Rat murderer John Ennis is back for the first season, which starts this “Dead to Me” out on a high point. The only time it really weakens from there is when Suzy Nakamara and Sam McCarthy show up. Annoying neighbor Nakamara feels like a leftover bad idea from season one; she’s just there to let new James Marsden guy know Christina Applegate is a liar about old James Marsden. He already should be suspicious because Linda Cardellini let something slip, which led to her beating the shit out of her self in the bathroom in an almost too real for this show moment. And Applegate was already suspicious when he met her at her office.
But he’s not because he’s a lovable dope. In fact, if it weren’t for McCarthy at the end of the episode screwing up royally yet again, I’d have thought new Marsden and Applegate might hook up. They do end up on a date of sorts, where he bares his soul regarding his missing brother. Meanwhile, Cardellini is on a date of sorts of her own, with 420-friendly retirement home resident’s daughter, Natalie Morales. It’s unclear if Cardellini knew it was a date but she’s not surprised when Morales talks about a girlfriend. As long as it’s not queer coding. “Dead to Me” has got enough problems without queer coding.
There’s some fun stuff with—okay, when I say fun, I mean it’s miserably awkward stuff—with Valerie Mahaffey. Applegate’s just now finding out mother-in-law Mahaffey on the deed to her house, something the husband neglected to tell her. Marsden’s a delight. He’s a chiropractor, which is just perfect. Plus he dances. And he had a heart defect so he’s real sympathetic.
Morales is awesome. I need to watch “Middleman.”
“Dead to Me” season two, even with McCarthy sucking the life out of it both as a character and as a petulant teen actor, is a lot of fun. A lot of it is because it’s more fun to watch Applegate try to cover up a crime than to solve one.
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