Netflix's new special Dead To Me created by Liz Feldman covers many paths but becomes a little ignorant to the path that might have suited the best to the characters of the show.
Dead to Me is lead by two very strong female performers. Christina Applegate is the opulent, uptight Jen, recently widowed by an unknown hit-and-run driver. She looks after her children and searches “person-sized dents” in different cars everywhere or reports about fast stylish cars to the police. She attends a grief support group where she meets generous Judy (Linda Cardellini, who we can now say is an expert in playing amiable, kind roles), who explains that she is trying to move on with the loss of her fiance, Steve, a few months before. They bond over sleepless nights on the phone or watching 80's TV shows and discussing John F. Kennedy Jr’s hotness. But there are dark secrets in the life of Judy, the first being that her husband Steve is alive and she is attending the grief support group because she had five miscarriages. The rest of them we come to know about slowly in every episode.
The show strives a little in maintaining its genre of dark comedy. In the major part of all episodes except the initial episodes, Liz tries to make the atmosphere darker and dramaic rather than focusing on making it more whimsically amusing. Thus, the show is unable to find its balance between thriller and comedy. Dialogues like " I am not gonna sing happy birthday to a dead man " and " [Judy] Steve's a very specific atheist, [Jen] What? Modern douche. [Judy] well, he let me put a Buddha in the guest bath" really favors the comic side of the show but all these moments and dialogues are in fewer quantities. The show continuously tries to depict a BFF friendship which isn't constant. Throughout the midway, every alternate episode shows continuous breaking and patching up of things between Jen and Judy which indicates that the show is more concerned about dramatization than being amusing or thrilling.
Judy and Jen have unique and antithetical characteristics but still they become friends because of some common grounds. The presence and the character of the kids are just wasted and wasn't used effectively. James Marsden is still unable to find a proper drama or comedy show which can separate him from the myth of belonging only to the Sci-Fi or Fantasy genre. He is still unable to use his charming factor. Background score of the show is also struggling in being excellent, it lies somewhere on the average path. Dead to Me might be relatable to many but never really becomes a proper entertainment or a proper thrilling show. it touches both the themes but struggles in holding them properly.
Overall, the show is just a normal ride with nothing entirely exceptional in its bag.
Acting - 3.5 / 5.
Direction - 2.5 / 5.
Script - 3 / 5.
Cinematography - 2.5 / 5.
Music - 2 / 5.
FINAL VERDICT - 2.5 / 5.
Worth a watch if you don't have any other option in the genre of dark comedy.