A musical blast from the past pops up in Dead to Me Season 2, giving astute viewers a flashback to a classic Christina Applegate comedy.
Kids of the 90’s all know that Christina Applegate is no stranger to playing characters who cover up deaths in sunny SoCal. In the 1991 cult classic comedy Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, Applegate plays Sue Ellen, a high school senior whose mom has left on an African safari for the summer and has left five kids in the charge of a witchy elderly woman.
Mere hours after the mother takes off on her trip, witchy woman dies of a heart attack. But do the kids call their mom? Of course not. They want a summer of freedom. So they dump the body at a local hospital and get to partying.
If you’ve seen the movie, you know what happens next. Personally, I probably watched it about three dozen times throughout my childhood so it’s totes burned on my brain. If you haven’t seen the movie, well, get on that! It’s one of the essential summer romps of the 90’s, including laughs, heartfelt moments, and a fun, fashionable finale that stamps the film with unique vintage flair. Throughout the film, Applegate scrambles to do what she can to keep her family above water and, while the stakes aren’t as high as they are for her character counterpart in Dead to Me, I think that Sue Ellen and Jen Harding would get along just fine. Because, in addition to sharing the burden of keeping a family together in the wake of an unexpected death, both Jen and Sue Ellen have the same taste in make out music.
Caution: Spoilers for Dead to Me Season 2, episode 8 “It Had to Be You” follow.
When Ben Wood (James Marsden) comes to Jen’s house to profess his lust for her, the two fall into one another’s beautiful arms to the strains of “I Only Have Eyes For You” by the Flamingos. How interesting! Almost thirty years prior, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead featured Sue Ellen and her beau Bryan (a fresh-faced Josh Charles) in a hot and heavy make out sesh while listening to the very same song! The. Very. Same. Song. People. C’mon.
Is Dead to Me telegraphing the similarities between the two characters, played so effortlessly by acting goddess Christina Applegate? Or is it the universe telling us that everyone should seek out Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead as a fun cherry on our collective Dead to Me Season 2 binge? I think it’s all of the above.
Dead to Me Seasons 1 and 2 are currently available for streaming on Netflix.