Dead to Me (TV series)
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|Dead to Me|
|Created by||Liz Feldman|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||20 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||26–34 minutes|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original release||May 3, 2019 –|
Dead to Me is an American dark comedy web television series created by Liz Feldman and executively produced by Feldman, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Jessica Elbaum. The series premiered on May 3, 2019, on Netflix and stars Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini as two grieving women who bond during therapy. The first season received positive reviews. In June 2019, Netflix renewed the series for a second season which was released on May 8, 2020. At the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards, Applegate received a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
In July 2020, the series was renewed for a third and final season.
At the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards, the show received 4 nominations including Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series and two Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Applegate and Cardellini.
Dead to Me is about a friendship that blossoms between Jen (Applegate) and Judy (Cardellini). Jen is a recently widowed real estate agent based in Laguna Beach, California, trying to come to terms with her loss through therapy, exercise, and other methods. She uses anger and resentment as an outlet for her grief. She meets Judy in a grief support group. Jen mourns her husband, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver, while Judy claims she is grieving for her fiancé who died of a heart attack. In actuality, Judy is the hit-and-run driver and her fiancé broke up with her. The two characters face their struggles differently, as Jen finds herself in a dark place and Judy maintains a positive disposition. This difference quickly leads to a deep bond between the two. Jen becomes more unhinged as she unravels the mystery of her husband's death and Judy's secrets.
Cast and characters
- Christina Applegate as Jen Harding, a realtor whose husband Ted was killed by a hit-and-run driver.
- Linda Cardellini as Judy Hale, a woman that Jen met at a grief support group who befriends her. Initially unbeknownst to Jen, Judy is the person who killed her husband.
- James Marsden as
- Steve Wood (season 1; guest season 2), Judy's ex-fiancé who is an attorney involved with the Greek Mafia.
- Ben Wood (season 2), Steve's semi-identical twin brother and Jen's new love interest who is a chiropractor.
- Max Jenkins as Christopher Doyle, Jen's real estate business partner and friend.
- Sam McCarthy as Charlie Harding, Jen's older son.
- Luke Roessler as Henry Harding, Jen's younger son.
- Suzy Nakamura as Karen, Jen's neighbor.
- Diana-Maria Riva as Ana Perez, the police detective in charge of the hit-and-run case.
- Edward Asner as Abe Rifkin (season 1), Judy's friend from the retirement home where she works.
- Keong Sim as Pastor Wayne, Jen and Judy's grief support group leader.
- Telma Hopkins as Yolanda, a member of the grief support group.
- Sadie Stanley as Parker, Charlie's brief love interest and a self-proclaimed social media micro-influencer.
- Lily Knight as Linda, a member of the grief support group.
- Blair Beeken as Wendy, a member of the grief support group.
- Edward Fordham Jr. as Kyle, a member of the grief support group.
- Chelsea Spack as Heidi, Steve's new girlfriend, and employee at TKG Arts.
- Brandon Scott as Nick Prager, an off-duty police detective whom Judy met at the grieving retreat.
- Valerie Mahaffey as Lorna Harding, Jen's mother-in-law and Ted's mother.
- Haley Sims as Kayley, Steve's assistant.
- Adora Soleil Bricher as Shandy Adams, a girl in Henry's class who found Ted's body.
- Natalie Morales as Michelle (season 2), Judy's love interest and Ana's ex-girlfriend.
- Olivia Macklin as Bambi, a waitress and Ted's mistress.
- Steve Howey as Jason, a widower Jen meets at a grief retreat.
- Tara Karsian as Erica Brewer, Charlie's principal.
- Tom Virtue as Doug, a potential client of Jen's.
- Beth Littleford as Doug's wife.
- Rick Holmes as Andrew Peters, a man Jen suspects of killing her husband.
- Marc Evan Jackson as Jeff (season 2), Karen’s husband who is implied to be gay and having an affair.
- Jere Burns as Howard Hastings (season 2), a corrupt police chief who is working with the Greek Mafia.
- Frances Conroy as Eileen Wood (season 2), Steve and Ben's mother.
- Katey Sagal as Eleanor Hale (season 2), Judy's drug-addicted and emotionally abusive mother who is currently in prison.
|1||10||May 3, 2019|
|2||10||May 8, 2020|
Season 1 (2019)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||1||"Pilot"||Amy York Rubin||Liz Feldman||May 3, 2019|
|Jen is mourning the death of her husband Ted who was killed by a hit-and-run driver. She joins a grief support group. There, she meets Judy, who is mourning the death of her fiancé Steve. They become close friends. One of the ways that Jen processes her grief is to investigate any car she sees that looks like it may have been involved in a hit-and-run. Jen discovers that Judy has been lying and that Steve is alive and well. Judy apologizes and explains that her grief is actually for her miscarriages, which she blames for the failure of her relationship with Steve. Ultimately, it is revealed that Judy owns a car with damage consistent with a hit-and-run.|
|2||2||"Maybe I'm Crazy"||Amy York Rubin||Liz Feldman||May 3, 2019|
|Jen is working with Steve to sell his house. Judy is stalking Steve. Steve learns that Judy has moved into Jen's guest house, and warns Jen that chaos tends to follow Judy. He files a restraining order against Judy. Judy has flashbacks of hitting someone with her car. Steve was a passenger in the car. Jen vandalizes a car that had been speeding through her neighborhood.|
|3||3||"It's All My Fault"||Abe Sylvia||Anthony King||May 3, 2019|
|Jen deals with Ted's upcoming birthday memorial. She clashes with Ted's narcissistic mother Lorna. Judy reveals to Steve that Jen is the wife of the person they killed with the car. Steve pressures Judy to keep quiet about what happened. Judy's feeling of guilt increases. A flashback reveals that Judy was at Ted's funeral, watching from afar. Police come to question Jen about the vandalized car. Judy confesses to vandalizing the car to protect Jen and punish herself. Steve bails Judy out of jail, reminds her not to confess to killing Ted. They reconcile. Jen logs onto Ted's laptop and starts receiving messages from "bambi88" with whom Ted had apparently been having an affair.|
|4||4||"I Can't Go Back"||Abe Sylvia||Kate Robin||May 3, 2019|
|Steve tries to convince Judy to move back in with him and to get over having killed Ted. Judy tracks down "bambi88", who turns out to be a waitress whose name is actually Bambi. Jen and Judy arrange to meet her where she works. Judy confronts Bambi with the news that Ted is dead and learns that Ted had told Bambi that his wife was dead. In her anger, Jen says she's glad Ted is dead. A flashback shows that Judy wanted to go back and help Ted after the accident, but Steve stopped her.|
|5||5||"I've Gotta Get Away"||Minkie Spiro||Abe Sylvia||May 3, 2019|
|Jen and Judy attend a "grief retreat" in Palm Springs, but mostly treat it as a vacation. Jen drinks and flirts heavily with Jason, a recent widower. They go to bed, but he is still not over his wife and it goes badly. Meanwhile, Judy meets Nick, a police detective. She introduces him to Jen, who asks if he has ever solved a hit-and run. He answers "yes".|
|6||6||"Oh My God"||Minkie Spiro||Njeri Brown||May 3, 2019|
|Nick meets Jen and Judy at the location where Ted was killed, and offers to talk to the local police detective, Ana Perez, about the case. Judy learns that Ted's body was found by a 9-year-old girl. Jen's son Charlie has been dealing drugs which he had stolen from Ted's medicine cabinet. He is subsequently found to be carrying a gun he stole from Lorna. Henry is also acting up in school. Shandy, the girl who found Ted's body, gives Jen a piece of the car she had found at the scene. Judy returns to the storage locker where the car is stored, intending to hide the car, only to find that it is missing.|
|7||7||"I Can Handle It"||Kat Coiro||Emma Rathbone||May 3, 2019|
|Jen brings the car part to Perez. Judy goes to Steve demanding to know what happened to the car. He shows her the car in the process of being dismantled and explains his plan to dispose of the parts. The police identify the found part as belonging to a 1966 Mustang.|
|8||8||"Try to Stop Me"||Kat Coiro||Kelly Hutchinson||May 3, 2019|
|Jen, Judy, and Nick begin visiting the homes of registered owners of 1966 Mustangs, causing Judy to panic. Suspecting she may be pregnant, Judy goes to Steve and discovers that he is in a new relationship. She leaves without telling him that the police have identified the car. Later, Judy's doctor confirms that she is not pregnant and may be experiencing an early menopause. Nick discovers that Steve and Judy's art gallery is on the list of Mustang owners.|
|9||9||"I Have to Be Honest"||Geeta Patel||Rebecca Addelman||May 3, 2019|
|Nick visits the art gallery and encounters Steve. He asks Steve about the car, but Steve denies knowing anything about it. Money problems force Jen to ask Lorna for a job. Perez rebuffs Nick's theories. Judy goes to Perez and turns Steve in for money laundering. It is revealed that Jen and Ted had a fight the night of his death and she blames herself for his death. Judy confesses to killing Ted and Jen tells her to die. While collecting evidence from Steve's storage locker, Perez notices a motor oil spill. Meanwhile, Jen takes Ted's gun from his safe.|
|10||10||"You Have to Go"||Geeta Patel||Liz Feldman & Abe Sylvia||May 3, 2019|
|Jen cleans out the guest house, disposing of Judy's possessions. Jen installs a security system at the house and begins carrying Ted's gun that she took from the safe in the guest house. Jen brings Judy's confession to Perez, who will not proceed as it would interfere with their investigation of Steve. Jen encounters Judy, who offers to turn herself in to make amends. Jen threatens to kill her if she ever sees Judy again. Judy empties her joint bank account with Steve and gives all of that money to Jen by hiding a cashier's check in a gift for Henry. Steve comes to Jen's house looking for Judy. He admits that he was in the car when Ted was killed. They argue and Jen draws the gun, ordering him to leave. Judy returns to the place where Ted was killed and unsuccessfully attempts to commit suicide by stepping in front of an oncoming car. She receives a call from Jen telling her she needs to come over right away. Both women stand over Steve's dead body as it floats in the pool.|
Season 2 (2020)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|11||1||"You Know What You Did"||Liza Johnson||Liz Feldman||May 8, 2020|
|Jen and Judy briefly reunite after Jen learns that her neighbor Karen's security camera caught footage of Steve arriving at her house. Jen is still mad for Judy's lies and kicks her out, leaving her homeless. They eventually reconcile, but Jen lies to Judy about killing Steve in self-defense, whereas she actually bludgeoned him to death in a fit of rage as he was leaving.|
|12||2||"Where Have You Been"||Liza Johnson||Elizabeth Benjamin||May 8, 2020|
|Steve's twin Ben shows up wondering about his brother's whereabouts. Judy lies to Ben, saying that Steven ran off to Mexico after his business went under for money laundering. Detective Perez warns Jen about Judy, calling the woman a "rip tide" after giving Jen the restraining order she filed for Judy.|
|13||3||"You Can't Live Like This"||Tamra Davis||Cara DiPaolo||May 8, 2020|
|Memories hit Jen about her night with Steve, as his body is placed in a freezer in her garage. Jen and Judy argue over what to do with his corpse when rats are spotted. Judy wants to dispose of the body in a respectful way. Jen considers dissolving it with industrial-strength drain cleaner but changes her mind after testing it on one of the rats. The two ultimately decide to bury his body in the Angeles National Forest in the middle of the night.|
|14||4||"Between You and Me"||Tamra Davis||Jessi Klein||May 8, 2020|
|After disposing of Steve's body, Jen and Judy book into a fancy hotel on the weekend of a wedding. There, the two spot Karen's husband, Jeff, having an affair with another man. Upon returning home, Jen and Judy learn that the bird Henry believed to be his reincarnated father is dead.|
|15||5||"The Price You Pay"||Liz Allen Rosenbaum||Kelly Hutchinson||May 8, 2020|
|Impatient about a new vehicle, Charlie digs through his mother's storage unit and stumbles upon Steve's old car. Believing it to be a birthday present, Charlie takes the car on a joyride with his girlfriend Parker. Judy bonds with a new client's daughter, Michelle. Jen seeks relief from Ben, who helps her with her back pain. During the session, Jen has flashbacks of the night she murdered Steve. After berating Charlie about stealing Steve's car, Jen sets it on fire.|
|16||6||"You Don't Have To"||Liz Allen Rosenbaum||Celeste Hughey||May 8, 2020|
|Jen bribes Parker to take down the pictures she posted online of the joyride she had with Charlie, in order to conceal Steve's car. Judy develops serious feelings for Michelle, even spending the night with her. Jen and Ben hit it off as well. Henry experiences stage fright before his first solo with his Christian choral group. Jen suggests that Henry ditch the concert, instead taking him to an arcade with Charlie, Judy, Ben, and Michelle. Nick and other police officers find Steve's burned-out car. During Judy and Michelle's night together, it is revealed that Detective Perez is Michelle's ex-girlfriend and roommate.|
|17||7||"If Only You Knew"||Jennifer Getzinger||Dan Dietz||May 8, 2020|
|Jen and Judy organize a vigil for Steve to keep suspicion off of them. Jen convinces Judy to break up with Michelle, due to her proximity to Detective Perez. At the vigil, Judy finds Steve's fiancée Heidi four months pregnant with his child, leaving her an emotional mess. Ben offers a substantial reward for news on the disappearance of Steve. Later, Jen and Ben share a kiss. Charlie, who stops by to show his support, recognizes Steve's car as a slideshow of photographs from Steve's life plays.|
|18||8||"It Had to Be You"||Jennifer Getzinger||Emma Rathbone||May 8, 2020|
|While working with Ben and his mother to sell their mansion, Jen and Ben talk about what their kiss meant. Charlie finds contents of Steve's car in the garage, including a small case with a flash drive and burner phone inside. Charlie tries a number on the phone and Chief Hastings answers. Judy visits Michelle's mother in the hospital, and has an uncomfortable conversation with Detective Perez. Judy, afraid of losing her mom, makes a call about her whereabouts. Michelle seemingly breaks up with Judy. Ben later visits Jen and confesses he feels a connection with her. They embrace and kiss in the doorway, then head inside.|
|19||9||"It's Not You, It's Me"||Silver Tree||Liz Feldman & Kelly Hutchinson||May 8, 2020|
|Having slept with Ben, Jen tells him it was a mistake and asks him to leave. Charlie accuses Jen of burning Steve's car, remembering she had a gas can, and Jen tells him to forget about it because Steve was involved with dangerous people. Judy visits her manipulative, addict mother in prison, who seeks her help in getting out. Jen then learns from Judy that Nick saw the Instagram photos of Parker and Charlie posing by Steve's car, also stating that there is traffic cam video of the two driving it the day it was burned. Jen and Judy argue, with Jen finally admitting that she struck and killed Steve because he insulted her and surmised that Ted purposely threw himself in front of his car. Jen insults Judy saying she will love anyone who gives her attention. They emotionally reconcile. The next morning, Jen leaves envelopes for Judy, Charlie and Henry, then visits Detective Perez at her home.|
|20||10||"Where Do We Go from Here"||Silver Tree||Cara DiPaolo & Liz Feldman||May 8, 2020|
|Judy is asked by Jen to be the boys' legal guardian. Jen confesses to Detective Perez that she killed Steve, and the two drive to the makeshift burial site but cannot find the spot where the body is. Perez gets a text from Nick stating "We got him" (Chief Hastings), and suggests that she and Jen just forget about killing Steve. After both bond about their mothers passing, Judy finally gets her paintings back from Detective Perez. After Perez leaves, Judy smashes the paintings to uncover many stacks of $100 bills that are hidden in the backings. Ben receives a phone call, and learns that a hiker and her dog found Steve's body. Judy declines her mothers' wish to help her out of jail. Jen visits the grief support group and realizes she never grieved for her own mother's death. Charlie finds the envelope that Jen left for Judy. Judy and Jen visit Lorna to buy out Jen's mortgage from her, then drive home in a modest new car that Jen wants to give to Charlie. The car is then struck by another vehicle revealed to be driven by Ben. After he looks down at a half-empty bottle of liquor, Ben speeds away. Judy and Jen wake up, both injured and in shock.|
On April 5, 2018, it was announced that Netflix had given the production a series order for a first season consisting of ten episodes. The series was created by Liz Feldman who was also expected to write for the series and executive produce alongside Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Jessica Elbaum. Production companies involved with the series were slated to consist of Gloria Sanchez Productions and CBS Television Studios. On November 2, 2018, it was reported that Amy York Rubin would direct the first and second episodes of the series.
On April 1, 2019, it was announced that the series was set to be released on May 3, 2019. On June 3, 2019, the series was renewed for a second season, set to be released in 2020. On April 10, 2020, Netflix announced that the second season would be released on May 8, 2020. On July 6, 2020, Netflix renewed the series for a third and final season.
On July 11, 2018, it was announced that Christina Applegate had been cast in one of the series' two lead roles. On August 3, 2018, it was reported that Linda Cardellini had been cast in the series' other lead role. A week later, it was announced that Max Jenkins and Luke Roessler had been cast in series regular roles. On September 12, 2018, it was reported that James Marsden and Ed Asner had been cast in starring roles. In October 2018, it was announced that Sam McCarthy had joined the cast in a series regular capacity and that Diana-Maria Riva had been cast in a recurring role. In October 2019, Natalie Morales was cast in the recurring role of Michelle on the second season.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has an approval rating of 86% based on 50 reviews, with an average rating of 6.48/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Dead to Me doesn't always deliver on the gallows humor that it promises, but the sterling duo of Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini elevates the series above its pulpier aspects—offering a deeply moving relationship shaped by mutual grief." On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 67 out of 100, based on 21 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season has an approval rating of 97% based on 29 reviews, with an average rating of 8.13/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Dead to Me doubles down on the twists and turns out an exciting second season that makes excellent use of its well-matched leads." On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 72 out of 100, based on 10 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
On July 17, 2019, Netflix announced that the series was on track to be streamed by over 30 million viewers within its first month of release on the streaming platform.
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