Steven’s Top 5 TV Shows: #5 DEAD LIKE ME

Dead Like Me

DEAD LIKE ME was one of those doomed shows everyone loved. It had an interesting plot, a wonderful motley crew, and Mandy Patinkin to guide them along. That guy is like Bruce Campbell; they make anything better by standing next to it. Plus, the show was set in Seattle, my favorite city in the world.

On the first day of Georgia Lass’ new job, she meets a man moments before she is killed in a freak accident. Standing next to her own dead body, the man smiles at her and disappears. Before long, she’s gathered up by who are to become her friends and co-workers in her new life as a Reaper: someone who collects souls before the body dies.

Despite the opportunity of a second chance, which includes a new body, Lass obsesses with her old life. To the point of stalking her mother and younger sister, people she abjectly avoided in her first life. All while tracking down people whose souls she’s to take before they die in some horrible accident.

The show’s dark setting is a great backdrop for the struggles of young adults. Lass is killed on the day of entering the workforce at large. And I took the rebirth to symbolize the transition from childhood to adulthood. Her old ways cast out unceremoniously and being forced to contend wholesale with a new world and a new set of obligations. And later, there’s an interesting dynamic when she friends a woman who grieves over her death after she gets another job at her old company.

I highly recommend this show for anyone that enjoys a little thinking with their dark comedy. However a warning for newcomers: under no circumstances watch the DVD movie. You’ll be sorry. The movie was a bad attempt to relaunch the series. The script is jaded, like the people who made the show. You can feel their resentment for being unjustly canceled (which they were!), but they take it out on the viewer. Plus it doesn’t have Patinkin.