Review: Dead To Me

Ruby Osborme reviews the empowering dark comedy "Dead To Me" now available on Netflix...

Ruby Osborne
31st May 2019
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When it comes to a show surrounding two complex female characters, there seems to be no escaping labels like ‘feminist’, ‘girl power’ and ‘sisterhood’, but Dead to Me, created by Liz Feldman (Two Broke Girls) really does exude the power of femininity and female friendships.

This isn’t because its characters are anything especially positive, in fact, it’s the complexity and the negative traits of Jen (Christina Applegate) and Judy (Linda Cardellini) that make them so watchable.

Maybe our lives aren’t messy on the same level as the two unlikely friends, but that doesn’t make them any less relatable. They let it be known that it’s normal to be a little “nuts” or “hysterical”, particularly after the end of a relationship, and especially that end came about after the death of your husband. And that’s not the only thing gone wrong in Jen’s life: trouble at work, difficulty as a newly single mother, and her determination to find the person responsible for her husband’s death start to become overwhelming. When the cynical Jen meets free spirit Judy at a Friends of Heaven grief meeting, things start to look up, but is Judy all she seems?

Dead to Me really does exude the power of femininity and female friendships.

Dead to Me’s dark humour captures grief and the way people cope in an honest, refreshing way. Its twists and turns can seem excessive, but they mirror the domino effect that always seems to come with a piece of bad news.

However, it attempts to cover an overwhelming number of contemporary topics, as if in fear of leaving a minority out. Its token gay friend and black love interest’s problems are barely covered, despite a focus on the struggles of other white straight minor characters.

The intensity of the programme, with the comic relief of cynicism, makes the show enjoyable overall.

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