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After reading another comment about this show being a rip-off of six
feet under I'd like to comment.
I've seen every episode of six feet under and consider myself an avid fan. The main differences are not hard to determine.
Six feet under is a show that centers around a dysfunctional family in the wake of their own tragedy.(Death of the father). The way the series has played out makes the fact that they own a funeral home unimportant. Great drama is always about the characters. Six feet under is no exception. There are various story arcs that play out over the course of each season. Some stories carry over to the next season to keep you watching. It is very original.
Dead like me on the other hand is a fresh perspective of how the human dead are handled in the grand scheme of things. The idea that there is an entire sub-culture of un-dead following orders to take care of the mundane task of reaping a soul and showing the dead folks the way to the other side is comical but also makes you wonder "hmm... who's to say this doesn't occur? It also centers on Georgia Lass (freshly dead after a toilet seat from a de-orbiting space station takes her life)and how she handles the dubious distinction of becoming a reaper. Now in its second season, it again is focusing not on the occupation of those in the show, but the characters in the occupation of reaping. We are starting to get a glimps of the lives of Roxy, Rube, Daisy et al before they became reapers. I think Ellen Muth and Mandy Patankin are fantastic. I also like every last supporting character. It's superbly written and actually make you think about life in a different light. If you've not seen the show, at least give it a chance. Now if HBO came out with a show called "Gay as Family",(their version of Queer as folk) then I'd be screaming rip-off. Never forget Death happens to everyone eventually. There is surely room for more than one show that focuses on it.
Watch and be entertained,
This show is a combination of extremely clever plot lines, a unique and unusual musical score, contemporary editing, and outstanding character casting. The chemistry of characters with this cast is more than exceptional. The ability to give such realism to such an absurd story premise is bewildering and you find yourself taken for a ride down this fairytale as if it were real life. This is perhaps the best program that no one has ever heard of yet and I wouldn't be surprised if it rose to one of the best series of this decade when the show becomes better known to the public. Once you start watching this show, there is now going back. It is ultimately the most addictive show I have ever witnessed. If you haven't seen it, you need to.
For me, TV hit a golden age during the early-mid 80's. It's been a long
time since I've been as moved by a television show as I was with Dead
Dead Like Me features Ellen Muth, who plays an 18 year old kid who gets killed by a toilet seat from the space station MIR. Her death introduces us to the fascinating world of the Grim Reaper. Full of workplace rules, guidelines, assignments, and generally horrific deaths, Dead Like Me explores the subject of death in a very unusual, yet original way.
When George(Muth) becomes a reaper, her whole world as she knows it changes. She, and her group of reapers, lead by Rube(Mandy Patinkin), use a German waffle house as their base of operations, receiving post-it notes with the names and times of their reaps. Another sub-plot of the show centers around George's family, and the adjustment that they go through after George's death.
Throughout the two seasons(currently available on DVD), the viewer follows life through the eyes of George, and also though her quirky narration. We see George grow into a more confident young woman, and also witness the interactions amongst the various characters and their reaps.
This show is without a doubt one of the most interesting shows out there, and with any luck, Showtime will decide to re-visit this show. I watched for about two minutes and was hooked. I'm certain you'd enjoy this show, too.
Dead Like Me is one of those unique TV series that will be remembered
long after "flavors of the day" shows like The Sopranos are forgotten.
It is bright and dark, hilarious and sad, awe-inspiring and
introspective -- all at the same time. It is a wonderful piece of
I recently saw the season one DVD set and I must say this show is a marvel. Although it took me a few episodes to warm up to Ellen Muth as George the slacker grim reaper, the show was easily carried by old pro Mandy Patinkin as food-loving reaper Rube and his co-stars, including the gorgeous Rebecca Gayheart who makes a welcome - though all to brief - return to TV after coming off her own real-life tragedy which rivals anything seen on Dead Like Me. I won't rehash the details or the debate -- go look up her IMDb biography if you need more information.
The rest of the cast is outstanding, including Jasmine Guy - much older and wiser than her Different World days - Callum Blue and latecomer Laura Harris as George's fellow grim reapers. Harris, as wannabe actress Daisy, starts out annoying but very quickly develops layers that make her among the show's most interesting characters.
The format of the show is fascinating as there are two arcs going at the same time: George adjusting to the afterlife, and her family slowly falling apart because of her death. Central to this is George's kid sister Reggie, played by newcomer Britt McKillip. It probably isn't considered kosher to refer to an 11-year-old as beautiful unless you're a parent, but keep an eye on this one as she is going to develop into a spectacular talent.
Of course, a supporting cast means nothing without a strong lead, and Ellen Muth more than delivers. As I said above, she took a little getting used to, with her unconventional looks and a performance that gives "quirky" a whole new twist. It wasn't long before Muth truly owned the show and the character, and her narration is hilarious and touching throughout.
There were a few minor missteps in the show's first year. For some reason it was decided to do a flashback/clips episode at the 3/4 mark of the season. I will admit that the episode is fantastic and actually one of my favorites, but it might have been stronger without the flashbacks. Such things might be necessary when you're trying to create a jumping on point for an arc, but this isn't the case with Dead Like Me -- and the first season was only 14 episodes long; too short to need a recap.
The other problem I have with the show is the apparent use of the "Reset button" between most episodes. The events of one episode do not necessarily carry over into the next. This is very apparent as George appears to forget certain lessons learned in the previous episode on occasion. This is probably a minor quibble as this might not be so apparent if you watch the show in weekly chunks rather than all at once.
On the other hand, Dead Like Me is the first made-for-cable series I have seen that integrates adult language and sex (though the latter is relatively minor) in a way that is not jarring. This is not a kid's show, but I wouldn't have a problem letting a teenager see it.
Dead Like Me is easily the best series of the 2003-2004 television season, with Wonderfalls -- created by the same man -- in a very close 2nd place though it only aired 4 episodes. Dead Like Me deserves all the Emmys it can get.
Although the Takers of souls that populate 'Dead Like me' prefer being
called "Reapers" they are in fact Grim. Each Reaper has his/her own
dark secret or painful memory from their life that they have to deal
with in their After-life...
'Dead Like me' is a witty, funny, but realistic look at what it would be like if there was (or is) an afterlife. Mandy Patinkin stars as "Rube" the boss, wise but contemplated. Ellen Muth stars as "Georgia" a young teen who was killed by a toilet seat, she's having trouble adjusting. Jasmine Guy stars as "Roxy" the angry Meter Maid with a license in 'kick your ass'. Callum blue stars as "Mason" the druggy, he drilled a hole in his head just to feel high. Laura Harris stars as "Daisy" the town /cough, country, slut... "i once blew (<insert famous person's name here>)
Other noticeable mentions go to Cynthia Stevenson who plays "Joy Lass" (oh the irony) who is the disgruntled mother who can't face her grief. Britt McKillip as "Reggie" the silent sister who misses her personal idol, Georgia, her sister. And Christine Willes who plays "Dolores Herbig" who is Georgia's boss at "'Happy Time' Temp agency", a lovable character, with a huge heart.
Brilliant writing, Funny but not over the top. Has plenty of drama, but doesn't breach the Series/soap opera boundary. For those who say "Oh they just a spin off of 'Six feet under'" you are wrong, 'Six Feet Under' is a Drama. 'Dead like me' is a Dark comedy. Believe me when i say they are on opposite sides of the tracks.
In my years of viewing gems that enchant my interest. Dead like me has struck a nerve. It shows you that live life while you can, (and other such cliché's) Or you might just miss it.
I give this show a 10 out of 10.
"Dead Like Me" proves that cynicism, humor, depth, and even compassion
can not only co-exist on a single television series, they can actually
flourish together. With sharp and witty writing and directing, "Dead
Like Me" explores the bizarre world of our working-class grim reapers,
the good folks charged with escorting human souls to the afterlife. As
the second-lowest level group of bureaucrats in the afterlife system
(best not to ask about the lowest), grim reapers must trudge along
"popping" the souls of the soon-to-be-departed before they meet their
grisly (and, dare I say, often hilarious) ends. And they must also
survive, and pay rent, in the living world.
The chief protagonist on the series is George (a.k.a. Georgia), a recently deceased, uber-cynical, 18 year old who just can't seem to resist rebelling against the whole "death" system. Her fellow reapers include an unapologetically opportunistic drug-smuggler, a meter-maid who does a lot more than write parking tickets, a happy-go-lucky pragmatist who has developed a truly macabre taste in photography, and an actress whose resume is surprisingly out of date. And then, of course, there is Rube.
Rube is the would-be foreman of this somewhat strange assemblage of reapers. He is also, arguably, the most sympathetic, complex, and mysterious character on the showâ'thanks in no small part to the superb acting of Mandy Patinkin. As with the other characters on the show, no amount of space here can really hint at the depth alloted to Rube by the writers and directors of "Dead Like Me" or the skill with which Patinkin explores that depth. Suffice it to say that Rube plays a lot more like a real person (or real undead person) than any mere television contrivance. Rube is more alive as a dead man than any television character from the living world.
The very essence of "Dead Like Me" is, in fact, its willingness to explore not only the bizarre world of the reapers, but also the lives and personalities of the reapers themselves. Undead life has had (and continues to have) some pretty strange effects on these formerly-living reapers, and watching their individual responses to the problems of their bizarre occupation provides much of the humor of the show.
And, not to leave out the living world, the creative minds behind "Dead Like Me," also frequently turn their attention to living characters on the show, from the "soon to be referred to the past tense" reaper clients to the families they leave behind (most notably George's grieving family). Just about any character is subject to being fleshed-out on this show (even dogs and frogs). A minor character named Angus Cook makes a more memorable impression in one episode of "Dead Like Me" (appropriately titled "A. Cook") than most TV series regulars will make in an entire season.
Some have compared "Dead Like Me" with shows like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and similar, more pedestrian, fare. But about the only thing Buffy and George have in common is youth and blonde hair. And the only thing the reapers have in common with television vampires is that they've both been around a while. Of course, one of the problems with television vampires is that they never seem to *realize* they've been around a while. They are also generally kind enough to join up with either the "good guys" or "bad guys" teams of the Buffyverse and its ilk, teams which don't exist in the universe of "Dead Like Me."
But you might want to visit the universe of "Dead Like Me" for yourself, and form your own impressions. Just don't stay too long. You might end up with a post-it note and a new job.
It's hard for me to like much on TV. I was devastated when they pulled Keen Eddie, it was one of the best things I've ever seen on network TV. I feel better after watching this show. It's quirky, engaging, and humanizing. I particularly admire the upbeat take on death juxtaposed to the darkly comic view of life. Dead Like Me is the only reason I'll continue to pay for Showtime. Most studios are desperate to be fringe and edgy, neglecting to notice that (while audiences love novelty) we also want characters with flaws. I'm sick to death of the beautiful empty. The show helps to remind us of what we are neglecting to notice in everyday life, the mundane poetry of the collective order. George discovers the beauty of life only after she's dead. The character's are lovably eccentric, the dialogue is casually caustic. It's Gen-X genius.
This show is easily one of my favorites. Ellen Muth's interpretation of the disaffected, cynical teenager who is forced into sticking to a higher standard is right on. The writers have produced some of the funniest comedy, especially where George's boss Dolores is concerned; a former junkie who has taken home drifters ("passionate lovers", she calls them), who gives no thought to using a Tazer on a courier at the elevator in order to get her incontinent cat to the vet. The dialogue is funny, and hearing what's going on inside George's head while she puts on a smile is more than a little amusing. The show still visits the serious side of things, showing how the Lasses lost a daughter, while George has lost her whole family. Little by little, the audience is fed bits and pieces of information about the lives and deaths of the main characters. Most mysterious is Rube. He has a love-hate relationship with the unseen being who delivers the death lists, and we know only that he had a daughter, and that he attempted to send money to someone named Rosie and her mother back in the 1920's. (The postal service failed to deliver it,unknown to him until 2004.) We can only wait to find out how everyone's lives -and deaths- have played out. This show is absolutely nothing like Six Feet Under, for which I am grateful.
Finally a show I can watch and get interested in. Dead Like Me
continues to intrigue me through great acting and well written scripts.
The whole reaper thing seems to be a sub culture; go to the message
boards. There are back and forth discussions about minute details, as
if the reapers are real. They aren't, but one can still empathise with
these "dead" people. As each reaper grows through life situations
(usually sticky) the viewer grows to like each character even more.
Mandy Pantinkin adds a wonderful balance to the whole cast. His character Rube fascinates me. He is secretive, yet he opens himself to emotional attachments with the reapers he "manages." Each of the reapers have their weaknesses and strengths, but like the viewer, they discover them through the crazy situations they find themselves in.
Its on late Sunday night, I'm on the West Coast, but I don't care because the show is the highlight of my Weekend TV viewing. Watch it once and you will be hooked!
This program is only like 6 Feet Under in that it deals with death. The rest is totally different. The characters are believable, sad, and sometimes stereotypes, but what show doesn't use stereotypes?? The cast is great, I wish they would use the Roxy character in their story lines more. Actually, this program deals more with life and how to live while you're alive than with death. The deaths are always wildly improbable, but then again, if you watch the news people die in weird ways every day. The music is appropriately atmospheric and thoughtful. The story lines are always a mix of sad, inspiring, and philosophical. These characters learn something and grow with each episode. An excellent show all around.
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