Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini: Comedy’s New Perfect Pair

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Lucy and Ethel. Mary and Rhoda. Laverne and Shirley. Patsy and Edina. Abbi and Ilana. Tv comedy has boasted loads of superb duos over time, and now it’s best to add one other one to the combo: Jen and Judy, the lead characters of Netflix’s “Lifeless to Me.”

Tv Academy members are on board, having included each Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini within the lead comedy actress class this yr. That’s an enchancment over 2019, when voters solely acknowledged Applegate within the present’s freshman run.

Created by Liz Feldman, “Lifeless to Me” is a darkish comedy that facilities on Jen (Applegate), a latest widow who’s befriended by Judy (Cardellini) at a assist group. The 2 grow to be besties, but it surely all falls aside when Jen learns that Judy was partially concerned in her husband’s dying. From there, the physique rely rises — and so do the secrets and techniques. Jen and Judy have been harm by one another’s actions, however additionally they want one another for assist and survival. And certain, that doesn’t sound like a comedy — however “Lifeless to Me” will make you chortle, each out of a nervous place and from some significantly biting asides.

Finally, Jen and Judy are the twisted, modern-day peak TV model of Lucy and Ethel from “I Love Lucy.” And sure, at one level they’re burying a physique as an alternative of stuffing their face with chocolate, however the farce remains to be there. Applegate and Cardellini are maybe probably the most compelling duo proper now in TV comedy. “Christina and Linda are such items as a result of they’re each hilarious and extremely heartbreaking,” Feldman says. “They’re so extremely good at honing in on the feelings of these characters.”

In spite of everything, there’s no Laverne with out Shirley. As TV historians might keep in mind, the ultimate season of “Laverne and Shirley” att-empted to do exactly that, as star Penny Marshall went solo after Cindy Williams departed the sitcom in a contractual dispute. It wasn’t the identical, and the comedy ended its run after eight seasons.

Applegate and Cardellini have been part of among the most memorable TV collection in historical past — Applegate on “Married With Kids,” after all, and Cardellini on “Freaks and Geeks.” Applegate later went on to win an Emmy in 2003 as visitor star on “Pals” (she was additionally nominated within the visitor comedy actress subject for a similar function in 2004), and was nominated twice in lead comedy actress for “Samantha Who?” in 2008 and 2009. Cardellini’s earlier nom was for visitor drama actress, through “Mad Males” in 2013.

Now, it’s this pairing that has introduced each of them again to the Emmy desk. The final time two co-stars had been concurrently nominated within the lead comedy actress class was 2017, when each Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin had been acknowledged for “Grace and Frankie,” persevering with a partnership that dates again to the movie “9 to five.” In 2015, 2016 and 2018, Tomlin was nominated with out Fonda, and it by no means felt fairly proper.

Typical knowledge says twin nominees from the identical present might cancel one another out, permitting for others to maneuver previous them. However in 1984 and 1985, “Kate & Allie” stars Jane Curtin and Susan St. James had been each nominated, and Curtin gained each instances. Final yr, each “Killing Eve” stars Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh competed within the lead drama actress race, and Comer emerged victorious.
Applegate and Cardellini face a tricky competitors the place the front-runners embrace “Schitt’s Creek” icon Catherine O’Hara and frequent “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” awards winner Rachel Brosnahan. However as 1980s hip-hop duo Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock as soon as stated, generally “it takes two to make a factor go proper.”

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