Netflix’s original series, DEAD TO ME, has returned for a second season, and it’s even better than the first. The second season is packed with even more suspense and dark comedy as Jen Harding and Judy Hale are forced to reconcile their differences in order to ‘clean up’ after creating some serious messes in the first season.
Picking up off a cliffhanger right from first season, every episode of the second season has viewers constantly on tenterhooks. While the show’s writing shows up to the plate with plenty of anxiety- inducing situational comedy, it’s the performances of Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini that give the show its beating heart.
Applegate stars as Jen Harding, a deceptively sensitive mother of two with a tough shell and an anger problem. Cardellini returns as her faithful friend, Judy Hale, and while she is impulsive, and a slave to her own guilt, and makes decisions that will have viewers reeling, she is kind at heart, and really hard not to adore. Both women are well-known comedians and serve up the macabre comedy so well that the audience is never unsure when it is time to laugh or when it’s time for suspense. Cardellini and Applegate have given souls to their characters: they’re messy and lovable, they screw up and they support one other. These two hilarious women, being well-known for hearty careers before this, have also both proven once again that women are funny and always have been.
The series has a long list of producers, but two names stand out specifically, and it’s really not much of a surprise in terms of plot, comedic timing, and casting of the series. Those names are Adam McKay and Will Ferrell, and fans would recognize their collaborative work from STEP BROTHERS (2008), THE OTHER GUYS (2010), and ANCHORMAN 1 (2004) & 2 (2013)- which also star Christina Applegate- and that’s just to name a few favourites. Created and written by Liz Feldman, known as a writer for 2 BROKE GIRLS (2011- 2016), this series has a strong team of support and it doesn’t shy away from any current issues.
Aside from scripting and casting the series boasts some breathtaking artwork, cinematography, and photography. It is clear from the elaborate sets and the upscale real estate that location- scouting was given a priority. Colour palettes specific to character, location, and tone also give the series a quiet sophistication and subliminal style. Coupled with the interesting lighting and tight editing, the series has its own unique aesthetic.
DEAD TO ME, in terms of cinematography, performance, and timing and suspense is actually quite reminiscent of BREAKING BAD (2008- 2013), minus the drugs and graphic violence. It’s as if the writer’s had seen the series and asked themselves “What if it was women instead? What if it was a comedy?” Admittedly, the suspense is a completely different type of suspense, not so much ticking of the clock, but more character- driven. That, however, gives DEAD TO ME part of its unique tone- the characters truly drive this one, and whether the audience agrees with their decisions or not, it’s impossible not feel for them, or dislike them for that matter. At this time Netflix has not stated whether or DEAD TO ME will have its third season, but seeing as it’s a top viewed series on the streaming service all over the world, and boasting over 30 million viewers, there doesn’t look to be any cause for concern.