Dead Like Me: The Complete First Season

Dead Like Me: The Complete First Season
So you've just died. If you don't find this shocking enough, you also discover that you've somehow skipped the resume, interview and reference check, and you're now in line not for those pearly promised heavenly gates but rather for a new position as a grim reaper. Got that? It gets worse: the job of taking souls doesn't even pay. Welcome to the undead life of Dead Like Me's George Lass (Ellen Muth), an 18-year-old slacker who was snatched from the land of the living in a freak accident (toilet seat to the head, if you must know). The 14 episodes that make up the quirky first season of Dead Like Me tell the story of everything that comes afterwards. Served up on four DVDs, the series is a black comedy that strives and succeeds at raising itself high above the expected parade of lowest common denominator "buying the farm" jokes. And like other recent successful death-centric series, such as Six Feet Under, it works because it's more than just the latest programming gimmick; it packs a whole lot of heart into each hour. In season one, George must come to terms with not just her death, but her new undead life and the fact that she can (should) never really go home. She must also adjust to her eccentric co-reapers and their boss, and if that's still not enough, she's out on her own for the first time ever and needs to earn a living. Through catastrophe (myriad terribly flawed get rich quick schemes), grievous mistakes and rebellion against every soul-taking rule imaginable, a compelling, darkly comedic and very human story emerges. The series has several stand-out cast members, including Mandy Patinkin, who steals almost every scene as the slightly gruff around the edges reaper "boss," Jasmine Guy as the world's angriest undead meter maid and Christine Willes as Delores Herbig, the temp agency employer of everyone's worst nightmares. Extras in the box set include a raucous audio commentary for the series pilot by the cast, a veritable slew of deleted scenes, a "behind the scenes" featurette, photo gallery and much more. Dead Like Me is a genuinely heartfelt walk on the light side of death, if there is such a thing. (MGM)