StoryPay 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 And as George's angry, tightly-wound mother (Cynthia Stevenson) and withdrawn little sister Reggie cope with death, she breaks the rules to watch over them: their own pouty, glum guardian angel.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.
- Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
- 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