“Life & Beth” (TV) is a sweet tale about good people who are just trying to figure it all out. You know, like each and every one of us does | SERIES REVIEW

More--much more--than a love story or a series about coming-of-age

Amy Schumer has struck gold with her new Hulu miniseries, “Life & Beth”, a heartfelt tale of a woman staring at 40, trying to sort out the kinks in her life.

We find Beth (Schumer), unsatisfied with her life, job (she is a successful wine salesperson), boyfriend, and relationship with her distant sister Ann (Susannah Flood) .

Beth can’t enjoy the successes found in her work and has definitely had her fill of her 6 year relationship with Matt (Kevin Kane), a partner who seems to like the idea of being a boyfriend rather than being full-on emotionally invested.

The unexpected death of her mother (Laura Benanti) forces Beth to confront old issues from her past and the current emotional mess that is her life. A mess of her own making, as Beth has just been accepting the blandness she is feeling towards everything.

The series finds one of its best characters in Beth and Ann’s father, Leonard (Michael Rapaport).

As we see from flashbacks, he was a man who drank too much. His alcoholism cost him his family, jobs, and cars. It is later revealed that Leonard now lives in a park.

Rapaport has always been a solid actor and has a career full of fantastic and naturalistic performances. As Leonard, the actor does some of his strongest work.

His later scenes with the adult Beth have a sweet sadness, as her father’s short term memory is fading.

In perhaps the best moment of the entire series, Beth takes her father to one of her sales dinners, hoping to score a big client.

Young Beth (Violet Young) and young Liz (Grace Power) in a flashback scene in “Life & Beth)

The scene sidesteps expectations, as Leonard rises up the challenge and has, perhaps, shared the most honest and happy evening with his daughter. Schumer and Rapaport execute the sequence flawlessly and touch our hearts.

Schumer is the creator and head writer of the piece and the comedian proves herself an honest writer and grounded actress.

Along with her team of co-writers (Erin Jackson, Mia Jackson, Lavar Walker, Colleen McGuinness, Ron Weiner, and Emily Goldwyn), Schumer has created the kind of work that recalls the Independent New York-set films from the nineties, a most fruitful decade for the indie scene. As Schumer does here, those types of films used the city (and its nearby towns) to enhance well-written characters who were navigating the ups and downs of their lives.

As Beth finds herself in a small town selling her wines, she meets John (a never better Michael Cera), an organic farmer who is kind and honest, sometimes to a fault.

Schumer stated that she crafted John after her own husband, who is also an organic farmer and is on the spectrum. It is never directly addressed whether or not John shares that affliction although it seems to be obvious.

The moments between John and Beth are quite natural. They have a softness about them and, through the purity of the script and the performers, an honest romanticism blooms.

It is moments like theirs and the scenes between Beth and her father that prove how good a writer (and actress) Amy Schumer has become.

Always a respected comedian, Schumer’s first screenplay was 2015’s smart and funny “Trainwreck.”

This series is only her second produced screenplay and, while uneven now and again, Schumer proves that by digging deep into her own past, the performer has found a new level of talent to be celebrated. She is a smart and clever screenwriter.

The casting works extremely well. Schumer populated the supporting roles with her close friends.

Comedian Rachel Feinstein has an important role as the adult version of Beth’s childhood best friend while fellow comedian Yamaneika Saunders is very good as Beth’s current best friend.

Dave Attell, Jon Glasser, Hank Azaria, Gary Gulman, and David Byrne all make memorable marks in brief, but funny, moments.

Actress Violet Young plays the young Beth with finesse, through flashbacks the series tracks the uneven path that was laid out in front of her right from her youth. Young sells every moment as the freshly-teenaged version of the lead character.

The smart combination of a good cast and emotionally perceptive writing makes the ten-episode arc something special.

“Life & Beth” is a sweet tale about good people who are just trying to figure it all out. You know, like each and every one of us does.