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Not Dead Yet Season 2 Premiere: A Very Lively Start to a Promising Second Season

NOT DEAD YET – Key Art. (Disney)

Season two of ABC’s Not Dead Yet, starring Gina Rodriguez, premiered last Wednesday with some fun new guests, including famous comedian Brad Garrett and Superstore alumni Nico Santos. If you didn’t have the opportunity to watch the first season, it is available to watch in full on Hulu.

But, if you need a quick refresher, the show centers around Nell Serrano (Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin) who, despite having nearly a decade of journalistic experience, lands the lower-level job of writing newspaper obituaries at her previous employer, the SoCal Independent. She originally left to pursue her relationship abroad with her now ex-fiancé, however, things don’t go as planned and Nell finds herself in a bit of a midlife crisis, moving back to the States with a worse job and a roommate.

In the first season, we witnessed Nell learn and grow through her rekindled relationship with Sam (Hannah Simone, New Girl), a former friend who is now a wife, mother, and leader at the newspaper, and through new unlikely friendships with her environmental lawyer roommate Edward (Rick Glassman, Undateable) and Cricket (Angela E. Gibbs, Hacks), a local restaurant owner whose deceased husband managed to find a way from beyond the grave to intertwine their lives.

Whether the ability has always been there, or maybe it’s the result of a mid-life crisis, Nell discovers her power to see, hear, and communicate with the people whose obituaries she is writing. Through these encounters, Nell learns more about life, human connection, regret, love, joy, growth, and so much more – to the point where her own life is impacted in ways she could never have imagined. This brings us to the season two premiere, where the sudden death of successful realtor, Teddy Thompson (Nico Santos, Superstore) causes Nell to rethink where she is in life. Now that she’s a year into obit writing, it might be the time to ask for more responsibility from her boss, Lexi (Lauren Ash, Superstore). While some progress was made in their relationship as employer/employee last season, it is clear that Lexi isn’t going to be that easily persuaded. Especially not with the arrival of her father and owner of the SoCal Independent, Duncan Rhodes (Garrett, Everybody Loves Raymond).

The only thing Lexi wants to do is please her father, and from her father’s perspective, the only thing he wants to do is find people he can use to get under Lexi’s skin to motivate her to do more, be better, and succeed at all costs. With some ghostly inspiration, Nell manages to show the pair through a creatively crafted obituary that they have limited time in this life to connect and appreciate each other. While Lexi and Duncan may have started to bridge the gap of their past father/daughter issues, it is not without the sacrifice of Nell becoming their mutual “enemy” – no good deed goes unpunished, as they say.

Not Dead Yet has had some great guest stars previously, including: Rhea Pearlman, Ed Begley Jr., Brittany Snow, Margaret Cho, Paula Pell, and too many more to list, so yours truly is excited to see who joins each week to share some knowledge from beyond the grave. It’s wonderful that we’ve been granted a second season to see where the story goes. It is funny, quirky, and messy, much like life, and Gina Rodriguez does an excellent job of making you care about this character, despite Nell’s shortcomings. With all of the changes that have occurred over the past few years, many viewers can definitely appreciate the sentiment of life not being what you pictured. Seeing this average person rebuild her life from square one while encountering some big wins and significant losses along the way feels timely and relatable.

Luckily, it’s only the first episode of the season, so tune in on Wednesdays to ABC to watch Nell learn, grow, and live because she’s certainly not dead yet.

Not Dead Yet Season 2 airs Wednesdays on ABC and streams on Hulu.


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