Review: Dead to Me

Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini in Dead to Me

Dead to Me is a dark comedy about the relationship between two women as they deal with grief and loss. It’s both twisted and twisty.

Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini star in Dead to Me. They meet at a grief support group. Jen’s (Applegate) husband was killed by a hit and run driver about 2 months ago. Judy (Cardellini) says she’s there because her boyfriend died. We find out quickly that things are not exactly as they seem.

Linda Cardellini in Dead to Me
Not entirely truthful

Jen and Judy bond. They become friends, close friends, very fast. They need each other, but for different reasons.

Christina Applegate in Dead to Me
Not entirely truthful either

In 10 half-hour episodes, the relationship between the two women is explored. I’m not going to reveal any twists you don’t get from watching the trailer, but there are surprises and plot twists in every one of the 10 episodes.

Creator Liz Feldman filled these two women with grief, angst, anger, pain, love, need, longing, and secrets. It’s often hilarious, often touching, and always twisted. The deep fascination Jen and Judy have with each other is sometimes nurturing, sometimes toxic.

Some of the other important characters in the story on Judy’s side of the equation include ex-boyfriend Steve (James Marsden), a grieving cop (Brandon Scott), and a resident of the nursing home where Judy works named Abe (Ed Asner).

Jen’s family includes two sons: Charlie (Sam McCarthy) and Henry (Luke Roessler) and the mother-in-law she loves to hate, Lorna (Valerie Mahaffey). We also see a lot of Jen’s business partner in real estate, Christopher (Max Jenkins).

The deep fascination Jen and Judy have with each other is sometimes nurturing, sometimes toxic.

The dynamics and chemistry between Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini are fascinating. Neither of them is particularly lovable. Especially compared with a dysfunctional relationship on a show like Killing Eve, where the serial killer is the person we like most. In Dead to Me, the women love each other and are bonded in the way women often become glued to each other, but certainly not for the normal reasons women form friendships. In that way, they are similar to Killing Eve.

In addition to the women who created and wrote Dead to Me, there were women directors Kat Coiro, Geeta Patel and Amy York Rubin. I don’t know where this story about two women in need of years of therapy might go next, but I vote for season 2.

What did you think of this dark comedy?

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The poster for Dead to Me with a review by Old Ain't Dead

Author: Virginia DeBolt

After many years as an educator and writer, Virginia retired from working life. She's always loved a good movie or TV show and wants to use her free time to talk about them with you now. #EldersRock! Look for Old Ain't Dead on Twitter.

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