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Cleverly keeping a friendship alive in ‘Dead to Me’

Linda Cardellini (left) and Christina Applegate in "Dead to Me."Netflix via AP

I breezed through the 10 episodes of season two of Netflix’s “Dead to Me,” which is available on Friday, because that’s what a viewer does with “Dead to Me.” It’s a show built to breeze through, just letting all of its many major twists and turns roll on by despite their (often intentional) absurdity.

If you liked season one, as I did, I suspect you will like season two, which follows the same playbook. Show creator Liz Feldman seems to enjoy coming up with situations where the main characters — Christina Applegate’s Jen and Linda Cardellini’s Judy — bond intensely while keeping massive secrets from each other. Last season, the secrets included Judy’s role in the death of Jen’s husband. This time around, they include the circumstances around the death of Jen’s ex, Steve (James Marsden), which happened at the very end of season one. I’m not going to spoil anything here; the best parts of the show are its unending reveals and the ways the characters dodge disaster. Oh, and the dead bodies, too.


The big idea behind “Dead to Me” is to keep the friendship between these two women alive, no matter how impossible that seems, and at times it does seem quite impossible. Things do get dire, and Feldman and the writers throw many, many barriers in the way of Judy and Jen and their relationship, and yet they still remain in each other’s world. Ultimately, the show is a comedy, after all. Cardellini is especially good this season, as we learn more about how Jen came about her extremely mellow demeanor. And Applegate is funny, as she was last season, as she curses, breaks down, and swigs wine with a vengeance, all while her world continues to fall apart.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.