If you’re a fan of offbeat workplace comedies, you’ll want to cozy up and see where Not Dead Yet takes us in its second season.
We catch back up with our charmingly hapless heroine Nell Serrano, played with plenty of heart by Gina Rodriguez. Nell writes obituaries for a small Los Angeles newspaper while seeing the ghosts of those she memorializes. It lends an added bit of quirk to her already messy life.
Last we saw Nell, she was settling into new dynamics with her eccentric friends and coworkers after calling off her London wedding. Now into season two, we find her in familiar territory – barely keeping it together, but always optimistic even when the ghosts offer unasked for life advice.
The premiere kicks off with Nell meeting the spirit of arrogant realtor Teddy Thompson, played by a reliably hilarious Nico Santos. Meanwhile at work, staffers scramble to make an impression when the boss’ blustery dad (Brad Garrett) pays a disruptive visit. What unfolds puts relationships to the test as Nell tries steering this family feud toward kinder waters.
With sharp writing bringing this offbeat world to life, a stellar cast clearly having a blast, and ample opportunity to highlight everyday people typically overlooked, Not Dead Yet makes for a grounded yet entertaining escape. The ingredients for a strong sophomore season seem readily in place. So without further ado, let’s tune in and savor the peculiar comic riches this show promises. We could all use a few more good laughs nowadays!
Keeping Up With Nell
Before we dive into the new episodes, let’s recap where we left off with our favorite obituary writer and her ghostly friends.
We first met Nell Serrano as a wide-eyed dreamer, returning from London to Los Angeles after calling off her wedding. Though stinging from the broken engagement, eternally optimistic Nell soon secured work at a small newspaper writing obituaries.
But there was a spooky twist – Nell could somehow see the spirits of the dead folks she profiled. Her new ghost pals offered plenty of unsolicited advice on getting her romantic and career lives back on track post-breakup.
While the paranormal hijinks added pep to Nell’s everyday adventures, her grounded friendships provided an emotional anchor. She moved in with former colleague Edward, though his obsessive tidiness drove her batty. At work, she gained a mentor in seasoned journalist Sam and formed a mutual admiration society with stylish boss Lexi. Meanwhile, copy editor Dennis and advice columnist Tina kept spirits light around the office with their quirky camaraderie.
By season’s end, Nell had embraced her strange gift, using her conversations with ghosts to gain insight into better understanding the living. A missed promotion opportunity left her questioning her career path. But with her friends’ support, plus a newfound appreciation for the stories of overlooked people, Nell felt better prepared to handle life’s curveballs.
Now back for round two, Nell returns a little older and wiser but with plenty more lessons to learn – both from the dead and from her amusingly imperfect work fam. We can’t wait to see what hilarious hijinks and moving revelations are in store next for this uniquely endearing heroine.
“Hit the trail with our Tracker review, where survival skills meet detective work. Join Colter Shaw as he navigates the American wilderness to solve mysteries and bring closure to those in need.”
Kicking Off A New Season
The Not Dead Yet gang is back for more paranormal hijinks as Season 2 gets underway. We ease back into Nell’s offbeat world with the premiere episode “Not Owning It Yet,” catching up with our favorite obit writer still chatting it up with ghosts while barely keeping her personal and professional lives afloat.
We open on a typical day for Nell – scrambling to finish an obituary while getting unprompted life advice from new ghost pal Teddy (played by a sharp Nico Santos). The impeccably dressed if arrogant deceased realtor questions whether Nell’s really reaching her potential. She brushed off his harsh appraisal, but it hits a nerve.
At work, boss Lexi (the always on-point Lauren Ash) is in panic mode upon hearing her blunt businessman father Duncan will be visiting the ramshackle offices. Brad Garrett of Everybody Loves Raymond fame joins the ensemble here, immediately stirring things up as the spoken-of but never seen Duncan. Garrett nails the clueless bravado of this corporate titan, showing little tact when heaping praise upon the baffled but flattered Nell while ignoring his competent yet continually dismissed daughter.
Despite Duncan’s transparent attempts to spur Lexi through jealousy, Nell agrees to help craft his obit. Their amusing odd couple dynamic promises further misadventures, already showing more heart than Lexi gives her dad credit for. But Duncan’s company may come at the cost of Nell’s self-confidence.
Between Duncan’s disruptive energy throwing everyone off balance and Nell’s messy personal life once again colliding with work, the premiere leans hard into the cringe humor. While Garrett delivers some solid laughs, other one-liners feel forced, lacking the deft touch of quirkier character moments grounded in relationships rather than landing a punchline.
Still, the appeal remains watching this band of misfits bond in their shared outsider status. Nell guides even the most bumbling characters toward meaningful connections, an endearing emotional contrast to the ghosts urging her toward more superficial measures of success.
With some tightening up, the off-kilter humor and heart woven into this eccentric workplace family could really sing. For now, just seeing Nell’s earnest efforts to lift those around her offers enough incentive to keep following her unusual journey.
Where The Show Thrives And Falters
While still finding its footing in this sophomore season, Not Dead Yet makes the most of its offbeat premise through engaging lead performances and quirky character dynamics.
At the heart of the show is Gina Rodriguez’s inherit charm as Nell. Her guileless optimism grounds the peculiar plotlines, nimbly navigating comedy and emotion. Smart casting choices make the most of the endearing ensemble too. Standouts include hilarious scene-stealer Angela Gibbs as Nell’s tell-it-like-it-is friend Cricket, Lauren Ash’s riotous portrait of high strung boss Lexi, and charmingJosh Burday and Rick Glassman as Nell’s closest pals. This crew shares plenty of laughs while revealing added depth the longer we spend in their company.
The writers fully commit to the kooky ghost gimmick as well. Usually appearing when Nell needs a nudge in some area of her life – career confidence, family matters, pursuing a crush – the spirits tug at universally relatable dilemmas. They function best as winking manifestations of Nell’s self-doubt rather than amusing apparitions in their own right. Still, their pep talks gone awry often lead to Nell’s most cringingly funny breakdowns.
Where the scripts sometimes stumble is striking the right balance between oddball workplace antics and grounded storytelling. Side plots like office manager Dennis and his meticulous life partner fostering kids bring welcome facets of representation but feel tossed off. Conversely, central relationships begging for nuance get sidelined by gags or left on clicthéd autopilot.
But for viewers craving more heartwarming workplace comedies about finding community in unlikely places, Nell and the newspaper gang deliver. As they continue opening up new story avenues while smoothing out the quirky beats making this show hum,Not Dead Yet’s best moments – hilarious and touching alike – may still be yet to come.
Mapping Out The Road Ahead
While the premiere episode was mostly table-setting, it planted plenty of narrative seeds suggesting rich stories to come. Duncan’s disruptive presence seems guaranteed to impact dynamics across the board. We can expect Lexi to keep vying for her father’s validation while likely using Nell as an unintentional rival. But Duncan also presents a chance for Lexi to confront her need for his approval.
Nell too may reassess personal goals thanks to Duncan and Teddy’s superficial markers for success. Her season-long arc could trace redefining achievement on her own terms rather than external ideas about “making it”. But not before hilarious high jinks with Duncan, Teddy, and her ghostly gaggle pushing Nell to hilarious breakdowns.
Outside the central father-daughter feud, Lexi and Edward’s odd flirtation promises awkward office romance as this uptight pair explores what bonds them besides irritation. Fan favorite Cricket should earn more screen time doling out her unique brand of wisdom in brighter precincts. And Dennis embracing fatherhood opens storylines addressing the foibles of parenting and modern families.
We expect bonds strengthened between this endearing makeshift workplace family as Nell helps them see the best parts of themselves. Our heroine’s gift for connecting with the overlooked – be they restless spirits or her work fam – suggests plenty of emotional growth on the horizon. The show works best when grounding its quirky humor in the relatable struggles of everyday people.
If the writers tap into that signature strength while allowing its loveable cast to further gel, this little show that could should continue resonating with anyone who feels life hasn’t quite gone as expected. Not Dead Yet remains full of promise.
Parting Words Of Wisdom
While still ironing out some kinks, Not Dead Yet shows no signs of creative rigor mortis in its appealing second season. Its mid-size audience proves engaged fans know a good-hearted comic gem when they see one. For viewers craving a breezy 30-minutes of laughs garnished with humanity, they could do far worse.
Is the writing pitch-perfect or the characters fully formed? Not quite yet. But the core ensemble boasts first-rate chemistry with nimble comic timing, promising ever deeper bonds if the scripts rise to meet their talents. And Gina Rodriguez remains an effortless charmer even when playing frazzled, grounding the goofiness in relatable truth.
Like its scrappily endearing heroine, Not Dead Yet excels at finding laughs in the foibles of overlooked everyday people, spinning gold from the ghosts that haunt us all. It pairs whimsy with wit to craft an offbeat but welcoming world. So if you enjoy chuckling at the cosmic joke of merely staying afloat in life, why not give this little show that could a chance? Having a steady pulse sets it apart from most new comedies – even if barely!
Not Dead Yet Season 2
Not Dead Yet shows promise despite its flaws. With ample room for growth, the show's talents and good-hearted perspective could make it a comedy to keep on your radar. For now, it's a solid diversion good for a few laughs, if not a must-see.
- Strong lead performance from Gina Rodriguez
- Good chemistry between core cast
- Quirky premise with paranormal twist
- Lighthearted tone with some emotional depth
- Emphasis on overlooked people and their stories
- Uneven writing quality
- Supporting characters could be more developed
- Over-reliance on corny jokes at times
- Needs more balancing of plotlines
- Isn't groundbreaking television