Series Review: Dead to Me Season 1

Witty and morose, Netflix’s latest dark comedy series is one you shouldn’t miss.

Created by Liz Feldman

Starring Christina Applegate, Linda Cardellini, James Marsden and Edward Asner

Watch time: ~5 hours

Synopsis: Twelve weeks after the tragic death of her husband, Jen(Christina Applegate) meets a fellow griever in Judy (Linda Cardellini) and begins a friendship that’s much deeper than meets the eye.

Dead to Me is a surprising show to me. That has nothing to do with the talent in front of or behind the camera, but more to do with the fact that after seeing the above trailer, it felt like it would work better as a movie than a series. Needless to say, I should stick with critique over actually writing my own series because I walked away from the show impressed.

Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini have great chemistry and acting prowess. When they're on the screen together, you buy into these characters as close friends, even though in the canon of the show they've only been friends for a few weeks at most. It's not just their comedic back and forth, but it's their ability to convey grief to each other and the opposite person to play off that. It's tough to tell where its the actors making the most of the script or the script just being excellent overall because every one of their interactions feels natural.

Despite being relatively short, there is one episode that I found almost entirely unnecessary. Episode five features Jen and Judy going to a grief retreat(yes, you read that right) and other than adding a member to the team they've put together to find Jen's husband's killer, the episode feels wholly irrelevant to the entire plot and could be skipped over. I will also say that I found the ending a little disappointing. The show up until the final minutes had done a great job subverting expectations at times and I hoped that it would do the same. Unfortunately, they decided to go with a cloudy route as to how they'll continue the show for a season 2, should Netflix choose to renew the show.

Overall, I enjoyed my time with Dead to Me and loved a lot about the show. Applegate and Cardellini have something special here and I while I do expect Netflix to green-light a second season, I'm not exactly sure what they'll do with it going forward.

4.5/5 stars