TV Review: Dead Like Me

Yup. We're just gonna get worse and worse. Bummer.

>>> Dennis suggests ‘Dead Like Me’ (in Comedy). I’m gonnna go ahead and recommend a show that steadily gets worse through its two seasons. You’re welcome. This Showtime series starts out pretty strong, with a deliciously evocative premise: 18 year old George (she’s a girl) gets hit by a falling space station toilet seat and discovers that she’s now employed as an undead ‘reaper’, an agent of the afterlife whose job it is to usher the souls of the recently-deceased to their unknown destination after the falling piano, car crash, or, well, toilet seat have done their things. Sweet gig? Not hardly, especially when you still have to make a living in between gigs and you’re, well, dead. The set-up, where we get introduced to the rules of the game and meet George’s colorful co-reapers (especially Rube, the boss, played with evocative complexity by the ever-entertaining Mandy Patinkin) plays out intriguingly and entertainingly, for about five episodes or so. And even snarky George (played by Martha-Plimpton manqué Ellen Muth) kind of grows on you. And then the writing goes right into the crapper. Not all at once- it’s more like the proverbial frog in the slowly-heating pot of water; I watched the show, becoming almost imperceptibly-annoyed as the show’s writing standards got lazier and lazier (I’ll accept a premise as outlandish as you please, as long as you respect your own rules). And, with a can’t-miss formula for laughs, tears, and existential connundra, I consider it a personal affront as a viewer if you squander your initial promise; I end up wanting my time back. Still, there are enough compelling moments along the way to keep you watching; at least for a season and three quarters… (Oh, and I hear from ‘DLM’ fans that you should just skip the Patinkin-less direct-to-DVD wrap up movie; I know I will).

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Published in: on August 1, 2010 at 2:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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