Daisy Haggard shines on this deliciously darkish comedy (Image: BBC/Two Brothers Photos/Luke Varley)
Throughout lockdowns one, two and three, we’ve all been catching up on the tv that we didn’t have time to observe, or simply merely missed, the primary time round.
We’ve been bingeing The Sopranos, chasing a real-life presidential election with reruns of The West Wing, and catching up on each sequence of Actual Housewives ever made. So thanks Netflix for including one of many strongest homegrown comedies in years to your catalogue.
Almost two years after it aired on BBC One, Again To Life has debuted on Netflix, and earlier than you press play on episode considered one of Buddies for the fourth time, take in the genius of this hilarious, darkish intestine punch of a sequence.
Again To Life, written by and starring the exceedingly watchable Daisy Haggard, is the story of a girl named Miri who, we discover out, has simply been launched from jail after an 18-year sentence. For what? In episode one, we’re unsure, however by the response to her return of these round her, together with any doable employer, it was one thing fairly unhealthy.
Miri’s mother and father Caroline (Geraldine James) and Oscar (Richard Durden) appear to have been residing in limbo since their daughter was put away, and are strolling on eggshells now that she’s again within the household dwelling, making an attempt to cover the actual fact faeces have been despatched within the publish and ‘psycho b****’ has been sprayed on their wall. Miri’s bed room continues to be a shrine to her teenage self, with posters of George Michael, David Bowie and Jamie Oliver plastered on the partitions. We study Miri’s finest buddy Mandy (Christine Bottomley) by no means visited her in jail. Miri conceals her true identification from her charming neighbour Billy (Adeel Akhtar), who’s oblivious to her previous. In the meantime, a mysterious Scandinavian man seems to be stalking Miri round Kent.
All of it sounds fairly darkish, and it’s. Particulars of the crime Miri was convicted for come to gentle early on, and we realise why the locals are so hostile in the direction of Miri, regardless of her naive, type and sunny disposition. Very similar to the Black Mirror episode White Bear, we’re launched to the particular person behind the crime first, and the 2 are sharply contrasted as if to ask – are you continue to on her facet?
We additionally see how Miri’s incarceration affected her mother and father, who withdrew from the group and now stay in a sexless marriage. Whereas Oscar stoically rides out the storm, in non-public moments away from his household, he pines for the grandchildren he may have had by now.
However firstly, this can be a comedy, and it’s scrumptious. The darkness is tempered with chuckle out loud moments (like Miri complicated the Human Centipede with the Very Hungry Caterpillar) and also you instantly take care of Miri and are invested in her reintegration into society.
When it was launched, Again To Life was broadly in comparison with Fleabag, a) as a result of it shares among the similar producers as Fleabag and b) it’s a darkish comedy fronted and created by a girl so after all, it’s the identical as Fleabag. There’s a few similarities – the darkness, the unwillingness to flinch away from tough moments, the star high quality exuding from each Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Daisy Haggard, the stellar writing. However Again To Life isn’t Fleabag. It’s its personal good story, and deserved the essential acclaim it obtained upon its launch.
Nevertheless, being aired at half 10 on a Monday meant that Again To Life perhaps wasn’t seen by as many individuals because it deserved to be, so its prominence on Netflix is a deal with for many who missed it again in 2019. At six half hour episodes – the proper size for any TV present – Again To Life may be binged in a single satisfying feast, and can depart you wanting extra.
Fortunately for us, sequence two has already been commissioned, so there’s nonetheless time to get forward of the curve and announce that you just had been a fan manner earlier than it hit the large time.
Again To Life is offered to stream on Netflix.