Season two of Dead to Me kicks off with Jen (Christina Applegate) reeling after Steve’s demise and lying to Judy (Linda Cardellini) about the exact details of the incident.
As the two attempt to rebuild their friendship they must deal with Steve’s identical twin brother, Ben (James Marsden) who is the driving force behind trying to find his missing sibling as well as new love interests, old enemies and teenage shenanigans.
On the surface of it Dead to Me looks a bit like a comedy that revolves around awkward misunderstandings and a need to maintain appearances at all costs. And you’d be forgiven for that if you you wandered into the cringeworthily hilarious episode where Jen and Judy end up hosting a vigil for Steve when they know perfectly well where he is.
Below the surface it’s much more a study of morality and what it means to be a good person and to wrestle with a fear that you might not be one. It also examines how the events of our lives come together to make us who we are and determine how we react to things.
Once again at the heart of the story is the friendship between Jen and Judy and their magnetic pull towards each other no matter what else happens in their lives. It takes the concept of soulmates and turns it on its head. I am probably not the only woman watching this show wishing that I had one true friend nearby to me the way these two do.
I enjoyed seeing Jen start to embrace a softer side of herself while still being fully willing to tell just about anyone to fuck off. It was also great to get more of an eye into Judy’s past and to understand her apparently flightiness a bit better. Both Applegate and Cardellini give outstanding performances and the chemistry between them is amazing. James Marsden brings a completely different character to Ben, having played Steve in season 1 and newcomer Natalie Morales is great as Judy’s love interest. I love both Frances Conroy and Katey Sagal in matriarchal cameos, especially as Sagal played Applegate’s mother in the iconic Married With Children.
I don’t think it was quite as good as season one and I have to admit that I am pleased there is only one more season to come. I am not sure that this premise could continue to go much longer and remain realistic. A great second season nonetheless.