I simultaneously liked this show and could hardly watch it.
Now that I've fully watched the first season I can say Dead Like Me is a good show, but man those early episodes were wearing my patience down a bit. And it wasn't even due to lousy production, bad writing, or horrible performances, because quite frankly all those elements are very well handled and good. But ooh boy, let me tell you about them character choices. But first, context. So Ellen Muth plays the second Georgia that dies in a Bryan Fuller show, after a toilet seat from a space station kills our aloof and humble narrator she soon quickly finds out that she was picked to be a reaper. Now obviously this comes as a massive shock and we slowly see her grow into this role throughout the course of the season. Turns out being a reaper in this show doesn't have many perks, you're not immortal, you still have to get a full time job, find a place to live, and have money so you can eat all while keeping the balance of the world. My personal experience in that line of work was a smidge better but I chalk that up to nice upper management. I like how the show sets up it's own mythos to how reapers work, what actually causes people to die, and just the inner mechanics of it all. The fact that they only stick to one area and only number about 5 reapers total, so the list they need to check off is so short it can be written on a post-it note is very different but kinda cool. For lack of a better term this show greatly humanizes the takers of souls, with each character having their own arcs, personal dilemmas, emotional baggage, and ways they like to work. We see Georgia struggle with the position and how her death has affected her family for the whole season as both try to move on in the best way they can. Mandy Patinkin is my favorite of the reapers, his character Rube honestly has good words of wisdom and advice that goes beyond the line of business and you can tell there's more to him than he appears, he just does such fine work in this show. I initially did not like hardly any of the other coworkers that Georgia had, but they dedicate time to them and they do gradually become more likable as we get to know them. Gradually being the keyword, when it takes almost an entire first season to make the main characters not act like asshats most of the time, it kind of hurts the overall experience. I didn't take serious issue with them but they did get on my nerves enough to where it kind of felt like a chore. And trust me Georgia is not exempt from this, her early episodes made me almost quit the show and I know what they were trying to do. Show her make mistakes, show her trying to find ways to cheat the system, show her being a selfish brat, show her not being responsible. Buuut I take severe grievance with that, because I know damn well what the conditions of such a position are and how it works, maybe even too well if I'm being honest. So it seemed like such childish tantrums that she would have and slacked on the job, granted she does get better but it really aggravated the living fire out of me for awhile. I'm much more looking forward to the next season, cause as far as I know cast and situations will not change so I can more fully enjoy that season and more importantly the characters. But there's a lot I appreciate, it's not all about the work if anything the majority of the show focuses on the people in Georgia's life....um, death? Un-life? Ah, screw it. It shows the relationship she had with her not so great family and how it's still affecting her little sister who is easily the best human character in the show. It shows the normal workday events of her at a agency, and the brief or prolonged interactions with other people. So don't get me wrong, this really is a good show but it just took me a little time to fully start enjoying it. I'm still wondering what the hell that one episode was, where we literally flash back for minutes at a time of stuff we've seen on the show before in previous episodes, I mean complete utter stock footage padding if I have ever witnessed it but it didn't damage the show. I'm very happy I watched it finally after probably about a decade of putting it off, and I'm gonna stick around until the end. The story is great, the characters while flawed are still memorable, the interactions is what really makes the show shine in my opinion, and it's just such a different unique approach to a concept that's been around for longer than one can remember. It's definitely more a drama than a comedy, but it did still make me laugh in places and that's okay, death is a serious thing that should be treated with respect and grace. But I think someone has said it better, "Don't pity the dead. Pity the living and above all, those who live without love.". 4 stars, 8/10, and you'll see me again soon.
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