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Dead Like Me - The Complete First Season

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,961 customer reviews

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(Jan 12, 2010)
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The Complete first Season
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

You're about to be collected. "Winningly eccentric" (LA Daily News) and "insistently irreverent" (People), this groundbreaking, original series delivers you into a realm of shockingly funny characters and twisted narratives you'll find completely "addictive" (NY Daily News)!When an errant toilet seat from the falling Mir space station puts an abrupt end to her life, George (Ellen Muth) discovers that death is nothing like she thought it would be. Recruited to collect the souls of others as they die, she suddenly finds herself an unwilling participant in a line of work she never knew existed: Grim Reaping!

Pay cable's "other"show about life and death, Dead Like Me takes a darkly comic look at mortality through the eyes of someone stuck between this life and the afterlife. "Bail bondsmen for the disembodied" is how Rube (Mandy Patinkin), the often exasperated Reaper foreman, explains it to disaffected 18-year-old George (Ellen Muth) after she’s vaporized by a falling toilet seat from the Mir space station and drafted into the ranks of the Reapers. It's now her job to take the souls of the doomed, preferably before their mortal coil is damaged beyond recognition by the devilish machinations of the gremlin-like gravelings.

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)


Special Features

  • 14 episodes on four discs
  • Commentary by the cast
  • 30 minutes of deleted scenes
  • Behind-the-scenes featurette
  • "The Music of Dead Like Me" featurette
  • Photo gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Ellen Muth, Callum Blue, Jasmine Guy, Cynthia Stevenson, Mandy Patinkin
  • Directors: David Grossman, David Straiton, Helen Shaver, James Marshall, James Whitmore Jr.
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen, Box set
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010
  • Run Time: 627 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,961 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001GF2F6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,574 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dead Like Me - The Complete First Season" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 15, 2004
Format: DVD
July 2007 Update!!!!!! There is going to be a movie! Shooting has either wrapped up or is close to wrapping up. Star Ellen Muth goes so far as to hint that that a renewal of the series might be possible. Details are still forthcoming and apart from the movie (and I'm sorry, I don't know if this is a TV, a direct-to-DVD, or theatrical release) nothing definite is known about the chances of the series being revived, but this is definitely good news. There is some recasting. Mandy Patinkin, unfortunately, will not be back as Rube nor will Laura Harris as Daisy. It appears Rube's character is being replaced by a new head reaper, while a new actress will be playing Daisy. Otherwise all the other actors will be back. The rest of my review now appears as it was first written back in February 2004.

I would place DEAD LIKE ME on the shortest of short lists of the truly great television shows of the past decade and a half (that date referring to the debut of TWIN PEAKS and a more artistically serious form of television). Most television shows are unambitious affairs, either because of constraints from the networks or lack of creative talent at the top, but DEAD LIKE ME stands head and shoulders above the competition. It is not nearly as well as it deserves, primarily because it was a series that appeared on Showtime, which limited its exposure.

The television show begins--we learn later--with a toilet seat from the MIR space station rushing to fulfill its destiny on planet earth, namely to ignite into a ball of fire and strike eighteen-year-old Georgia "George" Lass, who is taking her lunch break on the first day of her temp assignment with the Happy Times Employment Agency.
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I am sure the people at Showtime knew what they were doing when they scheduled "Dead Like Me" to start when HBO's "Six Feet Under" was over, because the two shows are certainly complementary. However, while the deaths that begin each episode of "Six Feet Under" have their moments in terms of being rather weird (my favorite was the woman convinced it was the Rapture when she saw the a bunch of helium filled inflatable dolls floating away), they do not have the Rube Goldberg quality of what the gravelings can set in motion in "Dead Like Me."

The idea of the afterlife created by Bryan Fuller, who also created the similarly quirky Wonderfalls," is that right before you die you soul is taken from your body by a Grim Reaper. Although they are replete in the opening title sequence these are not Grim Reapers as in figures in black hood carrying scythes. In fact, they look like regular folk, although not the regular folk they were when they were alive now that they are a peculiar variety of undead. We learn the rules of the game along with young Georgia Lass (Ellen Muth), an 18-year-old sourpuss called George. Having decided to forego the college experience George has been sent out into the world to find a job and during lunch she is passed on the street by a strange man who touches her. We see a light passing from her to him and within seconds a toilet seat from a disintegrating Russian space station strikes her dead.

George is surprised to see herself looking at the big hole in the ground where she had been standing a moment ago and even more surprised to be informed that she is now a Grim Reaper. This task is done by Rube (Mandy Patinkin), who is in charge of a cadre of Reapers in this particular town.
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A friend once told me that he was creeped out whenever an episode of "The Twilight Zone" featured a ventriloquist's dummy. Those episodes never impressed me, but recently I got chills watching an old episode about a toy telephone.

You can never tell what's going to strike a chord and resonate with a particular person. "Dead Like Me" is not for everyone. Some people will hate it. Others just won't "get" it. It's too bad, really, because they're missing out on something truly wonderful.

18-year-old Georgia (George) Lass, deceased, has a new job: collector of souls of the newly departed--a grim reaper, if you prefer. She doesn't want to be a reaper. She doesn't know how to be a reaper. She gets on-the-job training. What she learns about, mostly, is life.

In life, George was too cool to care about anything. In death, she learns to care, in ways that are funny and sad together. The result is the most consistently moving television show I've ever seen. At the end of each episode, when the credits appear, I find myself shaking my head and muttering, "What a GREAT show!"

The language and some visuals are too harsh for young children. The show contains a lot of adult subject matter--no, not like cable porn--rather, like parents struggling over how to cope with an emotionally troubled 11-year-old daughter. Material for genuinely mature audiences. Very rare, that.

Not for everyone, but I couldn't recommend it more highly. What a GREAT show.
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By A Customer on May 21, 2004
Format: DVD
Really. It's one of the only shows I can watch over and over again; it never gets boring and never gets annoying. Each episode carries you from laughter to tears to contemplation, and I have never seen such fantastic acting. Even the minor characters give flawless performances, and the regular characters are nothing short of brilliant -- every single line is delivered just so, and you can't imagine anyone saying it better. All of the characters are given real personalities; their pasts, their lives and their dialogues are carefully-crafted. The characters (especially those who are dead) seem more real and more life-like than real people, and each show makes you think about life and death just a little bit differently than you did before. The direction and production are spotless -- colors are vibrant and intense, timing is perfect, and the picture quality and effects are always perfect for each scene. And, since each show is approximately 40 minutes, it's just enough to fit into your day, but you keep wanting more! Okay, so I'm raving, but this is genuinely my favorite show ever and I come away from every episode with the same "life, but intensified" feeling I get after watching My So-Called Life, or Almost Famous -- there are sad patches, and funny parts, but most of all you really think about life (the good parts and the bad), and it makes you want to live yours better.
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