REVIEW: ‘Dead to Me’ Season 2 is Worth the Emotional Journey

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Dead to Me Season 2

I first came across Dead to Me back when its first season was released on Netflix in May 2019. Having watched an episode of Married… With Children for a class that I was taking in college, I decided to look up other works that Christina Applegate had been in. With the Netflix Original show being one of her most recent projects at the time, I was looking forward to seeing it. What I wasn’t expecting was how blown away I’d be by the end of Dead to Me Season 2. Applegate and Linda Cardellini portrayed such incredible characters that left me immediately wanting a second season. After only a month of its release, Dead to Me was renewed for a second season. Even though the new season was released a few weeks ago, it was definitely worth the wait.

Dead to Me Season 2 deals with the fallout of Steve’s (James Marsden) murder at the hands of Jen (Applegate). Jen, with Judy’s (Cardellini) help, hides the body before anyone takes notice. Steve is reported missing by his parents and twin brother, Ben. Jen and Judy attempt to go about their lives while the investigation into Steve’s disappearance and criminal activity takes place. This proves to be quite challenging as Jen is still dealing with Judy killing her husband and Jen is mourning Steve’s death. To make matters worse, Jen is hiding a secret from Judy that may very well destroy both of their lives.

The friendship dynamic between Jen and Judy continues to be an integral factor in Dead to Me Season 2. The chemistry between them is incredible and it’s definitely one of the reasons I hoped there would be new episodes. They depend on each other so much throughout the season, which only makes their bond even stronger. Both characters play off each other even better than the previous season. I never once got the sense that either Cardellini or Applegate tried to either force a scene to work, which makes watching this much more enjoyable. Their characters even became each other’s “person” by the end of episode four, something I’ve only seen in Grey’s Anatomy.

Dead to Me Season 2

The amount of trauma that both Jen and Judy are forced to deal with was the defining element of Dead to Me’s second season. While their trauma wasn’t something that I can say I related to, it was something that I could understand by the way it was portrayed. For instance, Jen finds herself crying alone in her bed at night towards the end of the first episode. Having just killed Steve and hid the body, it’s hard to imagine her coping with this in any other way. This trauma follows Jen throughout the entire season, which has a major effect on both her professional and personal lives. As for Judy, she’s still trying to make amends for killing Jen’s husband while dealing with Steve’s death. Hiding the body and making it seem like everything is fine takes a toll on her. Everything culminates towards the end of episode nine, which is by far one of the greatest scenes of the entire show. It’s a moment of vulnerability that Judy doesn’t quite often show, making the scene have an even greater effect on the show.

One of the more surprising moments in Dead to Me’s second season was the introduction of Michelle (Natalie Morales). She’s introduced during the first episode of the season as the daughter of one of the people staying at the retirement center that Judy works for. I instantly became a fan of Morales after watching her in Parks and Recreation. Seeing her join the show for the season was fantastic, especially after her character forms a special bond with Judy. It was great to see Judy form a relationship with someone who didn’t degrade her. Her relationship with Steve was rooted in abuse, while her relationship with Nick (Brandon Scott) never quite took off. Nothing that happened between Judy and Michelle ever felt forced or as if it came out of nowhere. It felt quite genuine and I hope we see more of them together if Dead to Me is given a third season.

Overall, I really enjoyed watching the second season of Dead to Me. I can only describe watching this show as an emotional experience that was definitely worth the year-long break. The friendship between Jen and Judy was an instrumental part of the season and grew to new heights. It definitely helped that season one allowed the characters to build up chemistry with one another. The trauma they both carry throughout the season is what the show focuses on in such an intricate manner. I can’t imagine it being portrayed in any other way. I’m very optimistic that there will be a season three, especially with the major cliffhanger in the finale.

Dead to Me‘s second season is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating
  • 9.5/10
    Dead to Me Season 2 - 9.5/10
9.5/10

TL;DR

Overall, I really enjoyed watching the second season of Dead to Me. I can only describe watching this show as an emotional experience that was definitely worth the year-long break. The friendship between Jen and Judy was an instrumental part of the season and grew to new heights. It definitely helped that season one allowed the characters to build up chemistry with one another. The trauma they both carry throughout the season is what the show focuses on in such an intricate manner. I can’t imagine it being portrayed in any other way. I’m very optimistic that there will be a season three, especially with the major cliffhanger in the finale.