“Watch the new Netflix show Dead to Me and write about it,” my friend said recently. “It’s about a widow.” So on a dull, spring day, I booted it up on my computer and watched the pilot of the series.
The main character — an attractive widow named Jen (Christina Applegate) — is an appealing character dealing with grief and trying to be a good mother to her young boys — until someone or something sets her off into fits of anger. This happens a lot, and causes her to spew expletives. Clearly, this widow needs anger management help.
She is often pensive and apologetic after these bouts of anger all the while building a new friendship with a woman she met at a grief group. This woman (spoiler alert) was in the car that killed Jen’s husband in the hit and run. The woman, Judy (Linda Cardellini), is likeable for many reasons. But when you find out she is hiding a terrible secret, and so is her ex-fiancee who also was in the car, you realize these are likable but terribly flawed people.
So the plot thickens as every episode presents watchers with surprising plot twists. The widowhood angle takes a back seat to all the craziness that the show’s characters display. And here I thought it was going to be about the challenges of widowhood.
Still, it is one of those train wrecks you can’t help but keep watching. The escapades of Jen and Judy are hard to resist. The show’s fans are eagerly waiting for season two. I hope it touches on a few, realistic widowhood issues.