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Apparently a joint Showtime and UK production.

About a woman returning home to a small town from prison.  Starring Daisy Haggard, who played Myra on Episodes.

Strong reviews in the U.K. and now a good review from Tim Goodman.

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/back_to_life/s01/reviews?type=top_critics

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/back-life-review-1252529

 

 

S01E01,  Nov 10, 2019:

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When Miri Matteson returns home after eighteen years, she stumbles back into adult life in the coastal town she once knew, while the shadow of her past looms large.

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S01E02,  Nov 10, 2019:

Miri is excited for her first day working at Nathan's Fish & Chip shop, but the community isn't taking kindly to her return.

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So she's not welcomed back out of prison.  You'd think people might have forgotten after 18 years, when she was apparently still in high school and now approaching middle age.

But it's suppose to be a small town so the neighbor didn't forget, is openly hostile and contemptuous.  So is a prospective employer.  Her parents home is vandalized with graffiti -- Psycho Bitch in blood -- and someone sends a package containing feces.

Even her parents are wary, with Caroline the mother hiding the knives.  

They dwell a bit on how much things have changed since she went to prison.  Caroline is exchanging chats with her lover while Oscar her father takes selfies and pictures with his phone.  Meanwhile, Miri has her old flip phone and she can't recall the number for it.

But she's anxious to return her old bf's Discman as an excuse to go see him.  Her parents lead her to believe he's still interested in her but turns out he's married with twin children.  In fact Dom is still interested in her, though surprised to see her at first.  Dom seems to be interested in women other than his life because he's also the one having an affair with Caroline.

Mandy, her old bff, is desperate to reconnect, after ignoring Miri while she was in prison.

Miri manages to get a trial job at a Fish and Chips place, even after the owner realized she was the infamous girl who committed this memorable crime.  Miri hints that it wasn't as portrayed, yet whatever the actual crime was, it elicits strong hostility against her.

On her first day on the job, someone throws a brick through the window, causing her to get some cuts in her face.  Kind of inconsistent though, that Dom didn't know she was getting out but apparently there's a stalker who did to commit the vandalism, the feces in the mail and the brick so quickly after she's back.

Billy, a caretaker for the neighbor, takes a liking to Miri but he doesn't know yet.

Hagard conveys this awkwardness with readjusting to life well.  She was a teen when she went away -- her room still has posters of Bowie and Prince, which she takes down eventually -- so she not only has to adjust to being a civilian again but also being a mature woman who's approaching her 40s.

She doesn't have the right clothes for job interviews or work, she butchers her bangs trying to look presentable and she hasn't learned to drive so she tried to ride her old girl's bike.  She rebuffs Dom's advances and Miranda's overtures, like a teen who  only remembers that they wronged her.

On Showtime Anytime, all the episodes are available so I don't know if they plan to air another season.  Maybe this will be a one-off if it doesn't do well in the ratings in the UK or here.

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Ha, I had to laugh at Miri trimming her bangs and then taking it a bit too far. I think we've all gone a step too far with our bangs or our eyebrows at least once.

Part of me wants to admire that Miri managed to stay so optimistic that she came home after eighteen years in prison and thought she could just pick up where she left off, but how delusional does she have to be to think that her ex-boyfriend was just sitting around waiting for her all this time, despite the fact that he hadn't been in contact with her for years.

Miri's dad cracks me up. But her mom is one of those people who texts in all caps so UGH. Well, that and she's having an affair with her daughter's ex-boyfriend.

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Weird show. I checked in just because I got such a kick out of Daisy Haggard on Episodes and was interested to see what else she could do. I really need to know more about the murder. It's weird how the story is just being hinted at without details, that seems like a huge part of the premise in order to understand why people are hostile and whether we should sympathize with Miri or not. Maybe that's the point, they want us to decide that before we know what she did exactly and why. 

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I'm part way through episode 5 and I have mixed feelings about the show. It's a weird mix of realistic and absurd. And while some characters seem likeable, like her employer, father and the next door neighbour, others are heinous, particularly her mother. 

I'm just not buying her mother and her ex whatsoever. It's not even remotely believable to me. And I hate how people gratuitously say graphic or vulgar things presumably to give scenes a jolt or be extra shocking. I'd have thought by 2019 we'd be past the need for this. 

I'm curious to find out the mystery behind her crime so I'll probably watch to the end, but I'm not loving it like all the critics apparently do. 

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Only watched through ep. 4 so far.

Oscar the Viking, who recycles, beats up Dom but can't confront Caroline about her cheating.  Maybe that's why the Vikings never took over the world, because they couldn't even deal with their wives back home.

Samuel the "detective" who's snooping on Miri is a weird character.  Why such interest in the case after all these years?  The crime sounds like an accident resulting from some fight the girls had.  After 20 years you'd think most people would have forgotten but maybe in a small town, it's the only eventful thing which has occurred in several decades?

Whoever is sending shit to her and now plastering the town with all those articles seems to have a lot of time and energy to express hatred towards her.  Seems like they're saving the identity of the hater as well as the real nature of Samuel's obsession with the case towards the end of the season.

Mandy isn't happy in her marriage, offers to fuck Nathan, Dom keeps pestering Caroline for sex, some mystery characters want to make Miri miserable.

Maybe Miri was better off being away all those years, even if she was in prison.

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S1.E3

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Miri and her neighbor Billy escape to an amusement park for the day but Miri's past continues to chase her. Caroline attempts to end things with Dom for good.

Original UK air date: 4/15/19
Original USA air date: 11/17/19

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S1.E4

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Miri and Caroline embark on a road trip to visit Oscar's aunt. But when an accident stalls them, they are forced to discuss how Caroline truly feels about Miri's time in prison.

Original UK air date: 4/15/19
Original USA air date: 11/17/19

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