This weekend I binged a newly released Netflix show called Dead to Me. It stars Christina Applegate (who I have been watching on TV since Married with Children in the 90s) and Linda Cardellini (Freaks & Geeks, Bloodline, Green Book). The show is executive produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay.
Dead to Me is a dark comedy about two women who meet in a grief support group. Applegate plays Jen, a mother of two, mourning the sudden loss of her husband, Ted, who was killed in a hit and run. She is definitely in the anger stage of grief, blasting heavy metal in her car, pounding bottles of wine, and bursting into the local police station to scream at the detective whenever she thinks she's finding clues faster than they are. The detective refers to Jen as the "white wine renegade."
Cardellini plays Judy, an artist who also works at an assisted living center. She is struggling to feel like herself again after five miscarriages and a painful breakup with her long-term boyfriend. Judy's ex is played by the devastatingly handsome and perfectly chiseled James Marsden.
The supporting cast includes Valerie Mahaffey as Jen's evil mother-in-law, Ed Asner as Judy's favorite resident at the assisted living center, and Steve Howey (Kevin from Shameless) as a guy Jen tries to rebound with at a grief retreat.
It's hard to talk about the plot of the show without giving anything away, and I really don't want to ruin a single twist, so instead, I'll talk about what it feels like to watch it.
Each episode is 30 minutes long (there are 10 total) and you are gripped the entire time. As new clues in Ted's murder case get revealed, you will find yourself audibly gasping. Several episodes end on cliffhanger moments that will make you automatically raise your remote (or click on your laptop) to hit "next episode."
The show is set in dreamy Laguna Beach, CA, so all these evil things are occurring in a gorgeous place. That juxtaposition reminded me of Big Little Lies (which is set in Monterey, CA).
The final episode concludes in a way that definitely leaves room for the story to continue. I really hope there will be a season two!
Tell me, have you watched Dead to Me? I'm eager to discuss it!