It all starts with a killer toilet seat. College dropout Georgia “George” Lass is on a lunch break at her dreary job, when she’s suddenly obliterated by a fiery piece of plumbing that falls from a space station. But George’s death is where this amazing series begins, as she’s fated to spend the afterlife as a grim reaper.
Dead Like Me revolves around George (played by Ellen Muth) and her reaper pals, who include the likes of Rebecca Gayheart and Mandy Patinkin (or, should I say, Inigo Montoya)! Muth is spot-on at playing a sullen, disillusioned teen whose life was cut short, and her deadpan makes Georgia one of the most enjoyable characters I’ve seen.
The supporting cast is also filled with well-written, three-dimensional characters like Daisy, the actress who buries her emotions under a veneer of sex and vanity, Mason, a drug-addled Brit who just wants love, and Roxie, a meter maid who means serious business. Inigo…I mean, Mandy, plays George’s mentor Rube, who acts like the wise and witty uncle we all want in our lives. I just loved all the characters so very much! Which made it was incredibly disappointing when I ran to the store after watching the first episode to find there were only two measly seasons. Which I have watched at least four times.
I was enamored with this show because of its character depth and plot lines. Dead Like Me explores serious themes like death (duh), mortality, work connections, infidelity and even mother-daughter relationships in ways that made me tear up and laugh within the same scene. Even George’s boss at the aforementioned dreary job has a story with substance. I was genuinely invested in George’s success as a reaper and in the fate of her friends and family. While the show ends on a semi-mushy, “okay, let’s sort of wrap this all up” note, it still left me disappointed and dissatisfied. There was a movie that came out afterwards, but it was seriously lacking in Rube, Daisy and a decent plot, so I won’t speak of it.
Quirky, surreal and slightly dark comedies just don’t fare well in TV land. Just look at Pushing Daisies and Wonderfalls, both of which I miss as well. But just because the general public isn’t into them doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be, and I encourage you to Netflix DLM this instant. I also would like to note that I am avoiding making any reaping jokes about the death of this show. Please be impressed.