Reviews of movies and TV focused on women

Dead to Me, season 3, a touching farewell

Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini in Dead to Me

Dead to Me, season 3, brings this unusual dark comedy series to an end. In a story about the tangled traumas that lead to love and friendship between two women, the ending is heartfelt and touching.

Dead to Me stars Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini as two women thrown together by unusual circumstances. They bond in a crazy web of pain and forgiveness. It’s a little difficult to talk about how season 3 comes to its conclusion without huge spoilers. I’ll be as vague as possible.

Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini in Dead to Me. They are talking on a hospital bed,

There’s a theme (and jokes) about déjà vu in season 3. The season begins with another hit and run. This time it’s Jen (Christina Applegate) and Judy (Linda Cardellini) who get hit. They are both badly bruised up. Their time in the hospital reveals information that drives the remainder of the season.

They don’t know who hit them, but the audience does. It was Ben (James Marsden), driving while drunk after hearing about the death of his brother Steve (also played by Marsden). An ongoing storyline in the season is the two cops, Det. Perez (Diana Maria Riva) and Det Prager (Brandon Scott) looking for the driver. Det. Perez isn’t really looking, however, because she is involved in the Steve disappearance with Jen and Judy.

I don’t know if real life contributed to the decision to end this popular series now, but star Christina Applegate announced before the season’s release that she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

She told the NYTimes, “This is the first time anyone’s going to see me the way I am,” she said. “I put on 40 pounds; I can’t walk without a cane. I want people to know that I am very aware of all of that.” Her condition wasn’t obvious in the series. She sat much of the time. A double was used in some of the walking scenes. She clung to arms or solid objects frequently. If you hadn’t known she is struggling, you might not have noticed anything. Christina Applegate is so talented, her character’s personality was always the focus of her performance.

Jen’s two sons, Henry (Luke Roessler) and Charlie (Sam McCarthy) were still around, contributing mayhem and dance numbers.

Ben was around a lot and ended up in Jen’s bed, again.

Michelle (Natalie Morales) showed up for a hot minute and ended up in Judy’s bed, again.

But the story that mattered was the friendship/love story between Jen and Judy. This unlikely relationship was the heart of everything in season 3. The season is less funny and more emotional that the first two seasons were. We’re saying goodbye this season.

Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini on the season 3 Dead to Me poster. They are in a blue 1966 Mustang convertible.

This brilliant series was created by Liz Feldman. IMDb doesn’t have the season 3 directors updated properly yet, but I did notice Liz Feldman, Silver Tree, and Rebecca Asher among the women directors.

You can see Dead to Me on Netflix.

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