blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Dead to Me (2019) s01e02 – Maybe I’m Crazy

Oh, the secrets. So many secrets. Linda Cardellini has secrets from Christina Applegate—the scene where Applegate tells Cardellini she’s a saint and Cardellini says something like, “you’ll come to find out I’m the Devil,” is a little too on the nose. But then the show has its secrets too. Creator and writer Liz Feldman wants to surprise viewers instead of just trusting in both them and her show. It’s a bummer.

Also a bummer is director Amy York Rubin, who’s back with her fake artsy composition and questionable focus blurs.

But otherwise—and Applegate’s exaggeratedly gay business partner Max Jenkins—it’s solid. Applegate’s arc this episode involves selling Cardellini’s ex-boyfriend James Marsden’s house while Cardellini gets comfortable staying with Applegate and sons. Younger son Luke Roessler gets a lot less to do than very upset teenager Sam McCarthy, who Cardellini sets about bonding with.

Now, given what the show’s reveals about Cardellini at this point, a bunch of the show just becomes trying to figure out her character motivations moment to moment. It’s a potentially great, showy part. It’ll be interesting to see what Cardellini does with it. At this point, she’s very interesting, which is the most she can be at this point.

Applegate’s got a subplot about calling the cops to report a speeding car in her neighborhood—apparently both she and her dead husband ran in the street instead of on sidewalks, which is… well… you’d think she’d move over to the sidewalks is all I’m saying. But the arc with the speeding sports car is pretty awesome. Gives Applegate a great last scene.

There’s no group this episode, so no guaranteed laughs. There’s a bit with the kids—Cardellini and McCarthy banter on the same level. Plus Ed Asner. And he gets lines this episode. He was background last episode.

“Dead to Me” is either going to work or it isn’t. It’ll probably be a waste of time if it doesn’t. But it’s engaging enough at this point I’m hopeful.

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