Reviews of movies and TV focused on women

Review: Back to Life, comedy from the UK, seasons 1-2

Daisy Haggard in Back to Life

Back to Life tells a serious story in the British comedy style. It’s about a woman who spent 18 years in prison. She is trying to get her life back to normal. I saw it on Showtime, but I think it’s available elsewhere, too.

Daisy Haggard created and wrote Back to Life. She also stars as the just released prisoner Miri. Miri had two best friends. She accidentally killed one of them when she pushed her and the girl hit her head. Only 17 at the time, she was still jailed as a psycho murderer.

Daisy Haggard and Geraldine James in Back to Life
Miri and her mom had BIG issues

After 18 years, she was on her way home to her parents Caroline (Geraldine James) and Oscar (Richard Durden). She expected to reconnect with her former boyfriend Dom (Jamie Michie). She wanted nothing to do with her other best friend – the one she didn’t kill – Mandy (Christine Bottomley).

She was to contact her parole officer, Janice (a very funny Jo Martin), and find a job.

None of those things happened the way they were supposed to happen. Finding a job was almost impossible. Dom was married and had twins. Plus Dom was fooling around with someone he shouldn’t have been anywhere near. Mandy kept trying to make up with her. And everyone in the little English seaside town where she lived thought she was a psycho murderer.

A funny incompetent cop, Tina (Juliet Cowan), blamed Miri for every single crime that happened. Well, Miri might have known something about some of the crimes. But she was definitely not guilty of them.

Daisy Haggard and Adeel Akhtar in Back to Life

Her first day home she met her parent’s neighbor, Billy (Adeel Akhtar). He was the one person who didn’t have a pre-existing issue with her. They became friends and maybe more.

Mixed in with the ridiculous British humor and comedy, there were story lines about marriage and relationships, abuse, child molestation, STDs, trust, truth, grief, and forgiveness.

I found the series funny and thought provoking. Miri was actually a kind and honest person with a good heart. It took a while for everyone, even her parents, to realize it.

All of season 2 was directed by Ella Jones.

Poster for Back to Life

Check out the trailer.

If you give his serious-comic series a try, I’d love to hear what you thought of it.

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