'Dead to Me' is giving us major 'Thelma and Louise' feels, but will the Netflix show recreate the magic of female friendship?
Netflix's 'Dead to Me' is trying to recreate the magic of female friendship by adding a sinister twist. However, it is the dark overtones that intrigue us the most.
‘Dead to Me’ by Liz Feldman is about to premiere on May 3, on Netflix, and though the trailers and the synopsis makes us quite aware about a blossoming friendship rising from the depths of a burdened past, we might be able to witness a Thelma and Louise moment. Jen (Christina Applegate) Judy (Linda Cardellini) are introduced to us as two independent, unknown characters in 'Dead To Me.' They both meet in a support group meeting and while the audience grasps Jen’s pain and agony on losing her husband, and her defiance to deal with it, Judy’s loss of her fiance remains mostly under wraps. The suspense around Judy creeps into the picture in the second half of the trailer and makes you question Judy’s intentions. Judy’s portrayal in the trailer is much of a free spirit, who wants to seize the day and make it roll.
Unlike Thelma and Louise, Jen and Judy have not been lifelong friends, but the telltale signs of the sinister past and a journey of friendship going awry does visually impress us. The movie - a classic, directed by Ridley Scott in 1991, had broken many cultural barriers and had made men uncomfortable during a time and age when the audience was not yet ready to see leading women actors as non-conformists. Breaking the shackle of misogyny, the film has come a long way to establish the importance of what a woman deserves and can do in their right mind.
Netflix's series 'Dead To Me', comes in a different era altogether, where the feminist movement has already taken a higher flight, so breaking the shackles of misogyny might not be its thing but we do get to see some similarities between the four lead characters. Let's get some facts before we dig deeper and draw parallels with Thelma and Louise.
Thelma and Jen although, are two distinct characters, have one similarity- a distraught present. Jen, a widow, unlike Thelma, is coping with a loss which has created a deep wound in her heart, while Thelma - an obedient wife - is feeling more and more lost and disoriented, tormented by the loss of her idea of marriage. To help her keep her head above the water Thelma decides to take a road trip with her lifelong friend Louise, unannounced to her husband. An unhappy Jen has adopted a different coping mechanism by putting on an inscrutable, impassive straight face.
Judy, on the other hand, shares a lot of character similarities with Louise. They are both portrayed as bohemian, free-spirited, outspoken, ready to seize the day but this is where the plot of both the stories start to swerve. Both the plots takes us by surprise, in case of Thelma and Louise, it is the life choices that they make, but for Jen and Judy it could be a character flaw or a blatant misunderstanding, we do not know yet.
While everything remains a jigsaw puzzle for us till we actually see Jen and Judy in 'Dead to Me', we know for sure that they are about to take the same road of friendship as Thelma and Louise. That said, what remains to be seen is whether Jen and Judy will also “keep going” down the edge of the cliff like Thelma and Louise, or will they be able to hang on to the unnerving situations that life is about to throw at them.