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I don’t make a habit of comparing half-hour shows to “Fleabag.” It’s not fair to them, since they inevitably don’t measure up to Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s tart two-season wonder.
But I’m happy to say that Showtime’s “Back to Life,” also a six-episode British series about the interior journey of an anguished but buoyant woman and her peculiar family, holds its own next to the show that won this year’s best comedy Emmy. “Back to Life” has a very different, more suburban rhythm from “Fleabag,” and the tone is a bit more somber overall, but it shares the same kind of lovely and simultaneously painful intimacy toward its lead and her struggles. Both shows — which share some executive producers — truck in black humor, quiet heartbreak, the import of life’s mundane moments, and emotional authenticity in service of delivering their heroine’s journey out of woe.
Daisy Haggard, who co-wrote the show with Laura Solon, is the perfect lead as Miri Matteson, now 36. Miri has a bad haircut because she has just gotten out of prison after 18 years, for a crime whose details are carefully parsed
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