'Not Dead' Review: Gina Rodriguez Leads Us To The Light With Bright New ABC Comedy
Rodriguez brings laughter and enthusiasm to this charming new ABC sitcom, even if it gets off to a slow start.
After The Miracle Workers, The Good Place and most recently CBS's crown with its #1 sitcom Ghost, it seems that Afterlife is continuing its haunting primetime run. But while we may never understand our current cultural preoccupation with the subject, ABC is joining award-winning actress Gina Rodriguez on their latest sitcom, Experience undying joy and hilarity in Not Dead yet. This single-camera comedy, written with heart and charm and featuring some very organic, funny performances, is already poised to be one of the biggest TV seasons of 2023.
Created by Casey Johnson and David Windsor — authors of This Is Us and Don't Trust the B — in Apartment 23 and produced by McG, Not Dead Yet follows her luck, Nell Serrano (Rodriguez), a newly single , a self-proclaimed disaster, she hopes to return to her journalism. After giving up 15 years of a promising career for a man and moving to London and hoping for that fairytale wedding she thought she was a loser, things changed when the two broke up and the relationship It was a big blow to her. The good news is that her quirky roommate, Edward (Rick Glassman) is very easy going, even though he's very passive-aggressive, wants everything in a very specific way, and needs her to walk his shy dog Arthur.
Swapping out her swimming trunks for new underwear, and doing her best to stay hydrated with hard sodas at night, Nell got the only chance she could get her career aspirations back into high gear: in a completely "new" wardrobe Writing obituaries. In writing these dry obituaries, Nell can suddenly, and without providing any reason, see all the dead people she is writing about, from her very first assignment, one known for bubblegum jingle Musician (Martin Moore). It's this gift (which feels very similar to Sam Arondekar's TV reporter in Ghosts) that helps her learn about the dead so they can move on, but also helps her get back on track with life advice she never knew she needed .
In the first assignment she received from her boss, Dennis (Josh Bandy), she was warned not to judge the people she had to write about, because "everyone has a story, and finding it is [her ] work.” Although she believes writing about the dead People start to haunt her head, and the enterprising reporter relies on her best friend and colleague Sam (Hannah Simone), her closest confidant, and a very busy mom to help her in the newsroom. Navigating the waters of the chamber - of-touch, nepo baby Lexi (Lauren Ash) is running the newspaper they both work at.
Loosely based on bestselling author Alexander Porter's 2020 novel Confessions of a Forty-something, this stand-alone comedy is a far cry from literary comedy in a way that fans of the book may feel at first Confused, but that doesn't mean it doesn't work. Since seeing parts of dead men might feel out of place for Potter readers, the rest of the series stays close to the source material for the most part. Similar to the book, Nell befriends Cricket (Angela Gibbs), a widow whose husband Nell meets her on a very supernatural level. However, where the book sets up their friendship as the powerful driving force of the story, the series created it more to emphasize Nell's return to her true self at a time when she felt truly disconnected from everyone.
Consider some very poignant dialogue in Not Dead Yet aside from some very funny moments, the show effectively blends strong dramatic elements with some very refreshing comedic elements that are charming and resonate tremendously with audiences. That's thanks in large part to very intense, warm and witty writing in a style not seen in other network sitcoms, thanks to the chemistry of its charismatic ensemble led by Rodriguez. After showcasing her comedic talents on The CW's "Jane the Virgin" for five seasons, the Golden Globe winner tops the show, as her timing has been her biggest asset in captivating viewers. Serving as a smart and funny springboard to her co-star's reactions and the circumstances her character Nell finds herself in, Rodriguez truly shines with bubbly effervescence. Add her co-stars Simone, Glassman, Bendy and Ash and you have a sparkling ensemble that complements her performance and is just as entertaining as it gets. There's a deep realism to each character, and like Nell, they're all trying to get by in their own way. Even the narcissistic nepo baby just wants to make daddy proud, and Do her best to get along with the team.
Although the series needs some warm-up and a long time before we understand the show's pacing and characters, Not Dead yet brings incredible drama to every scene with strong writing, acting, and a diverse cast Joy, so promising they are in it. While the show feels as though we're talking about how we didn't get an answer to why she was suddenly able to see ghosts, it might hint at the fact that she's a bit detached from herself and has lost faith in who she is. Still, the half-hour sitcom is a very real laugh-out-loud series that will help you unwind after a tough day. Our advice is, if you're looking for something different on TV, stick with it - it's a surprise that will have you laughing one minute and crying the next, just like us. The fun of Not Dead Yet also stems from how each episode adds another layer to Nell's life through her obituary, while learning more about her pain in those quiet places time. It's this installation that perfectly encapsulates the show's message about how we interact with each other in some very stark realities related to the larger complexities of our existence.
After reviewing what was shared with the press, the show's perfect blend of comedy and heartfelt humor became a series that really stood out in primetime and ended up being everything a network comedy wanted to be like Abbott Elementary. It’s the elements that make Not Dead Yet entertaining and infectious, a dynamic new comedy that will become your favorite series this year and a solid start to the genre’s 2023 season.
Not Dead Yet premieres a two-part series on Wednesday, February 8 at 8:30 p.m. ABC EST. The series airs every Wednesday night at 9.30pm for a fixed time slot. EST after Abbott Elementary.