'After Life': Every new employee can relate to Mandeep Dhillon's Sandy in Ricky Gervais' Netflix show
'After Life' chalks out the life of Tony Johnson, played by actor and comedian Ricky Gervais. Tony is the head of feature stories at the Tambury Gazette, a local newspaper that his brother-in-law Matt (Tom Basden) heads. After he loses his wife Lisa to cancer, he decides to be mean to everyone around him and eventually tries to take his own life.
Among the many interesting characters on the show, Mandeep Dhillon--who plays the role of Sandy-- is a newly-hired journalist set to work under Tony. The British actress has previously been seen in comedy TV series 'Some Girls', 'Fried' and even teamed up with Gervais earlier on the movie 'David Brent: Life on the Road'.
In the show, Sandy is introduced as she enters the office and approaches the receptionist. "Do you have a name?" the receptionist asks her. "Sandy," she fumbles, only to realize that the woman was asking about the person she was supposed to meet there. The nervousness and jitters she portrays on screen, haven't we all been there on our first day of work?
Soon, she is having an introductory chat with Matt. Already a little intimidated by him, Sandy soon gets a warning bell about her direct head, Tony. Matt tells her about Tony’s condition and alerts her that he may occasionally throw some brutal remarks her way. And on their first meeting, Tony’s quick to tell her: “It should be everybody’s moral duty to kill themselves.”
In episode two, Sandy overlooks as Tony reprimands everyone else with his savage comments. However, to her luck, the two share an emotional bonding moment as she gets teary-eyed on the mention of his late wife. Well, who doesn't go through the struggle of breaking in with their colleagues when they join a new company? Her first assignment is to interview a local hoarder played by David Earl. "This scene took the most takes," Gervais lightheartedly wrote on Twitter along with the picture of the two actors.
Slowly, however, the bond gets stronger. An in episode four of the show, photographer Lenny (Tony Way) gives advice to Tony for his date set up by Matt. Sandy steps in to help him and takes him shopping for appropriate clothes for the evening.
The show also tries to address several taboo subjects and handles them with a smooth touch that you hardly feel a twitch.
On her approach of the subjects in the show, Dhillon told TopShop, "I found it so refreshing and I think it’s so important for these topics to be spoken about and not be taboo subjects. We all know we’re going to die eventually and we’re all going to lose someone close to us. Usually, that would sound morbid but, actually, I think it’s kind of beautiful. For me, it’s a reminder to enjoy every second of being alive and enjoy the gift of life and be present. It’s also important to show the realness of grief and depression. This show has resonated with so many people and I think it’s because, as human beings, we can all relate to it in some way. 'After Life' allows people to laugh and cry and I don’t know of any other current show that’s so unapologetic about these topics. There’s no sugar coating and I love that."
Hopefully, in Season 2 — which drops on April 24 on Netflix — we will see the character stealthily move towards a more successful career than just being a newly-hired employee at The Tambury Gazette.