Our girls are back.
After an agonizing, but totally standard year of waiting, Dead to Me has made its triumphant return to Netflix with another ten episodes of unspeakable mayhem. The twists and turns are back in full-swing with creator Liz Feldman once again at the unhinged helm. It’s the glossy, gutsy murder mystery we fell in love with in 2019 — albeit with a new victim at its center.
It’s the glossy, gutsy murder mystery we fell in love with in 2019.
In fact, the transition from Season 1 to Season 2 is so seamless you may struggle to keep up.
Dead to Me Season 2 picks up right where it left off. (If you’re new to the series, stop reading now.)
With Steve freshly murdered in the Harding’s pool, Jen and Judy, played once more by the incomparable Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini, begin their next chapter by stashing a body. It presents a formidable obstacle that, in traditional Dead to Me fashion, the pair breezes through in a matter of episodes.
With the help of some heavily-filtered flashbacks and a few revelatory “I need to tell you something” chit-chats, Judy and Jen begin unraveling the events of Season 1 just in time for the story to hurl new torments their way. The ever-increasing stakes keep the series right in the sweet spot between soap and camp — it shouldn’t work, but does. Plot-wise, it’s a phenomenal second outing that I’ll keep vague to preserve the magic.
The true lifeblood of the series, Applegate and Cardellini dig even further into their formidable characters, as other recognizable faces fade in and out of the background with realistic frequency. This bonkers world feels just as real and as lived-in as it did the first time around with return performances from Diana-Maria Riva, Max Jenkins, Valerie Mahaffey, Brandon Scott, Suzy Nakamura, and James Marsden. (Oh yeah, he’s back! But not in the way you think.)
This bonkers world feels just as real and as lived-in as it did the first time around.
Even Jen’s kids get more to do, with Charlie (Sam McCarthy) and Henry (Luke Roessler) wreaking havoc in equally entertaining measure. It’s not easy doing murders with little ones running around — a reality Charlie can’t help but accent every opportunity he gets.
Frances Conroy, Natalie Morales, Katey Sagal, Marc Evan Jackson, and more killer performers join the cast for varied amounts of time expanding Feldman’s universe in delightful ways that feel not only plausible, but important. It’s rarely clear who will hold the key to the next wild surprise, so keeping an eye on each character becomes a matter of self-preservation. Of course, it’s always the ones you aren’t watching — and you’ll be shocked anyway.
That said, Dead to Me‘s breakneck speed takes off at such a clip this time around that you’d do well to rewatch Season 1 before diving into these episodes. Personally, I hadn’t planned on making time for a full rewatch, but ten minutes in and I knew I’d be cheating myself if I didn’t double-back.
‘Dead to Me’ is still the best joyride on Netflix.
Frankly, I envy folks discovering Dead to Me for the first time this weekend. Watching Jen and Judy’s evolution from strangers to enemies to codependent buddies is more satisfying when appreciated as a whole, and ultimately this new installment feels more like a flawless extension of Season 1 than a season in its own right. No detail is left behind, no subplot is forgotten, and no dangling question goes unreferenced. It made me like the whole series more, a feat few sophomore seasons have achieved with yours truly.
So, grab a long-stemmed wine glass, snuggle up with your coziest blanket, and put on your freakin’ seatbelt: Dead to Me is still the best joyride on Netflix — vehicular homicides and all.
Dead to Me Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.