When George and her colleagues get a new boss whose focus is on moving souls quickly and enjoying life without consequences, the team begins to break the strict reaper rules. While her friends fall victim to their desires for money, success, and fame, George breaks another rule by revealing her true identity to her living family. As the reapers struggle with their roles on Earth, they each find that death can be just as complicated as life. Through its strong storyline, Dead Like Me delves into the intricate mythology and dark comedy created by the TV series and appeals to the showâ€™s legions of fans as well as those new to the world of the reapers.
Showtime’s Dead Like Me passed on five years back after only lasting for two seasons. However, during its time it was a clever and quirky series starring Ellen Muth as 18-year-old George Lass, the girl who died from a toilet seat falling from an airplane in mid-flight. George finds that the afterlife already has a new job all lined up for her which is that of the grim reaper.
After the cancellation of the series and the absence of requests from other networks to pick up the series, the only thing left to do was to make a direct to DVD movie release of Dead Like Me: Life After Death. Some of the original cast has returned, but it just doesn’t feel the same. Perhaps it’s because Bryan Fuller has nothing to do with this project, or just the fact that the actual structure of the plot is far from solid. The film does attempt to bring closure to some old storylines as well as fill in new viewers which is refreshing. However, as things continued I just found myself wishing my last memory of the series was the last episode.
George and her co-workers get a new boss (Ian Cusick). Yep, sadly Rube (Mandy Patinkin) is out of the picture. The gang doesn’t take too well to this and they quickly begin breaking all the rules:
1) Reap souls before they die
2) Guide souls to the light
3) Do not interfere with the living
4) Do not contact people from your former life
George’s younger sister, Reggie, has been having a hard time since George died. George, though she has crossed paths with Reggie many times, finally reveals herself and tries to help Reggie through the death of her boyfriend, whose soul George is due to reap.
It’s an interesting plot. It definitely delves back into the dark comedy that the series perfected so well, yet the chemistry with the cast seems to be different. I can’t quite put my finger on the exact cause of it, but something was definitely missing, and I think it was a lot more than just the absence of Mandy Patinkin.
The extras are pretty dull. You get the commentary from director Stephen Herek and Ellen Muth, some cast interviews, and that’s pretty much it. If you were a die-hard fan of the series, then it’s definitely worth checking out for a little extra bit of closure. If you’re new to the series, you might find that you enjoy this release quite a bit, in which case be sure to also check out the Season 1 and Season 2 DVD releases of the series.
Review by Emma Loggins