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"Dead Like Me-Season-2"
Reviewed by: Bobbie Leibold
Genre: Drama
Video: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Audio: English 5.1 Surround
Languages English Closed Captions
Subtitles English Closed Captions
Length 11hr 42 minutes
Rating NA
Release Date July 19, 2005
Studio MGM
Commentary: None
Documentaries: None
Featurettes: 7 Deleted Scenes
Filmography/Biography: None
Interviews: None
Trailers/TV Spots: Other Great MGM Releases Stargate Atlantis: View Trailer Dead Like Me: View Trailer Stargate SG-1: View Trailer
Alternate/Deleted Scenes: 9 Deleted scenes
Music Video: None
Other: None
Cast and Crew: George (Georgia) Lass, Fellow Reapers… Mason (Callum Blue), Daisy (Laura Harris), Roxy (Jasmine Guy), and Rube (Mandy Patinkin)
Written By: Assorted
Produced By: Assorted
Directed By: Milan Cheylov, James Marshall, Helen Shave, David Straiton, Tony Westman, James Whitmore Jr., Sarah Pia Anderson (episodes "The Shallow End", "Always") (season 2) Kevin
Music: Assorted
The Review:

In Season One, George was recruited into the ranks of the Grim Reapers, those spirits in human bodies that take the souls from people just moments before they’re to die, after her unfortunate death from a falling toilet from the space station Mir. Her supervisor for Unnatural Deaths, Rube (Mandy Patinkin) uses yellow post it notes containing the name, place and ETD or estimated time of death to inform George and her fellow Reapers, who is about to die. The reap, which is how they describe their job, requires them to make personal contact, through touch, which frees the soul from the impending fatality to the body. She is taken under the wing of others who suffer from the same fate, and even has to work a job at Happy Time to pay rent in the real world... using a different body of course. Ellen Muth returns as Georgia Lass, a teen-aged Grim Reaper.

Season Two furthers George’s emotional growth from Season One’s generally bad attitude about being cheated of her young life. George spends time between fellow reapers Rube (Mandy Patinkin), the team’s leader; Daisy (Laura Harris), a vain actress that died on the set of Gone with the Wind; Mason (Callum Blue), a British junkie who overdosed; and Roxy (Jasmine Guy), a meter maid murdered in the early ‘80s – and her coworkers at Happy Time, a temp agency where George works.

This second season allowed the audience to get to know George, Rube and the small band of reapers in a far more intimate and human way than the first season. The show has three basic story lines running through it…one is George’s interaction with her fellow Reapers, Happy Time, the temp agency where George works, and on the periphery, George’s still living family. George was lackadaisical in life. In death, during Season Two, she learns about life, taking responsibility and caring about others… even though, technically, she’s dead. The angst of growing up from a unique perspective.

Season 2’s all about change is reflected in her day job at Happy Time as Millie, where she flirts with and kisses the entirely-too-dumb-for-words new employee thus leading to a promotion, and as a reaper where life’s questions get answered while she deals with death. Delores Herbig (Christine Willes) Millie’s Boss at Happy Time, is by far one of the most entertaining characters. She truly is fun to watch.

Another thing that happens within this season is love. The beauty of the relationships in this season are that they seem completely unconventional yet entirely natural. Daisy and Mason play theirs off so wonderfully, even when newcomer Ray (Will and Grace's Eric McCormack) steps in and leads Daisy by the bullhorns. Good storylines. George's family, mainly mother, Joy (Cynthia Stevenson) and younger sister, Reggie (Britt McKillip) are amazing. Joy is a woman who continues to lose everything she loves. Her daughter gets blasted by a toilet seat, her other daughter seems to be losing her mind, and then her husband cheats on her with a student. The following divorce and attempted move really make Joy's life wonderful. The appearance of Joy's mother, a free-spirited drifter brings a little happiness to Reggie's life, and a lot of painful memories to Joy's.

The show writers have given the ensemble characters more depth by revealing their life prior to their new employment. Rube the Head Reaper, has a young daughter, whose existence we were given a brief glimpse in Season One. In season Two we are given real insights in what motivates Rube, how long he has been doing his job, and perhaps a dark past. The show’s characters are juicy enough to care for or to become disgusted with… the sign of a good show. At least this reviewer thought so but alas the network cancelled further production of the series. The stories are very original, just like the concept of the show, although some of the subplots of George's family and her temp agency are weak, all are well worth watching.

Image and Sound: "Dead Like Me" looks alive and kicking on DVD. For such a "dark" themed series, "Dead Like Me" looks pretty darn vibrant employing a wide variety of colors to portray the mood of each episode. The soundtrack and use of sound effects throughout the episodes is imaginatively employed as well. I didn't decade any distortion or problems with the transfer. Stewart Copeland (former drummer with The Police) provides an atmospheric and imaginative score that is rendered very well here. ---
The Extras:

All extras are on the fourth disc. “Dead Like Me…Again” (10:51), is a featurette with interviews with the cast and crew. The “Putting Life Into Death” menu presents six short featurettes that take viewers behind-the-scenes of the show’s special effects: “Gravelings” (3:05), “Dirty Old Man” (1:30), “Falling Flower” (2:13), “Death Ripple” (1:40), “Disco Priest” (1:24), and “Bouncing Glass” (1:32). Nothing new here if you are familiar with the special effect process.

The nine deleted scenes at times reveal even more of the various storylines they are from. Worth watching. There is also a fully navigable “Photo Gallery” that contains 57 publicity and production stills.

Commentary: None
Final Words: A funny, witty, sad and powerful television show, "Dead Like Me" manages to make an impact with its innovative way at examining the human condition.

 

 
 
 
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