Netflix’s unhinged comedy-thriller Dead to Me has been renewed for its third and final season. Creator Liz Feldman also signed a contract to create more projects for Netflix. She said in a statement (via The Hollywood Reporter: “From start to finish, Dead to Me is exactly the show I wanted to make and it’s been an incredible gift.”
Read our review of the show’s season two:
As a Bloodline watcher, I can’t help but constantly expect Linda Cardellini’s Dead to Me character to say, Rayburn-style, “we’re not bad people, we just did a bad thing.” Because, essentially, that same sentiment is at the center of Liz Feldman’s diverting dark comedy series. Two women forge a friendship through grief, and then discover that their relationship is really built on lies—and neither is as innocent as they seem. And yet, neither is really fully guilty. Further, the men in their lives are not that great, but also, not exactly awful enough to justify what happens to them.
What continues to anchor the series, and makes it endlessly compelling, are the performances from excellent leads Lina Cardellini and Christina Applegate. They have a natural rapport that makes their onscreen friendship believable beyond the point of Wine Mom Energy. They are family. With Oscar and Felix personalities, they drive each other crazy but being apart is not an option. It’s hard to make lifelong friends as you age, people you can really trust and want to spend all of your time with. Jen and Judy’s relationship—and their actions—are heightened for drama of course, but there is a very real truth at the center that creates a certain ache for the kind of best friend many of us haven’t had since school. Not just a friend who you are the closest to by default, but someone you would want with you in a crisis. It’s a rare and beautiful thing—despite, again, the origins and continued ups and downs of this particular relationship.
Dead to Me keeps its world small and coincidences high, but that’s also what helps us really get to know these characters on a level that makes their emotional beats land in the moment. If the show was released weekly, its cliffhanger endings might carry more weight and anticipation, but as it is the series remains a breezy binge watch with sometimes surprising emotional gut punches—even though the new season doesn’t quite have the same spark as its first (and begins to fade as soon as it ends). Still, Dead to Me is a worthy exploration of grief and guilt, and what holding on to those things through a veil of lies can do to a person. And while it may be scattered when it comes to its moral universe, its overarching message is clear: No matter what you’re going through, what you really need is a friend. —Allison Keene