A tragedy occurred in the family of Jen Harding (Christina Applegate) – she lost her husband: he went jogging in the evening, he was hit by a car, the driver of which fled, leaving Jen’s husband to die on the side of the road.
The woman is deeply shocked by what happened, but she needs to pull herself together, because she has two children in her care: teenager Charlie (Sam McCarthy) and seven-year-old Henry (Luke Rossler). To cope with her condition, Jen enrolls in a Friends of Heaven counseling course led by Pastor Wayne (Keong Sim). The courses are designed for those who have lost their loved ones.
During her first class, Jen meets a girl named Judy Hale (Linda Cardellini). During the course, Jen finds out that Judy has lost her fiancé.
Judy clearly wants to get closer to Jen somehow: after the first class, she offers to exchange phone numbers and says that Jen can call her at any time, even at night.
Jen, because of all these events, sleeps very badly, well, on the very first night, unable to fall asleep, she calls Judy, and they had a great chat.
After a while, Jen invited Judy to her house – to drink wine and chat. And they really get close enough that Jen asks Judy to ride with her around the area where her husband was hit: Jen inspects all the cars on the streets that have damage to the front.
Jen doesn’t know that Judy didn’t actually lose her fiancé. His name is Steve Wood (James Marsden) and he lives in a huge house in a posh neighborhood. But he broke up with Judy, so she is now forced to live in a small room in a nursing home, where she helps take care of the elderly.
Also unknown to Jen is that there is a car in Steve’s garage with a damaged front end, in which Judy hit her husband and left him to die on the side of the road.
When you read the description of the plotline – in fact, all of the above is shown in the pilot – you think that the series will be a psychological thriller: the killer of the unfortunate Jen’s husband is stuffed into her girlfriend and then the devil knows what else he will do.
However, literally from the second series you understand that this is not a psychological thriller at all, but rather the opposite – something like a tragicomedy. The fact is that Judy is not a dark killer, not an energy vampire or something like that. She is a simple (sometimes even too) girl who lacks stars from the sky.
She shot down Jen’s husband quite by accident (and he himself was to blame for this), did not help the downed man under the influence of external causes (we will not spoil further), and she wants to get close to Jen precisely because she is tormented by guilt.
Well, at the same time, all sorts of very peculiar conflicts arise: Jen hates the killer of her husband, diligently tries to find him, while the real killer lives in her family and is Jen’s best friend, who helps her cope with all the problems that have piled up.
Also in the series is an interesting line of mother-in-law Jen – the mother of her husband Lorna (Valerie Mahaffey). Lorna is a young wealthy woman who owns a very successful real estate agency. She loves her grandchildren and treats Jen badly – they don’t have mutual understanding. Nevertheless, Jen has to get a job with Lorna: without this, she will not be able to support her family and pay her mortgage.
Another line is connected with Judy’s ex-fiance – Steve. Information about Steve is given out very metered, and at first it is not very clear who he is and what he does, but in the course of the first season we learn a lot of interesting things about Steve.
Well, the third small storyline is connected with a new acquaintance (frankly, a lover) Jen – detective Nick Prager (Brandon Scott). He’s out of the county and here in California doesn’t have the authority to investigate, but he wants to help Jen, so he’s off the record investigating what happened. At the same time, Nick dives with local detective Ana Perez (Diana-Maria Riva), who is dealing with this incident.
During the first season, the story of what happened will gradually be revealed and there will be a lot of interesting things.
Christina Applegate Jen played well, but the role was not easy: on the one hand, a heartbroken woman, but, on the other hand, it is still a black humor series, so it was important here not to slide into excessive pathos, and not turn it all into in buffoonery, which would also be useless.
Christina managed to keep the intonation very accurately, and her heroine looked convincing both in her grief and in all sorts of tragicomedic moments.
But most of all in this series I liked Linda Cardellini, who played Judy. Charming, sweet, slightly infantile, easily manipulated by other people, sincerely wanting to make amends to Jen – well, just a charm, not a character!
At the same time, Judy, with all her good looks and seeming harmlessness, can be a source of serious shocks for some other people – both voluntarily and involuntarily. And it is she, in my opinion, who is the central and most significant character of this series, although it seems that the main character here is Jen.
Well, Jen’s mother-in-law, Lorna, performed by Valerie Mahaffey, is also very good. She is not a “viper mother-in-law” at all. Yes, she does not love Jen and helps her only because of her affection for her grandchildren, and even then she constantly pokes her daughter-in-law. At the same time, Lorna is a spectacular lady with a paradoxically soft-powerful manner, who will not let anyone down.
I watched it with pleasure, I really liked the first season. It is small: ten episodes of thirty minutes. His ratings were good, so the series was renewed for a second season, which will be released this year. (The series was commissioned by Netflix, so, as is their custom, the season will immediately become available in its entirety upon release.) In the second season, too, there are ten episodes of thirty minutes each. Let’s hope they don’t lower the bar in Season 2.
Dead to Me serie meaning
Director: Liz Feldman Cast: Christina Applegate, Linda Cardellini, James Marsden, Max Jenkins, Sam McCarthy, Luke Rossler, Helen Kobayashi, Indigo Carey, Brandon Scott, Diana-Maria Riva, Keong Sim, Valerie Mhaffei
Series, USA, 2019, 30 min. 2 seasons of 10 episodes