What’s it about?
Dead Like Me follows George Lass – a bored, sullen teenager who suddenly finds herself transformed into a grim reaper. Her new job is to help unwitting souls ‘cross over’.
Ellen Muth, Mandy Patinkin, Laura Harris, Rebecca Gayheart, Callum Blue, Jasmine Guy, Cynthia Stevenson, Christine Willes, Britt McKillip
An Introduction to Dead Like Me
Georgia ‘George’ Lass (Ellen Muth) is a terminally bored, 18-year-old college drop-out. Time to get a job then, so she heads for an interview at the offices of Happy Time Temporary Services. Here, she meets her future boss, the bizarrely enthusiastic Delores Herbig (Christine Willes), catchphrase: “Herbig, as in her big brown eyes!”.
George gets a temp filing job at Happy Time and heads out for her first lunch break. Meanwhile, the Mir Space Station, in a decaying orbit above Earth, has been dropping debris into the atmosphere – in a fluke accident, George is vaporized by a Mir toilet seat rocketing into the ground. As they say, if it wasn’t for bad luck, she’d have no luck at all.
George finds herself standing next to the crash site, looking on and understandably freaked out. Enter the reassuring figure of Rube (Homeland’s Mandy Patinkin) who explains that he is a grim reaper. A reaper’s job is to “pop out” a person’s soul by lightly touching them before they die, which spares them any additional trauma. Another reaper had helped George in this way before retiring, and there is now a vacancy.
Two job offers in one day! Rube handles a small group of reapers, handing out notices of times and places they need to be in order to do their work. George is now part of the group, whether she wants the job or not. Even though she is back in the ‘real’ world, she is unrecognizable to anyone who knew her. Those are the breaks, kid… time to start a new life!
Dead Like Me is a unique mixture of light drama, black comedy, touching moments and knowing nihilism. Its worldview is led by the central character of George, who also narrates, offering gems like: “the key to avoiding disappointment is to avoid interest”.
George’s old home-life centres around her stressed mother, Joy (Cynthia Stevenson) and her complex younger sister, Reggie (Britt McKillip). Rube’s motley collection of reapers includes society girl Betty Rhomer (Rebecca Gayheart), actress Daisy Adair (Laura Harris), petty thief Mason (Callum Blue) and meter maid Roxy Harvey (Jasmine Guy).
Dead Like Me is great fun with a knowing nod to some of life’s darker inevitabilities that other shows wouldn’t dare to go near. This it handles sometimes with surprising depth, sometimes a cheeky shrug. George’s evolution as a reaper extends beyond the two seasons with a 2009 film called Dead Like Me: Life After Death.
Check out the Season 1 Trailer here: