Dead to Me: The Subtle Way Judy and Steve’s Dialogue Calls Attention to Abusive Relationships

Unless you've been taking a social media break for the past month, you've likely picked up on the buzz surrounding Netflix's latest popular hit, Dead to Me. The dark comedy follows Jen (Christina Applegate), a widow grieving the hit-and-run murder of her husband with a little help from a new support group friend, Judy (Linda Cardellini). Though the two women are polar opposites - Jen is a cynic who listens to screamo in her car to channel her anger, while Judy is inherently optimistic despite suffering loss after loss - they quickly form a tight bond, helping each other navigate through their own hardships.

Dead to Me has plenty of quotable one-liners, but some of the more impactful dialogue moments are between Judy and Steve, her ex-fiancé, portrayed by actor James Marsden. The script incorporates a recurring exchange that subtly yet powerfully proves just how manipulative and emotionally abusive Steve is toward Judy.
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