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"The feelings are real." The painful true story behind Netflix's new dark comedy Dead to Me.

It’s the new Netflix dark comedy that most of us have binged in one weekend – drawn to the gritty storyline and punchy wit of leading women Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini.

But behind the script lines of Dead to Me is a story of true, raw tragedy.

Tragedy in the life of its creator, Liz Feldman.

Watch the official trailer for season one of Dead to Me. Post continues after video.

Feldman penned a candid note for Glamour on the painful events that plagued her life right up until the day she pitched to network executives the story of a grieving widow who unwittingly befriends her husband’s killer.

From the sudden death of a cousin and a frustrating fertility journey, to turning 40, it was a time which threw Feldman into a “mind bender” – but one that birthed a story so many have become obsessed with.

A story about grief, loss, and the strength of female friendship.

netflix-dead-to-me
Dead to Me is the new Netflix dark comedy that most of us have binged in one weekend. Image: Netflix.

Writing that she had been trying to get pregnant for six difficult years, Feldman, 41, says her fertility journey - riddled with painful procedures, infections, and miscarriage - "felt more like an odyssey".

"Just when I thought things might be looking up, a lab technician at my fertility clinic lost the one egg they were able to retrieve from me," she explains.

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"It was my eighth egg retrieval. I had to laugh too, because I was so tired of crying."

Christina Applegate, Liz Feldman and Linda Cardellini attend Netflix's Dead to Me season one premiere. Image: Getty.

When her life was feeling as hopeless as ever - almost comically so as she says herself - on her 40th birthday, Feldman's cousin suffered a sudden heart attack and died. He was 50.

"He was the heart of our family, the life of every party, and a great dad to two sweet kids," she says.

While mourning her cousin and reeling over her pregnancy woes, Feldman's two close friends revealed they had both fallen pregnant.

"I was filled with a weird kind of tingly hope. Maybe this is why it took so long for me to get pregnant - so Sarah, Kelly, and I could have our kids together!" she writes.

"Life does have a way of working out, I thought, until the following day, when I got my period."

She channelled her grief into writing, and a week later, pitched the beginnings of Dead to Me.

"The story, though not autobiographical, is deeply personal. The facts are made up. The feelings are real."

One of her friends sadly lost her baby at five months. In a twist of fate, as Feldman writes, she was able to hire her friend as a writer for the series.

"Kelly and I are still holding on to the hope that we’ll get to raise our babies together. For now, we get to enjoy the fruits of a different kind of labour: a newborn show about grief, loss, and the power of a good friendship."

Feldman says the use of comedy keeps her afloat when life is thrust into the deepest of shadows. And now - her own coping mechanism is immortalised in Dead to Me.

"I have learned to look at the darkest moments in life and see the comic aura around them. It’s become more than a coping mechanism; it’s my ethos. And now it’s a TV show."

Read Liz Feldman's full note on Dead to Me's origins on Glamour here. 

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