Creative freedom is what Amy Schumer has had in Life and Beth, I have no doubt. With her series for Disney, the New York comedian has become an After Life, the Netflix fiction with which Ricky Gervais explores another facet of his talent. Like the widowed Gervais series, Life and Beth (Life and Beth in its much more suggestive original title) revolves around death. Therefore, also around the need to value life. A fertile field for kitsch in which both creators get muddy from time to time. But that Life and Beth has a clear narrative direction works in favor of Amy Schumer.

If After Life claimed the sacred right to not accept (and certainly not to overcome) the death of a loved one, Life and Beth bows to the convention that it is precisely such a dramatic blow that can serve as a momentum to move on to somewhere better. That is to say, while Gervais offers a magnificent premise with clumsy dramatic development, Schumer accepts a hackneyed starting point and tries to make it his own. And he gets it. Let no one expect Life and Beth to be a festival of drunken jokes, insults and ugly bras. There is that, yes, but Amy Schumer’s change of direction is evident from the first episode of her new series: more recognizable bitterness than humorous pathos, more anxiety than gags.

There’s nothing new in the story of a gray urbanite leaving her even grayer boyfriend (Kevin Kane) and going on a country adventure where, surprise surprise, there’s another guy. That boy is John (Michael Cera) and that field is a stone’s throw from Manhattan, so Beth’s adventure is itself a whim without consequences. But she has them and there is no need to write here what they are. Life and Beth does not deny what it is at any time: a romantic comedy.

Along the way (and the path of a ten-episode season is longer than it seems), the series opens serious melons: the need to leave behind a sad childhood, the importance of friendship and the scarcity of second chances. You know, those trains that only come by twice, but if you don’t get on them the second time…

Beth decides to do it, not knowing where her train is going (spoiler: to Long Island) and who will be waiting for her there (spoiler: Michael Cera). And yes, in Life and Beth Amy Schumer takes the morning after pill, gets all wet, flirts with an asshole, ends up with sore thighs after an absurd walk and receives all kinds of comments about her physique. However, these things do not cause the viewer the laughter to which this creator has accustomed us. Like After Life, Life and Beth is a series that can only be made by those who have made it. A series in which a comedic genius shows that she is good for much more than making people laugh on stage. It is not the series you expected from Amy Schumer. Is better.

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