'Dead To Me' Season 2: Jen struggles to keep it together as work and family take a toll on her
Spoilers for 'Dead to Me' Season 2
It's not the best time to be Jen Harding (Christina Applegate). Still reeling from the events of the first season of 'Dead to Me', Season 2 is even more of a train wreck for her.
Jen, after her partner Christopher Doyle (Max Jenkins) fired her last season, goes to work for her unbearable mother-in-law Lorna Harding (Valerie Mahaffey). Swallowing her pride, she slogs at work but not without Lorna's repeated criticisms who is not one to mince her words when referring to her daughter-in-law's incapabilities.
Somewhere, Lorna does blame Jen for the failure of her and Ted's marriage - not once trying to even talk to her about his death with empathy. They work together, but she makes Jen do all the inconsequential work and points out how she cannot sell a house because of her angry aura - 'your energy is off-putting,' she tells her not once but several times through the season.
At the same time, her bills are piling up. As her son Charlie (Sam McCarthy), who seems to be willfully unaware of the financial crisis the Hardings finds themselves in, continues to pester her for a car. In Season 1, he wanted a brand new laptop, and he now demands a car. So much so that he leaves his mother's house and goes to live with his grandmother further adding to Jen's sores.
An exceptionally difficult time for Jen, the season does put some focus on the plight of single mothers and how difficult it is to simply keep it together. Not only does the recent loss of her (cheating) husband painfully remind her of her shortcomings, her teenage son continues to make it worse.
In Season 2, unable to keep up with Charlie's demands, Jen also has trouble staying emotionally sane. She breaks down every so often under the pressure of providing and keeping her family safe. It is infuriating even through the screen that Charlie refuses to accept his mother's struggles and offer her some respite by cutting down on his demands. If anything, when he goes out of his way to take things in his own hands, he further complicates the situation for not only Jen but also Judy Hale (Linda Cardellini).
Even so, Jen hardly ever lets her children feel the burden of the money troubles the family is facing after the death of her husband. But Charlie, in particular, also blames Jen for the failed marriage. He distances himself from his mother and is eager to grow up and do grown-up things, but which teenager is not?
Throughout the season, Charlie is suspicious of something - he doesn't fully know what his mother Jen and Judy have gotten themselves into, but he sure is eager to help. Unaware of the complete picture, he obviously only makes matters worse.
As Jen finds herself in an even deeper mess than she started with, she struggles to keep it together, even with her trusted BFF by her side.
'Dead to Me' Season 2 is currently streaming on Netflix.