Life’s a circle and the story of this show is a living testament to this statement, with truly shocking symmetry which you realise only when you’re done binging this 10 episode show. ‘Dead to Me’ is an absolute masterpiece in this regard.
The show starts off at a group therapy session for women who have lost someone close to them. The two protagonists seem to be completely opposite characters, with one of them trying to deal with her grief through aggression and jamming to heavy metal all day, while the other seems to have a more meek personality. But, slowly, we realise that the supposed premise of the story is false and they’re not what they seem to be like at all. As the story evolves, they realise that their friendship runs deeper than what they believed and they’re connected by blood on their hands, quite literally.
The factors that work for the show are the comic elements that are present at the most unexpected times, which will crack you up and make you feel guilty for doing the same. The show is shot in picturesque locations and exhibits creative imagery. An example is the image of the ladies holding up their wine glasses with the pool in the background, which makes for some stunning imagery and just goes on to prove how deceiving these images can be, further on. Their emotions are expertly dealt with throughout the show, be it their grief, the guilt of lying continuously, the unhinging of one of the main characters when she realises that everything is not what it seems, or the goofiness of the mother-in-law, which are all integral to the story. Somehow, despite it all, their friendship manages to stand strong, which makes the show truly beautiful and touching.
The show might seem uneven and turning into various directions without any purpose in the first half. However, the various flashbacks and the cliffhangers make it a true thriller. Further analysis of the show makes you realise that it is a truly beautiful affair as it unravels slowly. The main characters played by Christina Applegate and Linda Cardilenni as Jen and Judy are people that stay with you. They share a sparkling chemistry that will make you fall in love with them, despite their various imperfections. The bonding between the two women filled with phone calls due to insomnia, wine breaks and grief counselling sessions is truly touching. In an interesting change, the men, especially one of the central characters of the show, is depicted as a narcissistic fool who receives the fate he deserves over the course of the show.
The impeccable writing, the actors proving themselves time and time again throughout the show are what makes it a work of art. Despite the devastating twist of the show, which is revealed very early on, the intricacies and subtleties of the show will leave you wanting for more at the end of each episode. The 30 odd minute episodes make it the ideal binge-watch that leaves you oddly satisfied at the end in spite of its seemingly gruesome ending. It’s a self-assured show, which might seem to be poking fun at itself at times too, but paces itself brilliantly, never revealing more than absolutely necessary and unfolding confidently.
From the creator of ‘2 Broke Girls’, Liz Feldman, Dead To Me is a story of 2 broken girls, who rely on each other for support, who are distressed because of the other and whose lives can’t help but get intertwined. Although it has ‘dead’ in the title, it’s one of the most alive shows that’s just the right breath of fresh air that you never knew you needed.