Dead Like Me

"I never rush, if I see someone running I just assume they're a loser."

"Unless they're a runner."

"Yeah, even then...especially then." - Daisy and George

Dead Like Me was a dark comedy about life after death that aired on Showtime for two seasons from 2003 to 2004. It followed the story of Georgia "George" Lass, an 18 year old college dropout who was at her first day of work at Happy Time Temp Agency when she was hit by a toilet seat that fell from a space station and died. However, instead of moving onward and upward, George joined the ranks of the undead as a Grim Reaper. The job of a Grim Reaper was to take the souls of people before they died and then escort them to their lights/afterlife. Each reaper had to take an unspecified amount of souls before they could move on, after which they were replaced by the last soul they reaped. George joined a rag-tag group of reapers led by Rube and had to learn the ropes of reaping and making it on her own while watching her family slowly fall apart without her there. It was funny and quirky and dark and deep all at the same time, and had some really interesting themes running throughout the series about loss, grieving, and growing up. A follow up movie was released in 2009, but it was very much a let down and I wouldn't recommend watching it to anyone that was a fan of the series.

I really loved how Dead Like Me showed not only George coping with being on her own for the first time in her life, but also her family dealing with the loss of their daughter/sister. The back and forth between the reapers and George's family was really interesting, as was George creating a new family for herself and coming into her own throughout the show. The growth of George's character was handled very nicely and it is really amazing to go back to the first episode and see how much she changed over the course of the two seasons. All of the characters brought something special to the show, though I love Mason and Delores Herbig the most. Mason was such a screw up and he kept making the same mistakes over and over again, but he ended up having some of the most touching storylines in the entire series. Delores was absolutely hilarious, and her mother/daughter bond with George/Millie was one of the strongest throughlines of the show. Also, the humor of Dead Like Me was a huge drawing point, as was the fact that the show was not all fun and games - it had a lot of moving and poignant scenes as well, which should be expected given the dark subject matter.

While I loved the majority of the storylines and episodes of Dead Like Me and think that it kept up its quality until its final episode, I will say that I was disappointed with the Ray storyline in season 2. It didn't last long enough to kill my enjoyment in the show at all, and it did give way to one of my favorite episodes, "Last Call", but I just don't think that Daisy would get involved with a guy like Ray after we learned about her sister being abused. The only other major disappointment was the decision to make a movie without all of the original cast involved. Had Mandy Patinkin and Laura Harris been included in the movie, I'm sure it wouldn't have been so bad. As it was though, I'd rather just believe that the last episode of season 2 was the end of Dead Like Me.

Dead Like Me was yet another of Bryan Fuller's brilliant creations that was cancelled before its time, most likely because its quirks just didn't connect with the general tv watching public. While he wasn't the show runner past the first few episodes, the series still retained his signature style and voice throughout, meaning that it was doomed to only retain a small niche audience. I mean, the show is about a girl who was killed by a toilet seat, hanging out at a waffle house with a bunch of other dead oddballs, who gets post-it notes telling her when and where she needs to go and touch random strangers who are going to die. It was definitely a unique world filled with amazing characters and off the wall storylines. It may not have had the opportunity to wrap things up in the traditional sense that a series finale would afford, but as long as you ignore the movie, the show was able to come to a satisfying conclusion by the end of its two short seasons.

Mason, Delores Herbig
George, Mason
Nighthawks, Last Call
Reapercussions, The Bicycle Thief, Rites of Passage
George and Mason, Mason and Roxy, Daisy/Mason, George and Rube, George and Delores
George and Delores, George and Mason, George and Reggie