I never liked “dark” humor. Of the few memories I have of when I was little, I remember watching a movie and crying while my brother and mother laughed because the character had been put in an embarrassing situation and as much as the purpose of the movie was to cause laughter. with the situation, I felt pity.
Many years later I watched O Professor Aloprado (The Nutty Professor), starring Eddy Murphy, at a certain point in the film the main character goes to a comedy club and the comedian tries to embarrass people from the audience to amuse the others. Something that later I found out is quite common in the United States, but as I watched the duel between the main character and the comedian of: “Your mother is so this”, “Your mother is so that” I confess the film had no more meaning and ended there.
Ricky Gervais is perhaps the most recurrent current name when talking about acid comedy. The “hype” of “The Office” maybe it is his business card, but anyone who has watched him hosting the golden globes (he did 5 times) knows well how bitter he is capable of being.
Maybe that’s why I avoided any kind of comedy of this style for a long time. I never understood how someone could find it funny to humiliate the other, but I always believed that you have to respect the other. We have different values and different criteria. In the same way, I prefer The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy rather than Harry Potter. Everyone has the right to create the art they believe in and consume what makes them happy.
A few years ago I started watching the comedy “The invention of lying”. The premise sounded too good to be true and without worrying about the cast I started watching the movie. It took me a long time to recognize Ricky Gervais, you know when you get the feeling you know someone but can’t remember where? The movie is wonderful and I searched a little more about the cast, writer, etc.
Imagine my surprise when I learned who was responsible for the only comedy capable of making me laugh that year. I had to understand more about the man. Interviews on late shows, and comedy specials, and my conclusion is that he’s just a lazy man who doesn’t mind being honest. Since then, I started following him and I watch everything he does.
In 2019, Ricky Gervais streamed on Netflix with the series “After Life”. A series with few characters, most of the story takes place in the fictional town of Tambury, it seems a very low-budget project. Tony is a widowed journalist who has lost his zest for life since losing his wife. Every day, the first and last thing he does is watch a video of his departed partner on his laptop.
There are three seasons with 6 (six) episodes each. You can binge-watch on a weekend. Despite all of the writer’s background, the series is brilliant at presenting grief. In addition to the widower, we also meet other characters who are dealing with the loss of someone important in their lives.
Ricky’s characteristic acid humor makes the characters more human and it’s impossible not to feel attracted to the story. Let’s be clear, it is evident that there are still many scenes of acid humor present in it, but perhaps it is the counterweight needed for a series that intends to deal with such a heavy subject.