cover art by @ashley.anne.robert on Instagram
To sum it all up, everything about ”Dead to Me” is solid. There are no holes in the plot, and if one arises, it’s covered up in a new plot twist every time. The dynamic between Jen (played by Christina Applegate) and Judy (Linda Cardellini) in Season 1 is so varied and strong that makes you see yourself in both of them. Both actresses portrayed such dynamic characters so well and it really bolstered the quality of the show. “Dead To Me” on Netflix starts when recently widowed working mom Jen decides to finally confront her grieving feelings toward her husband who was killed in a hit-and-run by attending a grief group. There, she meets her foil (but not really), bubbly and compassionate Judy who “lost her husband” (again, not really). While Jen and Judy become closer and their lives intertwine, Judy realizes that she was the driver that killed Jen’s husband.
At first, it seems like Jen and Judy live seemingly fine lives. Jen is a moderately wealthy real estate worker with two sons and Judy is a caretaker at a nursing home where she also lives after being kicked out of her ex boyfriend’s house. However, there’s always more than to what meets the eye. In a perfect combination of introspection and thrill, the show is able to delve into intimate moments while throwing the viewers a new curveball almost every episode. The flow and progression of events is so smooth and makes the show an easy watch while still keeping us very attentive.
Even if you haven’t experienced grief, there’s still some aspect of overcoming one or more obstacles that the audience can relate to. In between the clinks of wine glasses and late night talks are moments of vulnerability that makes us feel bad for a character. The way Jen pushes aside her grief and focuses on finding her husband’s killer in contrast to Judy who wears her heart on her sleeve makes the duo an interesting pair.
Looking back after seeing the show made me realize how slightly comical the plot sounds- two suburban, middle aged women accidentally murder each other’s partners. The show is definitely a show to watch with your mom, friends, and your mom’s friends.