Monday, January 10, 2011

I Watch Dead People

Netflix (aka the all-seeing-eye of your television and movie preferences) has been recommending I watch Dead Like Me for several months now. "Huh," I thought as I gave Pushing Daisies a five-star rating and added Gross Pointe Blank to my queue, "Netflix thinks I am morbid and creepy." Finally, I caved and started watching this long-dead (see what I did there?) Showtime series. Besides, Mandy Patinkin!

Suddenly, a wild Mandy Patinkin appears!
Sri uses Resist. It's not very effective.

The story begins on the day that Geogria "George" Lass (played by Ellen Muth), our protagonist/narrator, dies. She becomes an undead "grim reaper," tasked with removing people's souls a few moments before death, sparing them the trauma/pain. She is assigned to the Accidental Death Division, which gives the writers free license to kill people in the most Rube-Goldbergian, ironic, and/or amusing ways possible.

Guess which main character was a dancer
who was strangled with a leg warmer. Go on, guess.

George, being a surly teenager in life, continues as a surly teenager in death and, at first, refuses the responsibility. But under the stern guidance of her supervisor, Rube (let's see how many times I can write 'Mandy Patinkin' in a single blog post), she eventually comes around. As she assumes the role of a reaper, she explores various aspects of death - of the deaths she witnesses, as well as her own.

The show was nominated for a number of awards, including two minor Emmy's. TV execs (how we hate/love/envy them) claimed that the show didn't have the ratings for a third season, and cancelled it. A direct-to-DVD movie, Dead Like Me: Life After Death came out in 2009, but no one optioned the TV series. Sad panda.

Or, you know. Terrifying panda.

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