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Primetime Picks… 11/10/19

Nov 10 Posted by in Features | Comments

Tonight Showtime premieres the new 6-episode British comedy-drama Back To Life. Miri Matteson (Daisy Haggard, Episodes) has spent the last 18 years in prison, ever since some mysterious horrible incident when she was 18. She has just been released and returns home to her small coastal hometown, moving back into her old bedroom at her parents home, which looks like it has been frozen in time for nearly 2 decades. As Miri tries to move forward with her life, she discovers that there is so much that she’s missed—from her old relationships, to changing technology, and pop culture. She’s like a stranger living in a strange new world. And on top of that, there are people in town who will never let her forget the incident that sent her to prison, and make it known that they are not happy about her return.

The series is this odd mix of dark and melancholy humor, romantic comedy, and family drama, mixed with a bit of mystery. Series creator/star Daisy Haggard does an excellent job of finding the humor even in some dark circumstances—the series is filled with lots of genuine laughs. The banter between Miri and her parents leads to some of my favorite moments. It’s not until the second episode that we really start to get some details about why Miri was in prison, and even then, specifics are doled out slowly. But despite her past, you find yourself really rooting for Miri, wondering how such a seemingly sweet and charming person could have done what it appears that she did, hoping that things will turn around for her, and that the town can forgive and forget.

The series also stars Geraldine James (The Five) and Richard Durden (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell) as Miri’s oddball parents who have some secrets of their own; Liam Williams (Pls Like) as Nathan, who’s new to town and opening a Fish and Chips shop; Adeel Akhtar (Ghosted) as next door neighbor Billy, who takes a liking to Miri but doesn’t know of her past; Christine Bottomley (The End of the F***ing World) as Miri’s former best friend Mandy, who made no contact the whole time she was in prison; Jamie Michie (Borderline) as Miri’s ex Dom, who is now married with kids but also in a shocking side relationship; and Frank Feys as Samuel, a mysterious man who is intent on investigating Miri’s past.

Showtime will be airing two episodes each week on the cable channel, but is making all 6 episodes available today on its streaming and On Demand platforms. The series makes a great binge and is definitely worth checking out.

In tonight’s premiere, “Episode 1”, after 18 years in prison, Miri Matteson returns to her home town, to a place she no longer recognizes, in the dysfunctional family home she involuntarily vacated as a teen, living with parents she can no longer hold a conversation with. Then, in “Episode 2”, Miri is excited about her first day working at Nathan’s fish and chip shop, but the community is making it very clear she is not welcome; Miri’s childhood best friend, Mandy, is eager to rebuild their old friendship.

Tonight, I’ll also be watching/recording The Rookie, The Simpsons, Bless the Harts, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, Supergirl, The Walking Dead, Worst Cooks in America, Mr. Robot, Watchmen, Silicon Valley, and The Dublin Murders.

For additional suggestions on what to check out tonight, including the season premiere of Rick and Morty, check out the If We Controlled Your Remote… 11/10/19 post at TVisMyPacifier.com.