How far can you fall and still be able to get back up? How long and hard is the road back to grace? Redemption tales have an irresistible fascination for us as viewers and as human beings. We all, ideally, want to be better people, but there’s a big difference between self-improvement and redemption. The former may involve something as trifling as upping your cardio or actually committing to not ignoring the Duolingo owl. The latter, however? Grappling with your own past misdeeds is a much more harrowing affair, as the protagonists of Broke and Mad Bastards can attest.

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