liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,

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Dead Like Me! Whoop!

At long last, Dead Like Me, finally came up in my Netflix cue.

I've only seen Episode 1, Season 1, aka 'Pilot.'

I think it's true love.

What do you mean this only lasted 29 episodes? *weeps*

The premise is unique, the main character is awesome, and the family vibe of all the Grim Reapers shines through within minutes of meeting them.

For those of you not familiar with the premise:

Dead Like Me follows the lives, or rather "undead lives," of a group of Grim Reapers as they carry out their jobs of collecting the souls from the about-to-die and keeping custody of them until their final fate has been decided.

Georgia (aka George) Lass is our conductor on this little train and the series opens with her sour 18-year-old, cynical, dead-ended, sourpuss still very much alive. She dies farily early on in the episode, thanks to being hit with a toilet seat that has fallen off a Russian space station.

But wait! Death is just the beginning for our heroine!

Just her luck, her personal Grim Reaper had "filled his quota" by taking her soul and now she's stuck taking his place. It appears that the Grims are pretty much randomly chosen to fill their roles, thanks to (un)luck. They tend to be assigned to oversee deaths that are similar to their own. In George's case, death by external causes.

Could be worse. George could've been stuck with "the plague patrol" (rendered by a bunch of sad old men playing bocci ball in the park because they know they'll never make quota and move on).

What makes this particular concept of the Grims different is that they're dead, but they're not dead dead. They've still got to hold down jobs, find places to live, and otherwise take care of their material needs (clothes). They can eat, but I can't tell from the pilot whether they have to.

Anyway, all Grims have a quota of souls they have to collect, but none of them actually know how many souls are in that quota before they can move on. What's more, none of them really know where they get to move on to once they've fulfilled their quota. Even more fascinating, none of them know what actually lies on the other side of death.


George, naturally, is rather perturbed by this state of affairs, but she really doesn't have a choice. She's a Grim and she's stuck with a real dead-end (ha-ha) job.

The pilot did a fantastic job telling people the whole premise and the "rules" for the Grim's universe (i.e., the real world doesn't actually see what the grims look like, so they're completely unrecognizable to whomever knew them in real life; when it's your time to go it's your time to go and refusing to take a soul causes more harm than good on both a micro- and macro-level) while still moving the plot forward at a fast clip.

What really makes the show is George, who is actually an unlikeable (if sympathetic) character. She's sort of like a live-action Daria, complete with the snark and the cynicism.

The "family" of Grims she finds herself part of is equally interesting. There's Rube, the stern and understanding "dad" who buys them breakfast in the morning and hands out their assignments; Mason, the ne'er do well, but hot "brother;" Rebecca, the ditzy older "sister" with a heart of gold; and Roxy, the tough-as-nails "cousin" who works as the metermaid from hell (not literally).

Then there are these skittery demon like things that the Grims can see. They usually set the deaths in motion and by seeing them, the Grims know their mark is on the way.

While I'm sad that the show only lasted 29 episodes (2 seasons on Showtime), I'm glad I took a chance on this one. I'm already impatiently staring at my mailbox for the red envelopes.

My one big complaint about the DVD, however, is the first disc containing the pilot is the one with all the extra features and deleted scenes. Unfortunately, it was extra features and deleted scenes for the entire first season. Which sucks. Because I'm kinda spoiled for the whole season now. Not a lot. But a little. And because I'm weak like veal, I had to see 'em all. These really shoud've been on fourth disc.

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