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

Ricky Gervais, Penelope Wilton in '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 unde