Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My son called me yesterday, to tell me that the Sci Fi Channel was now showing "Dead Like Me" on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm. Needless to say, I was thrilled! "Dead Like Me" is my all time favorite television show. It originally was a Showtime original series, but only ran two years. For some unknown reason, despite critical acclaim, Showtime cancelled it, and put "Fat Actress" in its place. "Fat Actress"! What were they thinking? Anyway, I am hoping that they will not only show the past episodes, but will pick up where the series left off. The only thing that might cause a problem is that Mandy Patinkin is now doing "Criminal Minds", and I think that show is doing pretty well, so he might not be available. His character (Rube) was a major character in the show, but I guess that I could get used to someone else in that role. I wouldn't like it, but to get the rest of the cast back, I would accept it. If you have never seen this fantastic show, I will try to tell you a little about it. Or, you might want to go to the web site, which will probably sum it up better than I can. http://www.deadlikeme.tv/index.php .
Here's my summary:
The main character is Georgia Lass (George), an 18 year old college dropout, very unmotivated, withdrawn and moody. Her mother makes her go get a job, but the first day on the job, when she is at lunch, a toilet seat from the space station Mir falls to earth, killing her. But, rather than going on to where ever you go when you die, she becomes a "reaper" (as in grim reaper). There are reapers everywhere, it seems. They look like ordinary people, work at ordinary jobs (since they don't get paid to reap, they have to live somehow), and do ordinary things. She has issues with the idea of being a reaper, and the first several episodes deal with those issues. You get to know her fellow reapers (who also all have some kind of issues) Mason-the British screw-up, Roxy-the no-nonsense meter maid/police officer, Betty-a free spirit, Daisy-man-crazy actress from the 1930's, and Rube-gruff boss-father figure. Rube is the one that hands out the assignments, however we never see who gives him the assignments (they are slipped under his door). Every day they meet at 'Der Waffle Haus' restaurant, and Rube gives each reaper their assignment(s) (name, location and estimated time of death) for the day and it is their job to go "reap" that person. Now, they do not kill the people, they only reap their soul, hopefully seconds before they die. Then they take the person to a place where they go towards the lights and disappear. We don't see where they go either. There are also little imp-like creatures that sometimes cause the deaths, called "gravelings". No one can see them except reapers, and even they have to look out of the corners of their eyes to see them. I know that this sounds kind of complicated, but it really isn't. The show is a dark comedy, and very funny. Through the two seasons, you get to know the reapers, see their ups and downs, jobs, relationships and living arrangements. There are some serious issues too, mostly about the effect of George's death on her family. (They cannot let anyone know that they are still here on earth, or that they are reapers, and in fact, they look different from the way they looked when they were alive, so that no one will recognize them.) Well, I'm not a television or movie critic, so I don't know if this description will entice anyone to watch the show. But if you do, I think that you will like it. If you don't want to wait for the Sci Fi Channel to show all of them, or don't get the Sci Fi Channel, you can also rent the box sets at video rental stores (I'm not sure if Netflix has them). When I watched the episode today (yes, even though I have the DVDs, I watched it anyway), there was a short scene in there that was NOT in the Showtime version OR in the DVD set. That gave me hope that they might be willing to invest in this series and continue it. I would be overjoyed if they do, but if they don't, I always have my DVDs.


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