First things first, if you haven't watched Dead to Me, please add it to your list immediately because it's phenomenal.
Created by Liz Feldman and starring Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini, the original series has been applauded for its portrayal of complex female relationships and concepts of grief, guilt and emotional abuse. And while it deals with heavy topics like death and grief, the series triumph is that it retains its sense of black humour throughout.
The show follows Jen (Applegate), a grieving widow with anger management issues who recently lost her husband, Ted, in a hit-and-run accident. At a grief counselling group, Jen meets Judy (Cardellini), a bubbly woman who is struggling with a split from her fiancé, who dumped her after she endured a string of miscarriages. The pair strike up something of an unconventional friendship, spending long nights on the phone helping each other with their mutual insomnia before Jen decides to invite Judy to move in with her and her two sons.
As the show continues, it becomes clear Judy was responsible for Ted's death and is befriending her out of guilt. It also becomes clear that Judy's ex-fiance, Steve (James Marsden), is emotionally abusive to her and not exactly a great guy. He toys with her emotions and even gets back together with her during the season. What's more, we find out he was in the car with Judy the night she hit Ted, and he was the one who encouraged her to keep driving, leaving him to die.
When police attention turns to Judy, Steve panics and threatens her saying, "If anybody goes down for this, it's you. You were driving. You are the criminal. I'm only the eye witness." In the series finale, Steve goes to visit Jen after Judy empties his bank accounts. She soon realises Steve is the real reason Judy never turned back to help Ted and later Steve is shown dead, floating in the pool.
Viewers of the Netflix series are taking to social media to highlight the recurring plot device in the show that highlights Steve's behaviour. Whenever Judy calls Steve out on his inappropriate or cruel behaviour and he apologises, she immediately replies "it's okay," as if on autopilot. Social media users have interpreted this as the writers showing how heavily brainwashed Judy is, to the point where she is conditioned to forgive Steve without even thinking.
Watch the trailer for Netflix's Dead To Me below:
This article originally appeared on InStyle Australia.