Like several of its characters, Netflix's Dead to Me has bitten the dust, with the dark comedy's third season confirmed as its last by creator and writer Liz Feldman.


It wasn't the news the show's faithful wanted, but at least Jen and Judy's story played out in its entirety. The same cannot be said for scores of Netflix titles.

In typical Feldman style, she couldn't resist signing off with a cliffhanger.

With Judy's words on the importance of honesty ringing in her ears, Jen bit the bullet, or appeared to. "Ben, I have to tell you something," she said, concern splashed across her face.

But before that conversation could play out, the scene faded to black and we were left in the dark.

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Does Jen confess that she murdered Steve? And would their relationship survive that staggering admission?

Would Ben report her to the police? And how would that impact his sobriety? And with Jen behind bars and Ben unable to manage his addiction, what would happen to Charlie, Henry and the couple's newborn baby?

Why should Dead to Me ending with season 3 is for the best

Ben and Jen looking at one another
James Marsden as Ben Wood and Christina Applegate as Jen Harding. Saeed Adyani / Netflix

Like you, we have many questions, all of which could be answered in a follow-up season, and plenty of viewers would eagerly tune in to discover what happens next. But if there was a dramatic u-turn from Feldman, with Dead to Me rising from the grave, it would stray from what has made the show so beloved: Jen and Judy.

Their sisterhood is the beating heart of Dead to Me and while all three seasons have placed their relationship front and centre, season 3 was an all-out celebration of their love for one another, so much so that I no longer cared if Ben learned the truth about his brother's death, or any of the other questions hanging over the narrative.

It all became irrelevant, falling secondary to the central double act, with Judy's cervical cancer diagnosis, in particular, drawing the pair closer than we'd ever seen them.

Their relationship was forged in the fire of heartbreak and trauma, with its initial foundation built on a lie, but that eventually made way for something sincere and pure. Their unshakeable bond, performed beautifully by Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini in the Dead to Me cast, also provided some much-needed respite from the flurry of disquieting, rug pull moments peppered throughout the series.

In the face of unbridled chaos, a quip or a handhold – often both – would steady the ship, if only momentarily. When everything was falling apart, they found solace in one another.

Judy and jen sat in a car, looking at one another while holding hands
Linda Cardellini as Judy Hale and Christina Applegate as Jen Harding. Netflix

At its core, Dead to Me is about the singular brilliance of female friendship. It's an ode to Jen and Judy, who were one another's life rafts in the stormiest of seas, and viewers would happily watch an entire season of them sunning it up on a beach in Mexico and little else had that been on the cards.

Watching the pair cooking up scheme after scheme in an effort to bury their demons was always fun, but it was the quieter moments in which they shared a bottle of wine or something stronger that resonated with its audience.

Those handholds and quips, the laughter and tears were always the central draw, with Feldman's writing and the lead performances coalescing to create something heartfelt and authentic, anchoring the series in moments of mayhem.

Without both women, there's no Dead to Me. It's their story, not Jen's, as Ben's release from prison emphasised. In any other series, that would have been the moment, the happy ending, with all other burdens and grief falling away.

But Jen, as always, had half her mind on Judy, and while Feldman could undoubtedly drum up an entertaining relationship drama to answer our burning questions, it wouldn't be the relationship that has kept us coming back for three seasons.

But as the show has taught us, it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Dead to Me is available to stream on Netflix. Check out more of our Drama coverage or find out what's on with our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.


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