Sunday, May 5, 2019

REVIEW: 'Dead to Me' - Jen and Judy Step Into the Lives Each Other Previously Had in 'Maybe I'm Crazy'

Netflix's Dead to Me - Episode 1.02 "Maybe I'm Crazy"

Amid her escalating rage over the stalled investigation into her husband's death, Jen becomes more entangled in Judy's messy personal life.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's Dead to Me.

"Maybe I'm Crazy" was written by Liz Feldman and directed by Amy York Rubin

This episode makes it clear that there should be no question as to Judy's involvement in the death of Jen's husband. She was the driver who hit him during that accident. Sure, there is still more to be unveiled in that story. This episode delivers yet another surprising twist that could further complicate Judy's sudden involvement in Jen's life. However, it's also clear that Judy feels remorse for what happened. She isn't inserting herself into Jen's family with the intention of making them as miserable and depressed as possible. Jen would be acting on her anger issues regardless of Judy's presence. Judy doesn't even know why Jen pulls over before she starts destroying the car that has been driving too fast during her morning runs. But it's also just as important to see that moment where Judy is standing in Ted's life and getting emotional about her role in him no longer being there. She is the one now spending time in his studio. He has left the family with everyone else struggling to move forward. Jen's sons think it's weird that this stranger is now living in their dad's studio. They don't know who Judy is. Jen trusts her completely once more and was willing to offer this space to her as she sorts out her personal life. Jen gets much more involved in that aspect of Judy's world as well. She has become Steve's real estate agent. Jen is also standing in the house where Judy's life used to be. This is no longer the space that is filled by her. Instead, it is only painful memories about what was lost there. Judy and Steve kept putting up a nursery in the hopes that the latest pregnancy would be the one that lasts. Instead, it continued to not work out for them. And now, Judy presents as the crazy stalker. A restraining order needs to be placed for her to stay away from his life. That means Jen will serve as the intermediary between them. That is an awkward position for her to be. Steve just wants to give Judy the label of crazy. It's an easy explanation for everything that happened. It's too simple though. Jen doesn't think that word should be used because it is too condescending and diminishing. It doesn't take into effect all the tragedy that Judy and Steve went through as a couple and the human responses both of them had. Of course, the audience learns that the miscarriages may not have been the only thing that drove them apart. When Judy was driving and killed Ted, Steve also happened to be in the vehicle. That's a vital new piece of information. That will keep him as an active character moving forward. He has no idea how Jen and Judy know each other. He too is perplexed by the idea of this stranger taking in Judy. He warns her about the tendency for chaos to follow Judy wherever she goes. Judy feels like she doesn't deserve good things. She feels like she needs to suffer by living in the memories of the man she just killed. That's the way she is choosing to be punished. Of course, it's also killing her because she has become friends with Jen. It means that any possible moment could be the one where she drops some clue that could connect back to that central night in question. It seems inevitable that more twists will come at some point. The bond between Jen and Judy will continue to be challenged. Right now though, they see the value in the small moments that allow both of them to move on from the tragedies in their personal lives.