Despite a wobbly start, Frayed shows huge potential and while the jokes are few, they are funny.Emily Baker, i Newspaper, 26th September 2019
It's funny but one senses by the end of the first episode, that maybe like those monologues, there is something darker lurking under the surface.Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 26th September 2019
To celebrate the legends that bring us the lols, we've put together a bumper list of our favourite comedians performing at the moment - the big names and the ones you've yet to fall in love with.Zoe Paskett, Evening Standard, 9th May 2019
Featuring mainstream big-hitter John Bishop, the relatively unknown Susie McCabe and the energetic Seann Walsh and world-weary Romesh Ranganathan, this year's Teenage Cancer Trust benefit at the Royal Albert Hall was a night of gentle, lukewarm 'modern life' comedy, occasionally punctuated by energy and uproar.Steve Bennett, Chortle, 27th March 2019
After Life is the latest offering from Ricky Gervais, where he plays widower Tony, a man corroded by grief (staying alive only to feed his dog) who decides to be as obnoxious as he likes and then kill himself, behaviour that he thinks is "like a superpower."
The cast includes Penelope Wilton as a widow, Diane Morgan as Tony's gobby co-worker, and Paul Kaye as a self-satisfied therapist. Apart from videos left by Tony's late wife (a touching Kerry Godliman), the heart is mainly provided by Ashley Jensen as a care-home worker looking after Tony's dad (David Bradley), and Mandeep Dhillon's rookie journalist at the local newspaper where Tony works.
The problem is the wildly swerving tone - from obnoxious to sentimental to caustic to maudlin to pointlessly vile. At one point Tony helps a junkie (Tim Plester) buy enough drugs to kill himself. Ho and ho. This just won't cut it as edgy comedy in the era of Succession, Russian Doll and so much more. After Life worked better during the running joke featuring Tony covering hopeless local stories, such as a boy playing recorders with his nostrils: "Why would people rather be famous for being shit than not famous at all?" This is Gervais's true superpower - as a carping, eye-rolling everyman.Barbara Ellen, The Observer, 17th March 2019