You wouldn’t mistake George's fellow Reapers for the do-gooders of Touched by an Angel, but they are anything but grim. Charming British shyster Mason (Callum Blue) always has some scam brewing, high-living, fun-loving former flapper Betty (Rebecca Gayheart) treats death as a cabaret ("Reaping Havoc"), and one-time starlet and wannabe actress Daisy (Laura Harris) still nurses her dreams of stardom. Even hard-bitten meter maid Roxy (Jasmine Guy) manages to find a way to let loose.
Dead Like Me puts a light touch on black comedy, but it has a sneaky way of using humor to explore loss, loneliness, and regret, as well as kindness, and courage, and responsibility. George gets a hard lesson when she tries to wriggle out of her assignments like some overgrown kid, only to see the damage of her (in)action in "Reapercussions." And as George's angry, tightly-wound mother (Cynthia Stevenson) and withdrawn little sister Reggie cope with death, she breaks the rules to watch over them: their own pouty, glum guardian angel. There's nothing like your own death to put your life into perspective.
The four-disc set features all 14 episodes of the debut season of Showtime's witty black comedy. The feature-length pilot includes optional commentary by cast members Ellen Muth, Mandy Patinkin, Jasmine Guy, Cynthia Stevenson, and Callum Blue. Other supplements include the nominal documentary featurettes Dead Like Me: Behind-the-scenes and The Music of Dead Like Me (with theme song composer Stewart Copeland), 32 deleted scenes, and a still gallery. --Sean Axmaker
Stills from Dead Like Me - The Complete First Season (Click for larger image)