Post Mortems

Dead to Me: The Story Behind Judy's 'No Big Deal' Same-Sex Romance

Dead to Me Season 3 Judy and Michelle

After spending much of Dead to Me‘s inaugural season infatuated with (and occasionally stalking) her ex-fiancé Steve, Linda Cardellini’s seemingly heterosexual Judy falls for a female chef (played by Natalie Morales) in Season 2 and no one — not even her blunt best frenemy Jen (Christina Applegate) — has an opinion about it. And that, according to series creator Liz Feldman, was the whole point.

“The [uneventful way we] played the [Judy/Michelle] relationship was incredibly deliberate and purposeful,” the EP explains to TVLine. “As a gay woman who has been writing a really long time, I’ve had the opportunity to tell the ‘coming out story.’ I wanted to see a different version of it. I wanted to see a no-big-deal version of it because, to me, it is no big deal. It felt fresh to me to treat a burgeoning relationship between two women like it was totally normal.

“On another TV show when a woman starts dating a man there wouldn’t be a conversation between her and her best friend where she sits her down and says, ‘Hey, listen, I gotta tell you something — I like guys,‘” Feldman continues. “I know some women who just ended up in a romance with another women and it wasn’t something they identified themselves as. It just is.”

Although Feldman acknowledges that having Dead to Me exist in a “post-label universe” is “probably a little idealistic,” she’s optimistic that as a society “we are getting there,” adding, “I just wanted to help us get there a little bit faster.”