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DEAD LIKE ME season one

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PHOTOGRAPHY

DVD Review: DEAD LIKE ME Season One

by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 14 episodes on 4 discs, Behind The Scenes featurette, 31 deleted scenes, Music of Dead Like Me featurette, Photo Gallery, Pilot audio commentary by the cast, season 2 promo, and MGM bonus previews

STUDIO: MGM

DISC ONE:

episodes- PILOT

DISC TWO:

episodes- DEAD GIRL WALKING, CURIOUS GEORGE, REAPERCUSSIONS, REAPING HAVOC, MY ROOM

DISC THREE:

episodes- REAPER MADNESS, A COOK, SUNDAY MORNINGS, BUSINESS UNFINISHED

DISC FOUR:

episodes- REAPER MADNESS, UNFINISHED BUSINESS, THE BICYCLE THIEF, VACATION, REST IN PEACE

ANALYSIS: DEAD LIKE ME is a cleverly fun show with interesting main characters. It goes to show that the undead have the same problems in life as the living: finding a job, dealing with annoying people, getting laid (Mason does finally get laid in REST IN PEACE), and moving on.

Georgia "George" Lass is a young woman who drops out of college and is told to get a job by her mom. She gets fired on the first day of her only job when the toliet from the Mir Space Station comes falling from the sky and kills George. When she is dead, she is approached bya guy named Rube at a gathering at her house after her funeral. Rube offers her a job to become a Grim Reaper. George takes the job and ssumes a new identity as Millie (her undead name). She works with other Grim Rippers: Mason, Roxy, and soon enough Daisy Adaire (who has given blow jobs to some major stars back in the 1930s). george sometimes has problems with her job, but Rube explains to her that it is her job to have the souls be released when it is time for a person to die. Rube receives a package every day by a mysterious deliveryman he never sees with a list of who is supposed to die today and when and where. He writes the people's names. ETA (Estimated Time of Death), and location on post-it-notes he hands out to the Grim Reapers he supervises at the local pancake house (where they meet for breakfast each day and sometimes at other times during the day).

Rube is like a new father figure to George. However he does lay out some discipline when his Reapers break the rules or defy him by doing something they aren't supposed to be doing. His Reapers do get in their share of trouble. Mason steals from the dead to survive (and do es odd jobs like selling drugs) and squats in apartments left vacant by the recently deceased, but he does get over his head like stealing change from parking meters (only to get rundown by Roxy who works as a meter maid) and even gets involved in a con agme with Daisy and George to rip off $20,000 from the son of someone who recently died.  George gets a job at Happy Time (a temp service/employment agency). Also they get problems from some of the souls of the recently deceased who don't want to move on just yet.

I felt cold about the series when I watched the pilot months ago, but the episodes after the pilot proves this show has so much life. My favorite character have to be Rube and Daisy Adaire. I have warmed up to George after really hating her in the pilot episode. George felt so removed in the first episode, but now I kinda like her anti-social attitude.

FAVORITE EPISODES: REAPING HAVOC, A COOK, THE BICYCLE THIEF, VACATION, and REST IN PEACE

VIDEO/AUDIO: The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture is flawless with good colors, solid blacks, and no artifacts can be seen.

There is only an English language track.

SPECIAL FEATURES: There are 31 deleted scenes for a total running time of 31:40. My favorite scene is the four minute DMV scene cut from the pilot. Most scenes aren't that impressive. They include small bits cut from the pilot and other episodes (and the cut lines and bits don't add anything).

The cast commentary track for the pilot is interesting and fun to listen to. My favorite bit is where Ellen Muth points out there are transvestites in the table next to them in a scene. The actors talk about the show, life and death, and the pilot.

The Showtime promo for season 2 is useless since all the clips used for the promo are from season one (and show nothing from season two). The 6 1/2 behind-the-scenes featurette is promotional fluff featuring interviews with the cast (and one of the producers) and clips from the show (and a little behind-the-scenes footage). THE MUSIC OF DEA LIKE ME is a boring featurette. The photo gallery shows promo photos, production photos, and episode stills.

DESIGN: The DVD sleeve art is awesome. the inside of the DVD sleeves reveal a still from an episode with a quote (from one of the characters) on a post-it note. The menus are simple, but I do like the blowing bubble gum animation on the menu for disc one.

FINAL ANALYSIS: If you're looking for a show with dark wit, DEAD LIKE is your type of show. MGM has done a good job with the design and the compression of the episodes. Fans of the show will love having the first season on DVD. The second season is currently airing on Showtime. The episodes on this DVD set proves that working as a grim ripper can be funny. Definitely this show and DVD set are highly recommended.

this DVD review is (c)8-23-2004 David Blackwell. This article cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com

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