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DEAD TO ME (Season 2)

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    Mickmack
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    Jan 25th, 2018
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    #1203488513

    Dead To Me S1 came out before SAG nominations.

    Season 1 and Cardelini werent favourites, they are now!

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    forwardswill
    Joined:
    Apr 9th, 2013
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    #1203488627

    Full season: I couldn’t quite put my finger on it in season one but this show has two inherent problems.

    The first is that it is written to have the dialogue of a truly wicked and brilliant comedy but this is smashed together with the plotting of a really mediocre soap opera. The former element does wonders to disguise the fundamental issues that the latter raises, ensuring that it constantly feels like a fresher, more original show than it actually is because the conversations can dart about with such an enjoyable intensity. Where it cannot cover it though is in moments when even the dialogue is attempting seriousness and here all the basic narrative choices and wholly obvious “twists” come to fester. Instead the show consequently relies upon the work of two experienced and exciting performers to once again hide the hollowness of the series’ heart. Cardellini fares better of the two because she is allowed to be constantly unpredictable and so is able to grab the ridiculous bull by the horns and ride with it. But poor Christina Applegate – also regularly exquisite, don’t get me wrong – struggles more because of the series’ insistence on putting her through the same mill. And it’s almost understandable because the way the character has been written means that unless her life is appalling, there isn’t a story. But, in actuality, if the show just trusted its comic instincts and took these into the plotting as it very occasionally does to great effect, the whole thing would shine so much brighter.

    The second issue relates to this. For a large proportion of the season (and probably the last one too but I can’t overly remember it enough to be sure), every episode follows the same structure: Jen has a problem, Judy suggests a solution that Jen rejects, they go their separate ways whilst Judy goes to do more interesting things, they come together with a solution to the problem, there’s a cliffhanger that starts the cycle again for the next episode. It’s so procedural that if you stop binging for a second (as I unfortunately did after the first few episodes) it becomes starkly clear the lack of interest in the season’s full plotline that has been induced. The show trains you as a viewer to only care about the one episode at a time so that you don’t really have time to consider the incredibly lacking bigger picture. Once you fall out of the routine of binging the cliffhangers are also diluted. Because you expect them. So it’s not really even a cliffhanger anymore because you know that you’re going to get the answer by the end of the next half hour.

    When the show abandons this structure. It works. Really works. The finale is truly alive television. Exciting from the get go but also so broadly comic in every thing it tries to do. And it slaps the season’s best twist (the paintings) right in the middle of the episode so you truly don’t see it coming, alongside exemplary work from Diana-Maria Riva.

    This all is going to sound much more critical than I intend to be. I do enjoy the show. It’s easy to watch and it makes me laugh out loud. But that’s all it is. And frankly part of the reason why I feel like voicing this is because I saw some even suggest this as our series winner. I do not even overly understand the urgency for Applegate, especially when her character is in no way a comic creation. She has very funny lines put in her mouth, yes, but nothing about the persona is imbued with any kind of underlying hilarity. I’d understand it more if it was coming from those who consider this to be a drama because that is where Applegate shines. But even then by the season’s end I was almost over seeing her squish up her face again to shed some tears because she’d done it so much already. It’s different for Cardellini, who is, in my opinion, giving an Emmy winner’s turn as she slides so effortlessly between wacky loon, sincere confidante and someone with a life of trauma. But she has the advantage of Judy’s larger than life personality to be able to go that extra mile. I hope now that Jen’s major burdens have seemingly been lifted Applegate can get her due from the writers soon.

    I look forward to season three (I think) and I do not expect anyone here to agree with me but I just felt the need to express my (very long) two cents somewhere.

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    coldbreeze
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    Jun 23rd, 2019
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    #1203488640

    Do you guys think James Marsden has any chance of being nominated on supporting?

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    forwardswill
    Joined:
    Apr 9th, 2013
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    #1203488644

    I’d hope so. He was a real highlight.

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    Mark A Bowers
    Joined:
    Dec 3rd, 2010
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    #1203488745

    Full season: I couldn’t quite put my finger on it in season one but this show has two inherent problems.

    The first is that it is written to have the dialogue of a truly wicked and brilliant comedy but this is smashed together with the plotting of a really mediocre soap opera. The former element does wonders to disguise the fundamental issues that the latter raises, ensuring that it constantly feels like a fresher, more original show than it actually is because the conversations can dart about with such an enjoyable intensity. Where it cannot cover it though is in moments when even the dialogue is attempting seriousness and here all the basic narrative choices and wholly obvious “twists” come to fester. Instead the show consequently relies upon the work of two experienced and exciting performers to once again hide the hollowness of the series’ heart. Cardellini fares better of the two because she is allowed to be constantly unpredictable and so is able to grab the ridiculous bull by the horns and ride with it. But poor Christina Applegate – also regularly exquisite, don’t get me wrong – struggles more because of the series’ insistence on putting her through the same mill. And it’s almost understandable because the way the character has been written means that unless her life is appalling, there isn’t a story. But, in actuality, if the show just trusted its comic instincts and took these into the plotting as it very occasionally does to great effect, the whole thing would shine so much brighter.

    The second issue relates to this. For a large proportion of the season (and probably the last one too but I can’t overly remember it enough to be sure), every episode follows the same structure: Jen has a problem, Judy suggests a solution that Jen rejects, they go their separate ways whilst Judy goes to do more interesting things, they come together with a solution to the problem, there’s a cliffhanger that starts the cycle again for the next episode. It’s so procedural that if you stop binging for a second (as I unfortunately did after the first few episodes) it becomes starkly clear the lack of interest in the season’s full plotline that has been induced. The show trains you as a viewer to only care about the one episode at a time so that you don’t really have time to consider the incredibly lacking bigger picture. Once you fall out of the routine of binging the cliffhangers are also diluted. Because you expect them. So it’s not really even a cliffhanger anymore because you know that you’re going to get the answer by the end of the next half hour.

    When the show abandons this structure. It works. Really works. The finale is truly alive television. Exciting from the get go but also so broadly comic in every thing it tries to do. And it slaps the season’s best twist (the paintings) right in the middle of the episode so you truly don’t see it coming, alongside exemplary work from Diana-Maria Riva.

    This all is going to sound much more critical than I intend to be. I do enjoy the show. It’s easy to watch and it makes me laugh out loud. But that’s all it is. And frankly part of the reason why I feel like voicing this is because I saw some even suggest this as our series winner. I do not even overly understand the urgency for Applegate, especially when her character is in no way a comic creation. She has very funny lines put in her mouth, yes, but nothing about the persona is imbued with any kind of underlying hilarity. I’d understand it more if it was coming from those who consider this to be a drama because that is where Applegate shines. But even then by the season’s end I was almost over seeing her squish up her face again to shed some tears because she’d done it so much already. It’s different for Cardellini, who is, in my opinion, giving an Emmy winner’s turn as she slides so effortlessly between wacky loon, sincere confidante and someone with a life of trauma. But she has the advantage of Judy’s larger than life personality to be able to go that extra mile. I hope now that Jen’s major burdens have seemingly been lifted Applegate can get her due from the writers soon.

    I look forward to season three (I think) and I do not expect anyone here to agree with me but I just felt the need to express my (very long) two cents somewhere.

    YES YES YES YES YES! Thank you for putting into words EXACTLY my feelings on this show.

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    karls
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    Oct 8th, 2011
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    #1203490370

    Since season 1 I always see this show as a drama with some humor here and there…specially season 2 if you watch from episodes 5-8 theres nothing funny in there to laugh about

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    Heptapod
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    Feb 2nd, 2019
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    #1203490388

    Forgot I finished this!

    This one is interesting because I would say overall it’s not quite as good as season one, but it’s a MUCH better comedy now. I don’t remember finding the first season all that funny, but I laughed out loud multiple times in every episode this year.

    Applegate and Cardellini are just dynamite. Their chemistry is off the charts, and they BRING it with every episode. They’re both SO funny as well. While I liked Cardellini’s performance more in the first season (the secret brought her some really juicy layers to work with), Applegate just edged ahead for me this time. Her delivery of every f**k was biting, and I don’t remember who said that she works a little better because she has to be more contained, but I completely agree. Jen is also just written to be funnier than Judy.

    James Marsden was good but I didn’t feel he was doing anything special here. His character just felt very underdeveloped, and I didn’t really feel like we got a real sense of who he was. If he’s nominated, I’ll be happy for him because it was a solid performance and it would just be cool to see him get recognized by an awards body, but he won’t be making it anywhere near my personal lineup.

    Cool to see Marc Evan Jackson pop up! I like him a lot, he always does a great job in everything he does.

    Frances Conroy and Katey Sagal did an amazing job with what they were given, but what they were given was not much at all. I’m a little bummed, as I would’ve loved to see them really get stuff to sink their teeth into, but each had their little moment to shine so I’m not disappointed. Valerie Mahaffey was a lot of fun.

    But the real standout of the guest performers here was Suzy Nakamura. Her emotional scene with Jen was really great, and she had me giggling with all of her appearances. Wish we had seen more of her interacting with her husband, as her and Jackson together would’ve been an awesome duo, but she stood out in all her scenes. Hope she submits herself and can somehow end up in the nominations.

    It did jump the shark a little. I won’t go into plot details (half so I don’t spoil anyone and half so this post doesn’t end up being a novella), but there were some things that struck me as far-fetched. Especially that ending. The loose ends were tied up just a little too well, and I’m just not sure that ending will be able to sustain another full season.

    But I’m willing to overlook some of the plot contrivances because the writing otherwise is GREAT. Soooo many f**ks, but the dialogue is airtight, and the character relationships are so messy and complicated and well-constructed. Just don’t think too hard about what’s actually going on because it’s not quite as great.

    A solid A- season. It washes down very very well, might sour a little bit if you look too closely back on it, but otherwise it’s five hours of nothing but great entertainment and very high-caliber acting and dialogue. Deserves to get Series, two Leading Actresses, at least one Guest Actress, and Writing.

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    Riley Chow
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    #1203490781

    In light of the praise for Suzy Nakamura here, check out my interview.  At least just watch the first five seconds.  You will see why.  (She is not submitting for Dead to Me.)

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    karls
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    #1203490905

    She’s really good in Dead To Me…what a shame

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    Heptapod
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    Feb 2nd, 2019
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    #1203490958

    (She is not submitting for Dead to Me.)

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    Gabarnes43
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    Jan 6th, 2018
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    #1203491134

    Is it just me or did she not say anything about not submitting for Dead to Me

    FYC OSCARS

    PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN- Picture, Director, Actress, Screenplay

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    Riley Chow
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    Oct 11th, 2010
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    #1203491136

    Oh, sorry!  Did not mean to imply that that discussion took place in the recording. It is more just a tidbit for the forum. I was linking the video to spotlight her laughter.

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    adamunc
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    Jul 5th, 2011
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    #1203495380

    Just finished S2 and all I can say is AAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGHH!!!!!

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    Piper Halliwell
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    Oct 20th, 2019
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    #1203497003

    I finished the second season and other than maybe Suzy Nakamura, I wouldn’t give anyone a nomination from the guest cast. I don’t really understand the Conroy talk. She didn’t do anything noteworthy in the show.

    That being said, Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini for all awards!

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    David Buchanan
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    Nov 5th, 2010
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    #1203499935

    Finished Season 2 yesterday and really enjoyed it. I think it’s at least on par with the first season, which is a feat because of how off the rails this could have gone. The plotting is full of contrivances, but the tone of the show and the performances really make the season arc palatable. Applegate is phenomenal in the role and I’d fully support an Emmy win; she’s neck-and-neck with O’Hara for me, with both of them ahead of Brosnahan. Cardellini deserved a nomination last year and she’ll get one this time around. I think a lot of the credit for what makes this season work needs to go to Marsden, too. Like Luca said, there’s not a trace of Steve in his performance this entire season, except in the final moments, which is so integral to its success. I think he easily lands a nomination if the popularity of the series is on the upswing. Nice to see the two “surprise” (?) guest actresses here, but neither are nomination worthy. I’m looking forward to Season 3, although the finale did less convincing work of setting it up than the Season 1 closer.

    Formerly known as PianoMann.

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