Dead to Me Season 2: How Not to Get Away with Murder, According to Christina Applegate


As the new season of the Christina Applegate thriller arrives on Netflix, here’s what to know before you dive in.

The second season of Dead to Me has dropped — and it starts right where the first season left off: by the pool.

And, naturally, the world’s most delightfully annoying neighbor shows up. No, not with a casserole. Karen shows up this time with curiously orange wine. And, soon enough, we’re all right back in the deep end with one of the darkest, funniest, and busiest of 30-minute television shows. Indeed, Viola Davis taught us how to get away with murder, but Applegate continues to exhibit how not to get it done — in all the right ways.

“Karen, you snuck up on me like a Prius!” Applegate’s character Jen admonishes her neighbor, Karen, played by Suzy Nakamura.

Jen is a little on edge. She has good reason to be.

The first season began with the mother of two mourning her dead husband at a group therapy grief counseling session, where she met Judy (Linda Cardellini). Over the course of 10 episodes, we learn there are no real heroes or villains amid the palm trees, wine glasses, and McMansions of Laguna Beach. Everyone is somewhere in between. We find out that Jen isn’t simply sardonic and cutting, she comes by that naturally: Her deceased husband had checked out on their marriage after a double mastectomy. (A plotline taken in part from Applegate’s own life.) We learn that Judy — relentlessly optimistic but always on the verge of tears — is actually not grieving the loss of her fiancé, Steve (James Marsden). Nope, he’s still alive, very abusive, they are no longer engaged, and the two of them are actually responsible for the death of Jen’s husband in a hit-and-run accident. Who, in fact, was cheating on her. Oh, and Judy is actually just hanging around Jen because she feels so guilty. Whew!

By the time season 1 winds down, Judy is living in the pool house and Jen has turned into a well-trained detective, getting closer and closer to the truth about her husband’s unsolved death.

Finally, Judy cracks, admits to the whole thing — confessing to being behind the wheel and killing Jen’s husband.

Then, of course, that’s not all of the truth, because that’s how this show goes. Steve, who we now know was somehow mixed up with the Greek mafia (!) shows up at the pool looking for Judy and waving around a gun and reveals it was in fact he who prevented Judy from going to the police. Jen shoots Steve with his own gun (um, or did she?), he falls into the pool and then we learn that the reason he couldn’t find Judy is because she was off trying to commit suicide at the same intersection where she struck Jen’s husband with her car. But, as things with Judy go, she couldn’t do that right either.

As Jen and Judy stare into the pool, as dark and deep as those glasses of wine they swill every episode, the two strangers-turned-grief buddies-turned-besties-turned-frenemies-turned-accomplices know that they are stuck with each other; bonded by loneliness, murder, and the half-truths they’ve told each other and themselves.

As season 2 starts, the pool is closed. But not for long.

Dead to Me season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.

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