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The Netflix-produced "Dead To Me" was created by former "2 Broke Girls" and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" writer Liz Feldman. Unlike the previous shows written by the showrunner and executive produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, a deep mystery lies at the heart of the comedy.
Jen Harding is a widow who has recently lost her husband to a hit and run accident who is struggling to come to terms with her loss along with her two young sons. Jen is drowning under a sea of casseroles in her suburban home supplied by concerned neighbors who are trying their best to help her grieve in a comfortable way.
After struggling with the loss of her husband alone, Jen decides to attend a meeting of a grief counseling group, "Friends of Heaven." The group is headed by Pastor Wayne who has good intentions but achieves little during each group session. Jen eventually finds some comfort when she meets Judy, a woman who has also recently lost her husband and is struggling with her own form of grief. While talking to Judy, Jen explains she is struggling to sleep after her loss and is struggling with the basic problems of life. Judy offers her phone number to Jen and tells her to call the next time she cannot sleep.
After her son tells her he does not want Jen to be alone forever, she makes a call to Judy and discusses the problems of the day with her. The two become friends over the phone before Judy eventually heads to Jen's house and they embark on a series of adventures as they discuss their issues as bereaved women. While driving around Jen's neighborhood, she reveals to Judy she is touring around looking for large dents in cars which she hopes will lead her to the identity of the person who killed her husband.
Jen becomes dependent on Judy and their discussions take on a deeper meaning over time with the pair comparing their lives. As the pair watch episodes of "The Facts of Life" and talk about which character they most relate to with Jen thinking Judy's choice of Tootie a strange one.
After Judy spends most of her tie with Jen, the grief-stricken mother of two finally makes her way to Judy's house to discover her boyfriend, Steve is alive and well. Shocked and offended, Jen threatens to return to "Friends of Heaven" and reveal the truth to the group to stop Judy from attending again. Judy eventually reveals her boyfriend had left her after a string of miscarriages which are the real reason for her decision to attend the group therapy meetings. As the bond between Jen and Judy continues to grow, the pair are joined by their apparent grief at the loss of their loved ones. Things turn dark once again when Judy is revealed to be selling the home she shares with Steve and has a storage locker filled with her belongings. Jen continues to look for the car responsible for killing her husband and eventually decides it would be best for herself and her sons if Judy moves in for a short time to help them recover from their grief.
Standup comedian and writer, Liz Feldman began her career professionally at the age of 16 when she began working on the Nickelodeon TV show, "All That." After graduating from college, Feldman began to focus on writing with her credits including "2 Broke Girls" and numerous Academy Awards shows. Feldman worked with Ellen DeGeneres to create the sitcom, "One Big Happy" which was broadcast by NBC.
The character of Jen is played by comedy veteran Christina Applegate who came to the attention of the majority of the public in the role of Kelly in "Married... With Children." Applegate has appeared in numerous successful shows and films, including "Grand Theft Parsons" and the "Anchorman" franchise.
Alongside Jen, Judy is the main character of "Dead To Me" with the part played by Linda Cardellini. The actress first appeared on the screen in the comedy, "Good Burger" and made her name as the character of Velma in the "Scooby-Doo" movies alongside Sarah Michelle Gellar. Prior to appearing in "Dead To Me" for Netflix, Cardellini had appeared in "Bloodline" for the streaming provider.
"Dead To Me" was first floated as an idea in 2018 with Netflix being the first studio to take an interest in the idea developed by Liz Feldman. The show was commissioned for a limited season of ten episodes which were produced by Gloria Sanchez Productions and CBS Television Studios. Feldman has given the executive producer and showrunner roles alongside writing the first two episodes. The position of Feldman as one of the leading comedy writers in the U.S. was confirmed when comedians Will Ferrell and Adam McKay joined the team of producers.
The online review site, Rotten Tomatoes has given "Dead To Me" generally favorable reviews with a series review of 89 percent while Metacritic gives the series a favorable rating in the mid-60s. Among the reasons for the success of "Dead To Me" is the partnership of Applegate and Cardellini who have been praised for their performances balancing the comedic aspects of the show with the dramatic moments they share in their grief. It was recently revealed season two of "Dead To Me" will be commissioned with the praised for taking a stance against the usual themes of the sitcom and accepting the darker sides of life.
Christina Applegate has spent the majority of her life trying to escape the problems of being known as the character of Kelly Bundy in "Married... With Children." The actress was far from the academically-challenged version of Kelly she played so well as she completed her high school GED at the age of 16 and passed before taking on the role that made her famous around the world.
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