Dead to Me (TV series)

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Dead to Me
Title screen for Netflix's Dead to Me.png
GenreBlack comedy
Tragicomedy[1][2]
Created byLiz Feldman
Starring
Composer(s)Adam Blau
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Joe Hardesty
  • Linda Cardellini
  • Peter Chomsky
  • Buddy Enright
CinematographyDanny Moder
Editor(s)
Camera setupSingle-camera[3]
Running time26–33 minutes
Production company(s)
Release
Original networkNetflix
Picture format
Audio formatDolby Digital 5.1
Original releaseMay 3, 2019 (2019-05-03) –
present (present)
External links
Official website

Dead to Me is an American black comedy web television series created by Liz Feldman which premiered on May 3, 2019 on Netflix. The series stars Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini as grieving women who bond during therapy, and it is executive produced by Feldman, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Jessica Elbaum. The first season received positive reviews. In June 2019, Netflix renewed the series for a second season.[4] At the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards, Applegate received a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.[5]

Premise[edit]

Dead to Me is about "a powerful friendship that blossoms between Jen (Applegate) and Judy (Cardellini).[6] Jen is a recently widowed real estate agent 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.[7]

This is how she meets Judy, who is a part of a therapy group composed of bereft spouses. Jen is mourning her husband, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver, while Judy grieves for her fiancé, who died of a heart attack.[8]

The two characters face their loss differently as Jen finds herself in a dark place, struggling with her grief while Judy maintains a positive disposition.[7] This difference quickly leads to a deep bond between the two. However, Judy keeps a dark secret that causes a disturbing plot twist. She was involved in the death of her friend's husband. Jen becomes more unhinged as she unravels the mystery of her husband's death and secret life.[1]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Christina Applegate as Jen Harding, a real estate agent 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. Unbeknownst to Jen, Judy is the person who hit and killed her husband.
  • James Marsden as Steve Wood (season 1), Judy's ex-fiancé who is an attorney.
  • 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.

Recurring[edit]

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Natalie Morales as Michelle (season 2)[9]

Guest stars[edit]

  • 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.
  • Adora Soleil Bricher as Shandy Adams, a girl in Henry's class who found Ted's body.
  • 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.

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"Pilot"Amy York RubinLiz FeldmanMay 3, 2019 (2019-05-03)
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 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. At the end of the episode we discover that Judy owns a car with damage consistent with a hit-and-run.
2"Maybe I'm Crazy"Amy York RubinLiz FeldmanMay 3, 2019 (2019-05-03)
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"It's All My Fault"Abe SylviaAnthony KingMay 3, 2019 (2019-05-03)
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. We discover that Judy had been at Ted's funeral, watching from the back. 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"I Can't Go Back"Abe SylviaKate RobinMay 3, 2019 (2019-05-03)
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. In a flashback we learn that Judy had wanted to go back and help Ted after the accident, but Steve stopped her.
5"I've Gotta Get Away"Minkie SpiroAbe SylviaMay 3, 2019 (2019-05-03)
Jen and Judy attend a "grief retreat", but mostly treat it as a vacation. Jen drinks and flirts heavily with Jason, a recent widower. They go to bed, but he's 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's ever solved a hit-and run. He answers "yes".
6"Oh My God"Minkie SpiroNjeri BrownMay 3, 2019 (2019-05-03)
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's missing.
7"I Can Handle It"Kat CoiroEmma RathboneMay 3, 2019 (2019-05-03)
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"Try to Stop Me"Kat CoiroKelly HutchinsonMay 3, 2019 (2019-05-03)
Jen, Judy, and Nick begin visiting the homes of registered owners of 1966 Mustangs. Judy begins to panic. She also suspects she may be pregnant. She goes to Steve and discovers that he is in a new relationship. She leaves without telling him that the police have identified the car. Nick discovers that Steve and Judy's art gallery is on the list of Mustang owners.
9"I Have to Be Honest"Geeta PatelRebecca AddelmanMay 3, 2019 (2019-05-03)
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 is uninterested in 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 Ted's death and Jen 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 is taking Ted's gun from his safe.
10"You Have to Go"Geeta PatelLiz Feldman & Abe SylviaMay 3, 2019 (2019-05-03)
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 at the end of the previous episode. Jen brings Judy's confession to Perez, who won't proceed as it would interfere with their ongoing investigation of Steve. Jen encounters Judy who offers to turn herself in, in order to make amends. Jen threatens to kill her if she ever sees her again. Judy empties her joint bank account with Steve. She gives the money to Jen. 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. The season ends with both women standing over Steve's dead body.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

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.[10][11][12][13][14] On November 2, 2018, it was reported that Amy York Rubin would direct the first and second episodes of the series.[15]

On April 1, 2019, it was announced that the series was set to be released on May 3, 2019.[16] On June 3, 2019, the series was renewed for a second season, which is set to be released in 2020.[4]

Casting[edit]

On July 11, 2018, it was announced that Christina Applegate had been cast in one of the series' two lead roles.[17] On August 3, 2018, it was reported that Linda Cardellini had been cast in the series' other lead role.[6] A week later, it was announced that Max Jenkins and Luke Roessler had been cast in series regular roles.[18] On September 12, 2018, it was reported that James Marsden and Ed Asner had been cast in starring roles.[19] 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.[20][21] In October 2019, Natalie Morales was cast in the recurring role of Michelle on the second season.[9]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 86% based on 50 reviews, with an average rating of 6.48/10. The website's critical 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."[22] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 67 out of 100, based on 21 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[23]

Viewership[edit]

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.[24]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2019 TCA Awards Outstanding New Program Dead to Me Nominated [25]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Christina Applegate Nominated [26]
Satellite Awards Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Series Nominated [27]
2020 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated [28]
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated [29]
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated [30]
Casting Society of America Television Pilot & First Season – Comedy Sherry Thomas, Sharon Bialy and Russell Scott Nominated [31]
Writers Guild of America Awards Television: New Series Rebecca Addelman, Njeri Brown, Liz Feldman, Kelly Hutchinson, Anthony King, Emma Rathbone, Kate Robin and Abe Sylvia Nominated [32]
Television: Episodic Comedy Liz Feldman (for "Pilot") Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lawler, Kelly (May 3, 2019). "Review: Netflix's tragicomedy 'Dead to Me' is the best binge watch of 2019". USA TODAY. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  2. ^ Salvi, Pooja (July 30, 2019). "Netflix's 'Dead to Me' is proof that tragedy can go hand-in-hand with humor making tragicomedies universally relevant". meaww. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  3. ^ "Dead to Me – Listings". The Futon Critic.
  4. ^ a b Ramos, Dino-Ray (June 3, 2019). "'Dead To Me' Renewed For Season 2 By Netflix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  5. ^ Whipp, Glenn; Lee, Ashley (July 16, 2019). "The biggest snubs and surprises from the 2019 Emmy nominations". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (August 3, 2018). "Linda Cardellini To Star In Netflix Dark Comedy Series 'Dead To Me'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Travers, Ben; Travers, Ben (April 17, 2019). "'Dead to Me' Review: Christina Applegate's Netflix Series Is No Comedy, But It Is a Mess". IndieWire. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  8. ^ Butler, Bethonie (May 14, 2019). "Breaking down the twists in Netflix's 'Dead to Me,' a show about grief — and so much more". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Otterson, Joe (October 17, 2019). "'Dead to Me' Season 2 Casts Natalie Morales (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (April 5, 2018). "Netflix Orders Dark Comedy Series 'Dead To Me' From Liz Feldman, Gloria Sanchez Prods. & CBS TV Studios". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  11. ^ Otterson, Joe (April 5, 2018). "Netflix Orders Comedy 'Dead to Me' From Liz Feldman, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay". Variety. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  12. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (April 5, 2018). "Netflix Orders Dark Comedy Series From Will Ferrell, Liz Feldman". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  13. ^ Burch, Sean (April 5, 2018). "Netflix Scores Dark Comedy 'Dead to Me' From Liz Feldman, Will Ferrell". TheWrap. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  14. ^ Wright, Megh (April 5, 2018). "Netflix Orders 'Dead to Me' Comedy from Liz Feldman, Will Ferrell, and Adam McKay". Splitsider. Archived from the original on April 5, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  15. ^ Petski, Denise (November 2, 2018). "'Dead To Me': Amy York Rubin To Direct Pilot & Second Episode Of Netflix Dark Comedy". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  16. ^ Petski, Denise (April 1, 2019). "'Dead To Me' Trailer: First Look & Premiere Date For Netflix Dark Comedy". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (July 11, 2018). "Christina Applegate To Star In Netflix Dark Comedy Series 'Dead To Me'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  18. ^ Petski, Denise (August 10, 2018). "'Dead To Me': Max Jenkins & Luke Roessler Cast As Series Regulars In Netflix Dark Comedy". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
  19. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (September 12, 2018). "'Dead To Me': James Marsden & Ed Asner To Co-Star In Netflix Dark Comedy Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  20. ^ Petski, Denise (October 4, 2018). "'Dead To Me' Casts Sam McCarthy; Fabrizio Guido Joins 'Mr. Iglesias'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  21. ^ Petski, Denise (October 19, 2018). "'Dead To Me': Diana Maria Riva To Recur In Netflix Dark Comedy". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  22. ^ "Dead to Me: Season 1 (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  23. ^ "Dead to Me". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  24. ^ Porter, Rick (July 17, 2019). "'Dead to Me' Watched by 30M Worldwide, Netflix Claims". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  25. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (June 19, 2019). "'Pose,' 'Russian Doll,' HBO Lead 2019 TV Critic Awards Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  26. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (July 16, 2019). "Emmys: HBO, 'Game of Thrones' Dominate Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  27. ^ Peterson, Karen M. (December 3, 2019). "24th Satellite Awards Announce Nominations, 'Ford v Ferrari' Leads the Way". Awards Circuit. Archived from the original on December 4, 2019. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  28. ^ "Golden Globes: Full List of Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. December 9, 2019. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  29. ^ "Critics' Choice Awards 2020: Fleabag, Watchmen, When They See Us, Unbelievable Among TV Nominees". TVLine. December 8, 2019. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  30. ^ "NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED FOR THE 26TH ANNUAL SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS". December 11, 2019. Retrieved December 11, 2019.
  31. ^ Lewis, Hillary (September 24, 2019). "Artios Awards: 'Succession,' 'Pose,' 'Dead to Me' Among Casting Society TV, Theater Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  32. ^ McNary, Dave (December 5, 2019). "Writers Guild Unveils 2020 TV Award Nominees". Variety. Retrieved December 5, 2019.

External links[edit]



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