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Dead Like Me

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Title: Dead Like Me  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Bryan Fuller, List of filming locations in the Vancouver area, Ellen Muth, Mandy Patinkin, Yeardley Smith
Collection: 2000S American Television Series, 2003 American Television Series Debuts, 2004 American Television Series Endings, American Comedy-Drama Television Series, American Fantasy Television Series, Angelic-Themed Television Series, Black Comedy Television Programs, Dead Like Me, English-Language Television Programming, Fantasy Television Series, Fiction Narrated by a Dead Person, Showtime (Tv Network) Original Programs, Television Series by Mgm Television, Television Series Produced in Vancouver, Television Shows Set in Seattle, Washington
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Dead Like Me

Dead Like Me
Genre Comedy-drama
Fantasy[1]
Created by Bryan Fuller
Starring Ellen Muth
Laura Harris
Callum Blue
Jasmine Guy
Cynthia Stevenson
Mandy Patinkin
Narrated by Ellen Muth
Theme music composer Stewart Copeland
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 29 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Bryan Fuller
John Masius
Tom Spezialy
Stephen Godchaux
Location(s) Vancouver, British Columbia
Running time 40–50 minutes
74 minutes ("Pilot")
Production company(s) John Masius Productions
MGM Television
Release
Original channel Showtime
Original release June 27, 2003 (2003-06-27) – October 31, 2004 (2004-10-31)
Chronology
Followed by Dead Like Me: Life After Death
External links
Website

Dead Like Me is an American comedy-drama television series starring Ellen Muth and Mandy Patinkin as grim reapers who reside and work in Seattle, Washington. Filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, the show was created by Bryan Fuller for the Showtime cable network, where it ran for two seasons (200304). Fuller left the show five episodes into Season 1 because of creative differences; creative direction was taken over by executive producers John Masius and Stephen Godchaux. A direct-to-DVD movie titled Dead Like Me: Life After Death was released on February 17, 2009,[2] with an option to restart the series.[3]

Eighteen-year-old Georgia "George" Lass (Ellen Muth) is the show's Cynthia Stevenson) and the rest of her family at a point when her relationships with them were on shaky ground.

The show explores the experiences of a small team of such reapers, as well as the changes in George and her family as they deal with George's death.

Contents

  • Series overview 1
    • Introduction 1.1
    • Main plot 1.2
    • Bryan Fuller's departure 1.3
  • Cast and characters 2
    • Reapers 2.1
    • George's family 2.2
    • Happy Time Temporary Services 2.3
    • Miscellaneous characters 2.4
  • Mythology 3
    • Grim reapers 3.1
    • Gravelings 3.2
    • Creation 3.3
  • Home media releases 4
    • DVD releases 4.1
    • Direct-to-DVD film 4.2
    • Soundtrack 4.3
  • Reception 5
    • Awards and nominations 5.1
    • Ratings 5.2
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Series overview

Introduction

The first scene of the pilot episode introduces an origin-of-death myth where at the dawn of time, god (busy with creation) gave Toad a clay jar containing death which Toad promised to guard. Frog begged Toad to hold the jar, something to which Toad finally agreed. An excited Frog juggled the jar and finally dropped it, shattering it to the ground. When it broke open, death got out.

Main plot

Georgia Lass is aloof and emotionally distant from her family and shies away from her life. After dropping out of college, she takes a temp job through Happy Time Temporary Services. During her lunch break on her first day, she is hit and killed by a toilet seat falling from the deorbiting Mir space station.[4] She is soon informed that, rather than moving on to the "great beyond", she will become a grim reaper in the External Influence Division,[5] collecting souls of people who die in accidents (many of which are of a Rube Goldberg-style in their complexity[6]), suicides and homicides. Each reaper has a secret quota of souls; and, once the quota is met, the reaper moves on to another realm and the last soul reaped then takes his or her job collecting souls.

In Season 1, George has trouble adjusting to her circumstances—collecting souls while holding down a day job. By Season 2, she has mostly adjusted to her new role, with few unresolved issues with her life and her afterlife.

George's family is struggling to deal with her death. Her mother, Joy, is depressed, and visibly repressing it. Her father, Clancy (Greg Kean), is having an affair. Her sister, Reggie (Britt McKillip), acts out —stealing toilet seats from neighbors and school and hanging them on a tree —until her mother sends her to therapy. Reggie clings to the belief that George visits her, but she is starting to lie to cover this up. At the start of Season 2, the family begins to break apart as Joy and Clancy divorce.

All of the main characters have issues with their life after death, but they cope with it in different ways: Mason (Callum Blue) resorts to alcohol and drugs; Daisy (Laura Harris) puts on a veneer of perkiness; and Roxy (Jasmine Guy) is physically and verbally aggressive. Rube (Mandy Patinkin) and George are more straightforward about their sadness.

Bryan Fuller's departure

Bryan Fuller left early Season 1 because of conflicts with MGM Television, including disagreement over major script and storyline cuts considered important to the main theme. He stated that the "lack of professionalism... made it really difficult... it was like being at war... they were constantly trying to strongarm me. It was the worst experience of my life". According to Fuller, Showtime canceled the show due to "a loss of quality and a sense the problems would continue."[7] Actress Rebecca Gayheart also departed the show after the series' fifth episode.

Cast and characters

Reapers

Dead Like Me cast photo showing reapers George, Rube, Daisy, Roxy, and Mason.
  • (Ellen Muth): (1985–2003) The show's protagonist, an 18-year-old college dropout. In addition to being a grim reaper she has a day job at Happy Time Temporary Services, under the assumed name "Millie Hagen". She was killed on June 27, 2003 when a toilet seat from the de-orbiting Mir space station fell on her. Because of this, she is known among the reapers as "Toilet Seat Girl", a fact which earns her instant recognition/respect for dying in such a bizarre way.
  • [8]
  • Roxy Harvey (Jasmine Guy): (before 1960–1982) A strong-willed, sassy, independent woman. Her day job is initially as a meter maid, but she later becomes a police officer. She was strangled to death by a jealous roommate in 1982 with leg warmers, which Roxy had invented. Although she is generally seen as tough and no-nonsense, she has a softer side, shown in "Reapercussions" after saving the life of J.H. Arnold.
  • Gone with the Wind. Her last thought before she died was, "Why has no one ever loved me?" Daisy is sent from New York City to Seattle in episode six as a replacement when Betty leaves. Daisy is recognized in the last episode by an elderly man in Der Waffle Haus while she is dressed as a police officer for Halloween; as stated in that episode, on Halloween, all reapers look as they did when alive.

George's family

    • cocaine habit, tattoos, and "all those restraining orders". She has a very elderly cat named Murray.
    Happy Time Temporary Services
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