'Dead to Me' creator on grief, friendship, and improv

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In the Netflix dramedy series ‘Dead to Me,’ Christina Applegate plays new widow Jen, in shock after a hit and run killed her husband while he was out for a late-night jog. Grieving and angry, she reluctantly goes to a grief support group, where she meets Judy, played by Linda Cardellini. She tells Jen and the others in the group that she’s just lost her fiance. And they believe her...at first.

Jen and Judy don’t seem to have much in common--Jen is a tightly wound high-end real estate agent who spends her free time looking for cars with human-sized dents. Judy is a gentler spirit who teaches art classes at a retirement home. Yet the two women bond over the shared experience of sudden loss.

‘Dead to Me’ was created by Liz Feldman, a TV comedy writer with a varied resume: she’s come up with blue-collar jokes for Jeff Foxworthy; nice, clean monologues for Ellen and raunchy scripts for ‘2 Broke Girls.’

Before she did any of that, she started with standup at the ripe old age of 16. She tells us about moving from Brooklyn to Orlando at 18 for a writing job that turned into a an extremely difficult situation, then getting fired and enrolling in college so she could be part of an improv group at Boston University.

Feldman recounts coming to Los Angeles, joining the Groundlings and returning to TV writing, which led to getting to work with her idol, Ellen DeGeneres.

And she tells us about the personal losses that planted the seeds that later became ‘Dead to Me,’ a wickedly funny show about grief and friendship, which just got renewed for a second season on Netflix.

Credits

Guest:
Liz Feldman - TV writer, comedian - @thelizfeldman

Host:
Kim Masters

Producer:
Kaitlin Parker