Depending on who you ask, we as spirited beings get to live on after our bodies decay. But what then? Clouds, harps, songs of praise, and streets of gold; or weeping, flames, gnashing of teeth, and eternal torment? Maybe we live on, inhabiting the bodies of a lesser life form, or we sort of melt into a collective greater consciousness. Or perhaps it really isn’t that different. Maybe we still have jobs, we still have friends, and, whenever possible, we still like eating ice cream cake.
Clayton’s first life is over. In fact his mortal life ended a century ago, at least, and though his current existence is pretty tough, Clayton has centuries left before his sentence is up. You see, he has the misfortune of working in the soul acquisition department of Hellfire Industries, overseeing the paperwork of mortals who want to sign over their immortal soul to the Devil for advancement in life. Clayton hates his job, he hates watching people make the same mistake he made so many years ago. The Devil (a.k.a. Jerry) has heard of Clayton’s dismay and, being a betting man, wants to “help” him out. Jerry will give Clayton the chance to have a do-over, but there is a catch. If In his second life he cannot achieve the goals the Devil has outlined, Clayton will be bound for eternity to the will of the nefarious Jerry… Interested? Do lend your ear to Conversations from the Afterlife.
Don’t you just love that narrator? He has such a friendly and conversational tone. The way he acknowledges the presence of the audience is just welcoming, ya’ know? I think that’s pretty important when discussing such weighty topics as the afterlife and damnation. I will try to give you the same courtesy as I walk you through this nifty breakdown:
- Acting: All the actors have done great jobs creating understandable and at least partially relatable characters. For instance, Jerry (played by the devilishly smashing show creator Adam Henry Garcia) is genuinely detestable, but somehow even as you cringe you feel just the slightest twinge of pity when you notice the desperate futility of his struggle. Good acting, that.
- Plot: The plot is interesting, but it can be a bit meandering at times. If you have patience (‘tis a virtue, they say) or you perhaps like that kind of story you will love the extra time that it takes to unfold this truly unique world.
- Production: Most of the cosmetic issues that this show suffers from (like the minimalist sets) would be fixed with a larger budget. As a life-long tight-wad, I really don’t think that should be held against them.
Conversations from the Afterlife is an excellently unique and satisfyingly complex fantasy. Honestly, it might be my second favorite creative imagining of the nether world (the first spot will always belong to C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce), and after watching even just the intro you could easily find yourself dreaming about the possibilities of the world to come.
- C.J. Fite