Here is the way it goes in my house: there is television that I watch with my spouse, and there is television that he watches on his own when I am busy. His tastes lean towards the serious and dramatic, or full of gallows humor, so imagine my surprise when he asked if I minded if he watched My Dead Ex without me. “Sure,” I said. “I’m a little busy tonight. I’ll be in the kitchen writing. You go ahead.”
Famous last words.
I could hear the show from the other room, so I picked up on bits and pieces of the dialogue. It was quite witty. I found myself getting up more than once to actually see what was happening on the television, rather than concentrating at on my tasks. By the end of the episode, I was unexpectedly hooked. And I think you will be too.
My Dead Ex starts in high school, where we meet Charley (Katherine Hughes) a teenager with ambitions of being the next Instagram sensation, her hilariously dry gay best friend Wren (Medalion Rahimi) and Ben (Ryan Lee), a boy with the world’s biggest crush on Charley. It is almost cringe-worthy to watch Ben fawn over her, considering she frankly could not be bothered with his affections. You learn through the process of the episode that they actually used to be very close friends as children, and Ben has been convinced she is the only girl for him ever since. This is probably starting to sound like a dozen different high school romance movies you have seen, except then tragedy strikes – Ben dies in a horrible (and morbidly amusing) accident.
At the wake, Charley is almost blase about the event, even going so far as to be excited about giving her number to her actual crush. (Way harsh, kid.) It is all very superficial until Charley puts on a necklace that Ben had given to her when they were kids and boom – he shows up on her doorstep. Somehow the two enchanted necklaces brought him back to life – well, sort of. He’s moving, and sentient, but absolutely undead. And unable to be more than thirty feet apart from Charley, or else he experiences tremendous amounts of pain.
The show continues from there, from trying to track down the necklaces origins, to Ben eventually being discovered, to the hilarity of treating the term “zombie” like it is politically incorrect. But what drew me into this silly show was the chemistry between Hughes and Lee. Even when Charley should be exasperated with Ben, there is a crack of appreciation – no one in her life has ever believed in her like Ben has. They also have that wonderful familiarity with one another that comes from knowing someone most of your life. While Ben is sometimes over eager to impress Charley, it is his frank attitude towards her self deprecation that won him over in my book. Charley’s journey from being extra superficial to the recognition of what is really important about life was also very enriching to watch. There’s also a great subplot about Wren’s crush, and how difficult it is to come out as gay, even as it seems the world is growing more and more accepting.
I won’t spoil the ending, but I absolutely hope they make another season of this show. If you’re looking for a heartwarming and witty romantic comedy, I highly recommend binge watching My Dead Ex right away! You can watch it now on HULU. Check out the trailer below.