Liz Feldman says darkness inspired Dead to Me

(CREDIT: Aymara Limma)

Netflix has just released the third and final season of its award-winning series, Dead to Me and after streaming all of the episodes, I am already missing the quirky series about Jen (Christina Applegate) and Judy (Linda Cardellini).

It’s almost impossible not to love the two previous seasons of a series that explores women’s dark complex secrets, sharp drama, and crisp wit. In this final season, Jen and Judy find themselves in the aftermath of yet another hit and run, with both women receiving shocking news, and are ready to risk their lives for a friendship that’s above the law.

Last week to celebrate the premiere of the final season, Netflix held a screening and panel attended by creator Liz Feldman as well as Applegate and Cardellini. And even more when we found out how did it all happen. Very inspiring.

When the panel began, Feldman was asked, “What are you most excited about when it comes to the show?” Feldman quickly replied while pointing to the two leads, “These two performances and the wonderful cast.”

We agree. Watch the trailer for Season three below:


Cardellini and Applegate, who recently revealed she was diagnosed with early stages of MS, were then asked about playing their characters.

Cardellini credits Feldman with helping her to embody Judy. She also admitted last season especially was a physical and emotional journey for her.

Applegate went into detail about the progression of Jen, her character, through the seasons:

“In Season one, Jen acts like a cobra, because it’s her way to protect herself. In Season two, her (Jen’s) walls are slowly coming down and it is frightening to feel, to have emotions and to care deeply about another person again. Finally, in Season three I didn’t have many discussions with Liz because I trusted her immensely and that she knows what I needed to go through, what Jen needed to go through. I guess I didn’t know I would go through as much as I did.”

Applegate continued, “I had her (Liz Feldman) whatever you need from me, throw at me, let’s go there. I didn’t know life would also throw something at me but it kind of me it all even more game, and wow and tragic, and sad and raw, beautiful, strong and I think there is a happy ending and a tragedy, and a tragedy in the happy ending. It happed up very beautifully I think.

Feldman thanked Applegate and told her, “I worship the floor you walk.”

Liz was then asked about her inspiration for the show and her original thoughts.

Feldman shared, “I created the show during a very dark period of my life, I had just turned 40 and had lost three friends for various reasons: some illness, some accidental. On my 40th birthday, my cousin passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack, and I had been trying to get pregnant at the time, taking hormones, and they make you feel really crazy. The day after my birthday my best friend said she was pregnant. It was just a crazy time of my life. And I was set up for a pitch meeting, where they told me I didn’t have to have anything prepared, I had just to show up. And I showed up having nothing. So I just go, there they come to me and say:  We are thick of ideas, do you have anything?”

She added, “I just started thinking about where I was in my life, I wanted to do a show about women and I realized I needed to write about loss. So that is what the show was meant to be: Lost and grief and friendship. Very much like a love letter to my friends, the one I still have and the one I lost. I knew Jen had to learn to forgive because of her love to her friend, Judy.”

Feldman continued, “Obviously the two characters needed to have a strong connection to work. And they didn’t know each other. We cast Christina first, then we cast Linda. And we booked lunch for them to get to know each other and it was beautiful to see how they fell into a friendship so fast.”

Dead to Me is a dark comedy about a powerful friendship that blossoms between a tightly wound widow and a free spirit with a shocking secret. The show is beautifully written, and directed and has an amazing cast. It is a must-see. The final season is now streaming on Netflix.

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Reel 360 Foreign Correspondent Aymara Limma was born in Rio de Janeiro and is known as “The Brazilian Firecracker” because of her incredible energy and passion.