

2. Episode 6 (S2, E6)

Narrowly missing out on the top spot is Episode 6 from Series 2. This episode sees Tony struggling with the fallout from the previous episode. As mentioned above, Tony’s dad passes away and he asks for space, not sympathy from his co-workers. He then wrestles with what it means to move on, paying off all his conversations with Anne across the series. A very fitting end to the series.

1. Episode 6 (S3, E6)

And the best episode of After Life is ….. Episode 6 from Season 3. What happens in this series finale? Well, Tony and Lenny visit a child suffering with cancer which hits hard for Tony given what happened to his wife. This episode also features a town fair where two hated characters, Ratty and the Nonce, get their comeuppance which is always good. The fair also sees Tony genuinely happy even before he goes to ask Emma out. A fantastic series finale and a great end to the show.

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What are your thoughts about the best After Life episodes? Let me know in the comments below!