The Reel Review

B+

Christina Applegate stars in this Netflix series as Jen, a widow struggling to keep her family and career together following the recent death of her husband in a hit and run car accident. When well-meaning, free-spirited Judy (Linda Cardellini) befriends her at group therapy, it unleashes a chain of events that grows exponentially more complicated.

Applegate (Bad Moms, Vacation) is, as usual, spot on, both with her comic timing and her ability to make viewers care about her character, and the onscreen chemistry between her and Cardellini (The Curse of La Llorona, Green Book) gives this fun, quirky, binge worthy dramedy a big personality, deftly illustrating the difference one person can make in the lives of others. The inclusion of Ed Asner (Lou Grant) and Telma Hopkins (from the 70s music group Tony Orlando and Dawn) in supporting roles are also nice touches.

Some of the plot twists, while entertaining, are exceptionally far-fetched and the story does lull in spots, but these two actresses add credibility and heart to a story that, had it been cast differently, could easily have come off as weird and creepy. Instead, it is really sweet.

REEL FACTS

• Christina Applegate had the writers include a double mastectomy for her character in the show to mirror the double mastectomy she underwent in 2008.

• Christina Applegate and James Marsden also costarred in 2013’s Anchorman 2.

Dead to Me creator Liz Feldman is a two-time Emmy winning writer for Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show before writing for the CBS TV comedies 2 Broke Girls and The Great Indoors

 

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