13th May2020

‘Dead To Me: Season 2’ Review (Netflix)

by Rhys Payne

The first season of Dead To Me was one of the first shows I ever reviewed and I was actually a massive fan of the mysterious drama. The dark and twisted series was insanely gripping but in my review of season one, I ended it by saying that I hoped there wouldn’t be a second season as it could “ruin the narrative of the show” but I could not have been more wrong! I actually think I personally enjoyed season two more than the original series – having waiting almost a year for this new series made every second of this season that much better! Dead To Me: Season 2 continues the story from, and builds on the action in, season one and so would recommend that everyone watch the first season before watching this one.

As a brief overview, Dead To Me follows Jen Harding (Christina Applegate) and Judy Hale (Linda Cardellini) as they deal with the loss of loved ones. From a character perspective, the lead women in this show work together excellently. Jen is shown as the stronger, rough and more aggressive character, that is an almost complete contrast to Judy, who is dependent, emotional and attached. The two characters apprising each other makes for a great on-screen pair that is fun to watch; the viewers will find parts of each character that they relate to (with me more relating more so with Judy personally.) Both actresses personify and portray these attributes perfectly which makes their on-screen friendship even more believable. Applegate and Cardellini are two insanely talented performers that clearly have great off and on-screen chemistry and I sincerely hope that we can see them work together again in the future. It is clear that many people view Judy as weaker and softer but in this season we get to see Judy pushed to the edge, with a full range of emotions which creates the well-rounded character. In one poignant scene, in which Judy is overcome with anger, reveals an unseen part of this character which was fantastic to see.

Dead To Me is a dark and twisted show that deals with serious real-world issues but there is a lot of lighter and comical issues that provide a much-needed relief at times. For example, the over-the-top church choir performance was so wonderfully cheesy that it worked perfectly. The choir was introduced to the audience as the youngest son of Jen wanted to be apart of the group. Luke Roessler – who plays the youngest son – is an incredible actor who managed to deliver some of the most entertaining and heart-wrenching moments in this show. Roessler is an insanely talented actor who clearly has a bright future ahead of himself and I cannot wait to see what he gets up to in the near future as he’s destined for wonderful things.

In my original review, I talked about how Dead To Me managed to tease dramatic moments and then misdirect the audience. This continued in this latest season, which was again fantastically done and kept the constant level of tension in the show throughout; and no character epitomised this more than the character played by James Marsden. Normally I despise a twin storyline but, for me, Dead To Me is one of the only show where this inclusion made sense. The twins being played by the same actors adds to the constant level of tension throughout which was an ingenious inclusion! The icing on this proverbial cake is that it’s produced by the incredible Will Ferrell which is something I never realised he had started doing. If you are a fan of Will’s work then you would love to see how his career is progressing in other professions.

Dead To Me can generally be described as a documentary on the friendship between Judy and Jen with the backdrop of a crime drama. It deals with important themes such as how to deal with grief and guilt with shocking twists that are totally based in the real world. On top of this, the show contains strong language, depictions of violence, use of alcohol and scenes of a sexual nature which makes it suited to an older more mature audience.

Overall, the second season of Dead To Me is a dark and twisted drama that explores key themes that often do not appear in modern television. It is clear that there will be a third series to this show and I am personally very excited to see how that will work out.

****½  4.5/5

Dead To Me: Season 2 is available to watch on Netflix now.

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