A Parable and Parody of Restorative Justice

Judith Levine in Boston Review:

After “the,” “and,” and “fuckin’,” the most frequently used word in the Netflix series Dead to Me must be “sorry.

The protagonists of the show, Judy Hale and Jen Harding, have plenty for which to be sorry. First Judy (Linda Cardellini) kills Jen’s husband with her 1966 Mustang in a hit-and-run accident. Then Jen (Christina Applegate) bludgeons Judy’s ex-fiancé with a wooden bird and leaves him to bleed to death in her backyard pool.

Their victims, it must be said, sort of had it coming. Ted Harding was a peach of a dad but a rotter of a husband: he rejected his wife after a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction and cheated on her with a waitress named Bambi, who is about as old as her namesake. Steve Wood, Judy’s fiancé (who survives until the end of the first season), has no redeeming qualities aside from bedroom-blue eyes and a big cock. He is, among other things, a liar, an egotist, an abuser, a Mafia collaborator, and a preposterous home decorator. He is also the reason Judy left the scene of the accident after hitting Jen’s husband.

More here.