• Network: SHOWTIME
  • Series Premiere Date: Nov 10, 2019
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Nov 8, 2019
    100
    Haggard’s performance (she’s also a co-writer) is a marvel, whether she’s exuding vulnerability or dishing the sass. Used and abused but never quite de-fused, she propels Back to Life to the top tier of this season’s newcomers, with ample help from a crackerjack ensemble.
  2. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Nov 5, 2019
    100
    A wonderfully nuanced story that's both extremely funny and tragically sad, but never leans too hard in either direction to get a reaction. It just exists and, after six episodes, it ends — and when it does you get the full appreciation of how exceptional it is. ... Back to Life is a real, unexpected gem of a series and one of the better surprises of 2019.
  3. Reviewed by: Allison Keene
    Oct 4, 2019
    92
    Back to Life is a quiet and emotionally genuine series that hinges on the fantastic interactions among its characters. ... Beautifully directed by Christopher Sweeney and sonically augmented with a thoughtful, soulful score from Solomon Grey, there’s a melancholy to the late fall days when the story takes place, alongside an embedded nostalgia for a time when all of us were younger and seemingly carefree, before things got complicated and life-changing decisions were made.
  4. Reviewed by: Bruce Miller
    Sep 23, 2019
    91
    Haggard finds much to embrace and a great way of making you think of all people.
  5. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Nov 8, 2019
    90
    “Back to Life” is exactly the kind of little gem — so wisely and commandingly written, so effectively acted, so well-paced — that could easily get lost among the glitzier stuff. That would be a shame.
  6. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Nov 8, 2019
    80
    “Back to Life,” at least on paper, shouldn’t work at all. But it does. And though matters seem to wrap up tidily with episode 6, a viewer will be hoping there’s more to come.
  7. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    Nov 8, 2019
    80
    Its choices are always economical. Each scene makes a point, then moves on to the next. Miri learned from her prison sentence that time is precious, and Back to Life treats time the same way. The series is very smart in the way it highlights how long Miri has been away, making note of it without dwelling on it too much.
  8. Reviewed by: Caroline Framke
    Nov 7, 2019
    80
    Despite the distracting presence of a “self-employed” investigator trying to make his own “Serial” about Miri’s case, so much of “Back to Life” isn’t about a splashy murder, but people getting up every day, hoping to be their best, and dealing with the disappointing consequences when they fall short.
  9. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Nov 7, 2019
    80
    “Back to Life” is a sweet, possibly addictive but not entirely substantial treat.
  10. Reviewed by: Judy Berman
    Nov 5, 2019
    80
    Miri is a scapegoat, defined by what others project on her. That’s a difficult portrait to paint in under three hours while juggling elements of comedy and crime drama, but Back to Life (premiering Nov. 10) smartly surrounds Miri with distinctive secondary characters: her distant mom (Geraldine James), obsessive conservationist dad (Richard Durden), a love interest (Adeel Akhtar) with secrets of his own.
User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Negative: 2 out of 9
  1. Nov 11, 2019
    10
    Sad, funny, fabulous acting! Absolutely loved it! It’s been compared to fleabag by the press but two completely different shows and as aSad, funny, fabulous acting! Absolutely loved it! It’s been compared to fleabag by the press but two completely different shows and as a massive Fleabag fan I have to say I preferred Back to Life. Hope there’s a season 2!! Full Review »
  2. Nov 13, 2019
    4
    Disjointed is the best word I can come up with to describe this show. The quirk was overwhelming, and the funny didn't ever quite land, asDisjointed is the best word I can come up with to describe this show. The quirk was overwhelming, and the funny didn't ever quite land, as many times as they tried. I mean, the story was terrible, things didn't make sense or add up, you don't get sentenced to that amount of time in prison for manslaughter in the UK. I couldn't help but compare this show to the far superior The Unforgiven (UK), and even though it's almost a completely different animal, it paled in comparison. I can't say I'd recommend this. Full Review »