Maybe I’m Crazy
It’s All My Fault
I Can’t Go Back
I’ve Gotta Get Away
Oh My God
I Can Handle It
Try to Stop Me
I Have to Be Honest
You Have to Go
Everybody deals with grief in their own way. From drinking copious amounts of alcohol through to popping pills or isolating yourself from the world, Netflix’s latest dark comedy, Dead To Me, is an exploration of this complicated emotion. Across 10 episodes at little under 30 minutes a piece, Dead To Me is an easy show to pick up and a difficult one to put down. With a surprising amount of character depth and an effortless pendulum of genre switches throughout its run time, Dead To Me is one of the bigger surprises of the year.
At the heart of this drama is widowed Jen, a woman angry at the world after her husband is killed by a hit and run driver. Begrudgingly joining a grief therapy class to try and help cope, she befriends Judy who happens to have an equal amount of tragedy in her own life. As the two grow closer and their friendship blossoms, a secret between them, revealed at the end of the first episode, threatens to implode at any moment. Only, it doesn’t. In fact it’s not until the penultimate episode that this secret spills over into a messy burst of drama that leaves things hanging in the balance at the end of the finale with a cliffhanger ending.
Dead To Me does require a fair amount of patience to get to the crux of this drama though but this wait is certainly worth it given the excellent chemistry between the two lead actresses. This ultimately serves as the highlight of this show, with a healthy dose of dark humour on the side to keep things from falling too deeply into melodramatic waters. These waters do come too, crashing into some of the later episodes and showcasing some really heartfelt moments. Seeing a teary-eyed Judy coming to terms with what’s happened or Jen’s relationship breaking down with her kids are really tender moments and perfectly juxtaposed against the humour here.
In a way, Dead To Me feels quite similar in tone to Santa Clarita Diet. The dark comedy works alongside the charismatic characters, cropping up at opportune times just like Santa Clarita Diet. Unlike its zombified cousin, Dead To Me’s sprinklings of touching, emotionally charged scenes helps it stand out and keeps things shifting between genres.
Of course, given the open-ending we receive and the trigger-happy nature of Netflix’s cancellation rate with shows like this, Dead To Me leaves things on a rather sour note. The show is a tad too long as well and given the way the mystery is dragged out across the entire season, unless you’re fully into the dark humour, this wait can feel a lot longer than it perhaps should.
Thankfully, the story and the chemistry between Jen and Judy should be enough to see you through to the end. There’s a really smartly written narrative at play here and the way this show effortlessly hops across different genres throughout its runtime is testament to the wide appeal this one is likely to garner. Whether it’ll be renewed for a second season is anyone’s guess but regardless, Netflix’s latest dark comedy offering Dead To Me is well worth checking out and surprisingly one of the better shows of the year.
Verdict - 8.5/10