I don’t know if you know this, but I’m a huge Dead Like Me fan. I was always really sad that the show only got two seasons, and also that it ended so abruptly. My sister Fish alerted me to the fact that they were making a movie, although she did extensively lament the fact that Mandy Patinkin (Rube) wasn’t involved. The movie came out yesterday (it was straight-to-DVD) and of course immediately showed up on Surf the Channel, which is why I love that freakin’ site. At first I was Twittering my thoughts, but then I was like, “You know what? I’m going to keep wanting to say things, and am I seriously going to have three pages of tweets about this?” So I decided about fifteen minutes in to do a live blog while I watched. This is the first one I’ve ever done, so I guess we’ll see how ridiculous it is. Ready, set, go!
If you’re not familiar with the show, it’s about a young girl named Georgia “George” Lass (Ellen Muth) who died at eighteen after being hit by a toilet seat from the Mir Space Station upon its reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere. She joined the ranks of the reapers, dead folk who take the souls of the living just before they shuffle off this mortal coil, and fellow lost souls Betty (Rebecca Gayheart, left halfway into season one), Daisy (Laura Harris, replaced Betty), Mason (Callum Blue), and Roxy (Jasmine Guy) become her makeshift family. They are given their reaping assignments by boss cum father figure Rube (Mandy Patinkin) and mostly hang out at a restaurant called Der Wafflehaus. The catch of being a reaper is that they can be seen by people and interacted with (they appear to the world differently than they did when they were alive, but they see each other the way they looked then); they need jobs and transportation and have no special powers aside from the reaping thing. In secret, George frequently checks in on her family, whom she mostly resented when she was alive; it consists of her mother Joy (Cynthia Stevenson), her father Clancy (Greg Kean), and her little sister Reggie (Brit McKillip). George also has a job at the Happy Time Temp Agency, working under a woman named Dolores Herbig (“as in ‘her big brown eyes'”). Okay, I think that’s all you need to know. Let’s roll.
15:05 Der Wafflehaus burned down, sad. 😦 Impressions so far: I miss Rube way more than I thought I would. They have recast the Daisy Adair character, who was played to perfection by Laura Harris but is now being played by this ridiculously terrible Sarah Wynter person who I only recognize, get this, from the pilot of Sex and the City (she’s the British woman whose boyfriend takes her to look at property about ten minutes after they start dating and then eventually stops calling, which, duh). Daisy is my favorite character, so as you can imagine I’m very upset about this. They seem to have dropped the Daisy/Mason ‘ship, which is good because it worked between Callum Blue and Laura Harris but with this Sarah Wynter it would be a nightmare. Britt McKillip (Reggie) has grown up to be very pretty and actually looks a lot like Ellen Muth (George), which is convenient. They’ve replaced Rube with some d-bag named Cameron Kane (Henry Ian Cusick) who died in 9/11 and is training them to get their reap information on Trios. Holy 2006 product placement, Batman! At the very least, use iPhones. It’s Seattle, not darkest Peru. Last but not least, they’ve recast the girl who plays “Millie”, George’s face-to-the-world; this new one is much prettier, but also less awesome.
15:28 Oooooh, a boy likes Reggie! He smiled at her. She’s a bad driver and also sort of a sour puss sad sack. She is George’s sister, after all!
16:15 Joy wrote a book about grief? It has George on the cover. CREEEEEEPY!
17:33 I forgot that everyone thinks George is a recovering alcoholic because that’s her cover for the reaper meetings. Dolores has Murray the cat strapped to her chest like an infant. Oh boy, that’s so Bri’s future.
22:24 Wow, the Happy Time offices got a major face lift. I don’t understand this mock interview scene.
25:20 George is a literal ambulence chaser now. Also, she missed her reap. Cue the world crumbling.
26:50 OH GOD DAISY LOOKS ATROSH. This woman’s performance is seriously under par.
29:47 Okay, the new boss is David Bowie in Labyrinth-level creepy. He keeps calling George “Princess” and actually just KISSED her. On the lips. IN SLOW MOTION. Who directed this thing?
34:30 The boy who smiled at Reggie earlier is George’s failed reap. Name is Hudson Hart. Not only that, but she can’t take his soul now; he’s on life support. Reg just stopped by to see him and some bitchy girl who looks like Shenae Grimes (you know her from Degrassi and 90210! ugh) tells her to leave. SNAP! Poor Reg.
35:43 OMG SCANDALZ! Looks like Reg was secretly dating Hudson, or so says the pictures of them canoodling that she tore up and threw in the trash outside of the hospital that George picked up.
37:01 Figures Megavideo stops working during Reggie’s sexy flashback. Actually, Megavideo, I have not watched 72 minutes of video today. I’ve watched THIRTY SEVEN minutes of video today. I guess I have to watch a season 2 episode on Netflix Watch Instantly while I’m waiting to get the privilege of watching more Megavideo.
37:47 And we’re back! Who knows for how long, though. Hudson says he loves Reggie, but he wants to keep their relationship a secret. Reg, from one woman to another: that is never a good sign. Also, apparently he has a public girlfriend, who Joy calls a “beautiful girl.” Nice, Joy. WAY TO PAY ATTENTION. I love Joy and I appreciate how she’s really trying with Reggie, but she really hasn’t learned anything from George’s death.
40:46 Roxy: “There are no consequences for anything we do.” Uhhhhh….
43:20 I can’t decide if this random comic book stylization that happens every once in a while is cool or just unnecessary. Cool, I think.
43:55 Roxy just saved a reap. This is not good.
47:08 Daisy just tripped an actress so that she could take over her part in a play. Also, the woman who plays this actress would’ve made a better replacement for Laura Harris than the other girl they’ve got here.
49:32 Daisy just lost it on stage. Like, LOST IT. It was totally dumb. Oh, she was drunk. Who wrote this thing?
50:46 What is going on with Mason? For the first time in forever, the reapers are the least interesting part of this show. Movie. Whatever. More Reggie!
52:27 No. More. Daisy. PLEASE! Although, her reap from the beginning of the movie has turned into a poltergeist. That’s interesting. Not at all relevant, though.
53:59 The reap Roxy saved died anyway. Duh. Haven’t you ever seen the Final Destination movies, Roxy?
56:06 Sweet sisterly heart-to-heart. Reg doesn’t know it’s George yet, but I’m guessing she eventually will. They’re talking about Hudson. Reg doesn’t want Hudson’s friends to think that he’d like someone like her, JIC he dies and it ruins their perfect illusion of him being a d-bag who only dates cheerleaders although, QUITE FRANKLY, it doesn’t seem, from the evidence shown in his interactions with Reggie, that he’s really any better than that. George left cab money (“for you to get to the hospital”) in the tip jar.
56:58 Uh, whoops, Reggie runs into George at the hospital as she tries for the frillionth time to reap Hudson to no great effect. She chases George down and, inexplicably, GETS INTO THE CAR WITH HER, because that is what you do when you feel like you’re being stalked, GET INTO THE CAR WITH YOUR STALKER. Real smart, Reg.
57:23 George told Reggie who she is! The way she proves it is by reciting a litany of horrible things that she did to Reggie when she was little. Nice, George. Reggie: “I think I’m gonna puke.” George: “Do it out the window, I just detailed the car.”
59:00 The Lass girls have another heart-to-heart, this time for real, even though the inevitable consequence of that is that Reggie thinks she’s losing her mind, that George is a figment of her imagination. Sad pancakes.
1:00:20 Uh oh, George just lost her job at Happy Time. Oh, and Reg wants to move in with her. That sounds like a good plan. Is George still living with Daisy in that house Mason gave them?
1:02:48 The chuckleheads have come to their senses about how lame a reap leader (terminology??) that Cameron guy is (although, to be honest, I don’t get his presence in this story whatsoever) and decided that they’re going above his head. What would Rube do? being the guiding mantra. This will not end well.
1:03:14 Unless Cameron is in some way an imposter, I don’t get this. Death/God/whoever would not appoint someone like him to take care of the reapers. It makes no sense. Oh, good, Roxy knocked him unconscious and they’re coming up with a plan.
1:06:01 Aw, George got Reg to go to the hospital and apparently Hudson asked for her. His parents are excited to meet her. Well, as excited as you can be about anything when your son is practically comatose, and also despite the fact that they A.) thought Reggie was a boy (her real name is Regina) and B.) he has a girlfriend already and they have no idea who Reggie is at all. Oh, NO NO NO. George just got a text message on her Trio saying that she needs to reap him now. Hudson’s dead. REALLY SAD PANCAKES.
1:09:16 Hudson’s soul wants Reggie to know that he’s sorry he kept her a secret. It took dying to figure that out, did it? Cute. You’re a jerk. Enjoy your football game-themed heaven. Meanwhile, Reggie is out of control speeding in George’s car. I like how George’s main argument against Reggie killing herself is that her soul hasn’t been reaped and therefore it will hurt a lot. THAT’s your strategy? “Have you ever hit a wall at 100 mph? Ouch!” George talks her down, and then tells her that she can’t see her anymore, and then OH WAIT MEGAVIDEO SAYS I NEED TO WAIT 54 MINUTES TO SEE THE LAST TWENTY MINUTES OF THIS MOVIE. I hate Megavideo.
While we wait, here’s a question: Why is it that the only convincing romance this show has ever had was the one between George and that schizophrenic guy, Ronnie, she reaped in the first season? I don’t have an answer to that, but feel free to let it keep you up at night.
1:12:01 Aww, George learned a lesson about how she should’ve been nicer to her family when she was alive. Except, wasn’t she learning that all through the first and second seasons? Shouldn’t she have figured that out by now? Oh well, at least she told Reggie she loved her before kicking her Lindsay Lohan-outfit wearing ass to the curb.
1:13:01 The other chuckleheads are trying to “kill” Cameron Kane because he’s “evil”, which, I would buy that if he had done ANYTHING AT ALL except force them to use Trios, which I agree is pretty mean, and not give sage advice like Rube. Also, you can’t kill him, you idiots; he’s already dead. That’s how he has the job he has! Morons.
1:13:23 Gunshot to the head: FAIL.
1:13:43 Drowning in fountain: FAIL.
1:13:57 Dear God, Mason’s breaking out the chainsaw. Remind me again why this guy has to be disposed of? He seems pretty bored with you clowns, I think he’d just…go away if you ignored him for 8.5 seconds.
1:14:36 George is with Dolores at the vet’s, and a little blond girl just reaped Murray, so he’s a goner. (In the mythology of the show, dead kids reap animal souls.) Too much time in this already short movie was spent on Murray’s fate. Too much time in the show in general was spent on it, actually.
1:15:06 Oh yeah. I forgot that J.D. (the dog George inherited from a reap that she gave to her mother and sister) died. Sad pancakes.
1:15:29 Aw, Joy finds Reggie at George’s grave. Remember the end of the second season, when George appears to them at her grave, looking like she did when she was alive because it was Halloween? WHOA, Reggie is whoopsing George’s continued existence to Joy. Joy naturally thinks Reg is loony tunes. They decide to go on vacay, a road trip, because when you think your child is having a nervous breakdown the obvious solution is highway hypnosis.
1:18:25 The chuckleheads are roasting marshmallows over what I assume is the fire they set to Cameron’s chopped up remains, which, ew. Also, WHY? George seems to accept this no problem.
1:20:53 Okay, Dolores’ extreme attachment to her cat is no longer funny. It’s just sad. In the pathetic way. I’m all for loving pets, but seriously?
1:21:11 It might be a little late to not go with the flow here, but A. how did they get permission to shoot Murray’s ashes up into SPACE? Is that a thing you can do now? B. Since when is there a rocket launch location in Seattle?
1:22:14 George stops by one more time as Joy and Reggie leave for their vacation. Imagine my excitement when George and Reggie catch eyes and “Boom Boom Ba” by Metisse (a song they used a lot during the first season) starts playing.
1:22:52 George gets hit with a shower of Post-Its. Oh God. Someone in upper management put her in charge of that merry band of fools. In her own words: “I am so fucked.” You’re not the only one, pal.
Okay, I’m glad I didn’t buy this. It was not the best thing in the universe. I liked the whole Reggie/George storyline, but the rest was gibberish. It really suffered the loss of Mandy Patinkin and Laura Harris and they bent the rules they created which I never countenance. Hope you enjoyed the liveblog! Verdict: You don’t have to see the movie; the show’s two seasons will do.