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Not Dead Yet - Midseason 1 - Review

5 Apr 2023

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Since we had a short break in the past weeks and before starting the second part of the season, I will review the episodes we have seen so far of Not Dead Yet, to help you catch up in case you missed some.

Not Out of High School Yet
This episode is more focused and related to Nell, and I feel like the characters are starting to develop a bit more and we are getting to know more about them. This time Nell is tasked with writing an obituary for her former high school bully, an influencer who died trying to get the perfect selfie. I liked the dynamic between Gina Rodriguez and Brittany Snow, guest actress who plays Piper, Nell's nemesis who, even after her death, doesn't seem to stop her taunts against the journalist.

And although Nell is reluctant to write anything more than a few lines about Piper, she ends up accepting a challenge from her boss Lexi, who puts her in competition with Mason (the newspaper’s intern), to publish the best obituary on the front page. This job turns out to be heavier than usual for Nell, because as I mentioned, Piper made her life miserable in high school and now she keeps confronting her with her inner demons, going back to what we already know, that she feels like she has failed and hasn't achieved her teenage dreams, plus having Piper's ghostly presence also makes her feel like she's 15 again.

This episode is about facing fears that were formed in our childhood and youth, as in addition to Nell, Dennis, her direct boss, receives help from Sam to overcome a fear of playing basketball that arose in his childhood, and although it might seem somewhat absurd I think it also serves as an example of the general plot that develops in the episode. Sam, with this furthermore, seeks to make amends for the hurt she caused her schoolmates, realizing that she was also a bully at the time.

Finally Nell, with the help of her friend Cricket, realizes that Piper was just as insecure as she was and sought approval from others but also had an inner voice that made her feel lesser, so she ends up giving a nice speech at her funeral and earns the front page of the paper when Lexi picks her piece, plus she gets to reconnect with Piper's spirit.

Not Dating Yet
At the beginning of the episode, Nell discovers that her ex, for whom she left everything 5 years ago, has a new girlfriend and although she pretends that everything is fine, the others try to cheer her up and even her co-workers start a kind of matchmaking for her. Dennis sets her up with a guy who ends up befriending Edward, her roommate, because they are both fans of "space opera" and a video game. Sam sets her up with a single dad who is apparently more her type than her friend’s, and even her boss introduces her to an older, wealthy, rather eccentric man.

This week's obituary gets resolved more or less quickly. It's about a mathematician looking to solve a theorem that took him forever, and although his involvement was brief, I liked the few interactions he had with Nell, and even left her with some thoughts on human relationships and how they might be akin to mathematical equations in their complexity.

Finally, Nell meets the perfect guy at Cricket’s bar and they spend a night chatting, walking around and eating, and it seems that Nell, as well as I, thought there had to be a catch in all of this, as he really was too good to be true, so I began to suspect that it might be one of Nell's "invisible friends", but she didn't realize that until dawn, when a picture was taken and he wasn’t in it.

I have to say that I found the beginning of this episode a bit slow, but towards the end when Nell meets the boy everything unfolded faster, and although everything seemed very nice, there comes a moment when this situation becomes a bit predictable, but in my opinion that doesn't devalue the story.

Not Moving On Yet
At the end of the previous episode I was left with several doubts about what had happened, so I thought it was very good that they had given continuity to the story with the “ghost guy” that, although it seemed to have been closed, we still needed to see her working in his obituary, plus we got to see his dynamic with Nell, as she already knew about his true nature. It's true that Jesse, the doctor, seemed like the perfect man and he really was, so it's sad that Nell didn't get to meet him earlier when he was alive, but he finally left her a lesson and helped her step up in her life. I also liked that we got to see Martin Mull as Monty again, and I would love it if he could come back from time to time as he is very good at giving advice to Nell.

The scenes at the diner with Lexi were a lot of fun, especially the last one when she comes back as "incognito" to us her 2-for-1 coupon, though hands down, the best part of the episode was Nell's scene with Sam at the end. The truth is that I wasn't expecting the confession that the main character made to her friend, but I could definitely feel the pain and sadness that Nell has been carrying, and I could see her in another way, just like Sam did.

I have to say that I love the friendship between Nell and Sam, and I like that they are slowly getting back to the closeness they seemed to have had before the former left for England. I loved how Sam listened without judging her friend, and showed her full support and that's why Nell was able to fully trust her and was relieved afterwards. What I'm left wondering is if after that promise they made to each other about telling everything, eventually Nell will end up coming clean to her friend about what's going on with her obituary subjects.

Not Ready to Share Yet
I like how, although at the beginning it may seem that there is little participation of the "ghost of the week”, in each episode they always end up leaving an important lesson that Nell incorporates into her life and helps her to improve in different aspects of her life. On this occasion it was Terri, a puppeteer, who through her own story and also with the help of her puppet, gave a new vision of things to Nell; here I emphasize that I found her to be a very tender and pleasant character, played by Julia Sweeney.

I also like that more and more people related to Nell in the different areas of her life are interacting with each other. This time Edward approached Cricket and was able to help her to keep moving forward and overcoming little by little the loss of Monty. It was very nice how he realized she was feeling a bit depressed at the festival, so he looked for ways to make her feel better.

From the beginning of the story, it's clear that Nell has been jealous of Sam's friendship with Lexi, but I think it's nice how after this episode she starts to accept her more, and realizes that she doesn't have to compete with someone else for her friend's affection, as she ends up accepting that Lexi is also important to Sam.

It was also nice that, for a moment, she put aside the dislike she felt for her boss (often quite justified) and reached out to her when she needed someone's support. I liked how also in this episode, we could see a more vulnerable side of Lexi, because although she always shows herself as she was superior over the others, it is clear that this comes from the situations she has lived and the way her dad treats her, because what she wants is somehow to prove to him that she is valuable enough. I hope that as the story goes by, we will see more closeness between Nell and Lexi, but without losing the fun dynamic they have had so far.

Not Out of the Game Yet 
We keep learning more about the characters and now we had the opportunity to know a bit more about Nell because first of all now, we know that her name is Penelope and she has a family with dad, mom and brother, whom I hope we will meet soon.

This time we only saw her dad Luis (Carlos Gomez), who was made clear that Nell does not want to disappoint, because he sees her as a successful woman, and that is why she has not wanted to be close to her family since she returned from England, so they do not know how she has been living recently. But thanks to Edward, Nell's roomie, Luis learns the truth, and that's when the conflict comes, which is mixed with the appearance of the "spirit of the week”, Carlos Garza (Tony Plana), a baseball narrator who has a connection with Nell and her dad, and through baseball metaphors he leaves reflections to our leading lady.

We could see now how Nell is accepting more and more her current situation and begins to feel comfortable with it and she realizes that the world has not closed for her, but that she can move forward and finally achieve her dreams. At the same time, we saw the situation in which Lexi finds herself and it became clearer to us something that was already noticeable and that is that she is in search of her dad's approval.

I liked seeing Nell defending her position and the work of her and all her colleagues, a situation that apparently inspired Lexi to bring out her kinder side (which she had been hiding very well so far) and side with the staff of her newspaper, deciding not to fire anyone against her dad's will. I guess we'll see in the future what consequences this decision will bring for her and the others.

I thought it was a good way to show the similarity between two characters that seem so different as Nell and Lexi, because although most of the time they have opposite ways of being, they have things in common, such as the need to be "perfect" in front of their parents; although the difference is that Nell's father is more understanding and ends up accepting and supporting his daughter's decisions, because his love for her is greater than wanting her to be perfect.

Something that I find interesting, is that when her dad proposes to Nell to leave all that and go near her family to manage the family business, she does not discard it immediately, but takes it into account and comes to consider it as a serious option, which does not always happen in other stories in which such dilemmas lead the characters to confront their families and create conflicts, but here things flowed very naturally and everything went well in the end.

I think the series continues on a good path, as it has given us entertaining episodes so far, with a good mix of funny and touching moments.

Now it's time for you to share your opinions about this show in the comments section below, as we get ready to enjoy the new episodes.