'Dead to Me' encapsulates the different losses women face including miscarriages
'Dead To Me' brings two grieving women in Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini together and portrays their realities with brilliance
One of the most important factors that make 'Dead To Me' an endearing and engaging series is just how delicately it deals with miscarriages and loss of pregnancies.
A dark comedy about two women dealing with loss and grief, the Netflix show is an ode to female friendship. The show follows a sardonic widow and real estate agent in Christina Applegate's Jen Harding, who is determined to solve her husband's recent hit-and-run murder. At the peak of her quest, Jen meets the endearing Judy (played by Linda Cardellini), an optimistic free spirit who has suffered a tragic loss in her life. At first, the audience is informed that the said loss is of her fiance, but the truth is revealed much later.
When Jen finally figures out that Judy's fiance is very much alive, she resorts to an explosive confrontation in front of the support group. "Do you get off, pretending that you're going through the same thing that I'm going through?" she yells at Judy, who manages to stammer, "He didn't die two months ago, but I did lose him... He broke up with me because we really wanted to have kids. And we tried and we tried for years, and... I couldn't. I just kept having miscarriages."
Judy leaves everyone in the support group gaping. At this point, much like the audience, the support group also takes a step back to reevaluate Judy's situation. Miscarriages, the loss of pregnancies – is that criterion enough to be a part of a support group, can she mourn in the open about the loss of an unborn child?
And so does Judy – she feels like she doesn't belong in the support group. Reddit user DaniLeone is thankful to the writers of the show for their authentic portrayal of an issue seldom discussed in the open.
"I can definitely relate to Judy not feeling like she belongs in a grief circle, no I wouldn’t have lied about a dead fiancée, but right after mine, I never felt quite welcome in conversations about grief. When Jen shows up to the assisted living facility to apologize to Judy and the miscarriages are mentioned, Judy says “it’s not a big deal”, it definitely brought back memories of me saying stuff along the same lines, because you feel like you have to say that, because no one really wants to talk about it and you feel like you have to give them an “out” to the conversation."
The foundations of their friendship lie in grief, loss and pain. Their losses may be different – one (Jen's loss of a spouse) that expects women to grieve a certain way and the other (Judy's miscarriage) that is seldom portrayed for the screen – but in essence 'Dead To Me' does justice in showing both.