DVD: Undead Like Me
If I were to compile a list of the best, but short lived, TV series of all time — don’t worry, I wont. At least not in this post anyway — somewhere high up on that list would be the Brian Fuller created: DEAD LIKE ME. Probably wedged somewhere between the obligatory FIREFLY and [hopefully not] JOURNEYMAN.
DEAD LIKE ME [DLM] followed the after-life of 18 year old George Lass (Ellen Muth) after she is hit, and killed, by a toilet seat from the MIR space station when it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere. Soon after, she discovers that she must remain on Earth and act as a Reaper: Working with a small dysfunctional group of other reapers and collecting the souls of the ‘almost dead’ so as to save them the trauma of their ultimate demise.
Sadly the series creator (Fuller) left after only a few episode were made, sighting a lack of professionalism on the part of MGM Television who, he said, were constantly ‘strong arming’ him and that ‘It was the worst experience of [his] life’. Fuller, who went on to work on shows like WONDERFALLS, HEROES and PUSHING DAISIES, was replaced by John Masius who was charged with easing the show’s ‘darkness and cynicism’. The irony here being that Masius had previously created, but was later removed from TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL because CBS thought his vision of the show was overly dark.
With Fullers departure the tone of the show did indeed change, but it remained entertaining and close to the top of my viewing list until it was cancelled in 2004 (Season 2 was added to my DVD collection this past Christmas).
The good news for anyone who managed to discover DLM during its short run, is that the series is about to return from the dead, in the form of a straight-to-dvd movie (see the trailer via the source link below). The bad news is that not all of the original cast will be returning: Laura Harris will not be reprising her role as Daisy Adair and has been replaced by Aussie actress, Sarah Wynter.
However, probably the biggest blow to the credibility of the film is that Mandy Patinkin will not be returning, fortunately though, neither will his character Rube. While the idea of a DLM movie sans the relationship between George and Rube is hard to imagine, harder still would be trying to imagine it with another actor playing the part of Rube.
Joining the cast is LOST’s Henry Ian Cusick, playing Rube’s replacement Cameron Kane. Described as ‘a slick businessman who couldn’t care less about helping the newly dead’, Kane is clearly a character far removed from Rube and it will be interesting to see what affect his addition to the group has on the remaining reapers.
Despite all the on screen changes I’m still looking forward to grabbing a copy of this DVD when it’s released. So far all I have to go on, in that regard, is ‘Summer 2008’. [source]