In the second episode of the first season of Dead Like Me, George decides she won’t follow her assignments, which leads to horrifying results. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Dead Like Me.
Let’s do this!
- I think, for the most part, I’m going to stick to these list formats for a lot of my Double Feature posts. I’m very happy that I’ve been able to pare my schedule down to accommodate these posts because there are a ton of shorter shows I’d love to get through. At the same time, I’m doing what I can these days to assure myself that I get at least a day or two off a week from writing. Generally speaking, it takes me about two hours minimum to pull off a single Mark Watches post. That includes watching the episode, coming up with the outline for what I’m going to write about, and then sitting down and writing my thoughts down. I put two hours as a minimum because it’s very rare that I get under two hours unless I do a list format and just collate my thoughts in a more stream-of-conscious style. So, I don’t want to be giving myself too much work, and I want to make sure these aren’t half-assed posts. I want to give these Double Feature shows the full Mark Watches treatment in terms of a review, so if you’ll allow me, I’ll be doing a bit of time-saving in my word vomiting.
- Thankfully, this show is leaving me with a lot to say, as it continues to be thought-provoking. It struck me at the end of “Dead Girl Walking” as George pulled down the red toilet seat from the tree that this episode focused on the two siblings being unable to accept what fate had dealt them. George thinks that she can shirk her responsibilities as a grim reaper by ignoring Rube while Reggie begins to steal toilet seats as some bizarre sign of solidarity with her dead sister. Well, actually, I’ll get to Reggie in a second.
- This show is presenting a strange situation. George certainly did not agree to become a grim reaper, it’s not an existence she was aware of, and she initially had no desire to do it. So how was she chosen? Again, this question comes up, and it’s ultimately dodged. I’m beginning to think that this is intentional; the writers seem to be avoiding this on purpose.
- It doesn’t help to find out how Mason died: a self-inflicted lobotomy to increase how high he got. Yeah, his death was for foolish reasons, but there’s no hint as to why he became a grim reaper. And perhaps that’s something I’ll never find out, either. I don’t think it’s something I’ll need from this show. Still, it’s natural for George to rebel against something that makes so little sense to her. That being said, I think her irritation in this episode is based a bit in irony. We saw how bitter and unfriendly she was to Mrs. Herbig at Happy Time. It was a manifestation of her intense hatred for the very idea of getting a job. And now she’s been forced into yet another bureaucracy AFTER SHE DIED. She can’t even escape the terror of adulthood as an undead reaper.
- (A quick side note: I always experience pangs of jealousy when I see stories or hear about people having to navigate their first job after college or high school. I started working to support myself at age 16, and I didn’t have the luxury of middle class parents to fall back on to, so there’s a part of me that can’t feel all that sympathetic for George.)
- It’s not just George’s anger that fuels her. As we see when she spends a night out with Betty, George truly believes she doesn’t have it in her to be a grim reaper. She ruthlessly compares herself to what she views as the ideal reaper, and it doesn’t go well for her. Betty has a style, George. Figure out your own!
- So George uses this sleight she perceives against her to enact a full-scale rebellion against Rube and the system she’s been cast into without being asked if she even wants to participate. Now, I get that anger. George didn’t consent to this, and I’m not surprised she’s angry. However, I worried about what the ramifications of her actions would be. We hadn’t seen what would happen if a reaper missed an appointment, but it couldn’t be good, right? Right? I mean, a soul can rot if it’s not taken at the proper time because the person didn’t die. So I assumed that a dead body without its soul extracted would be pretty awful, too. I DID NOT THINK IT WOULD MEAN THAT THE PERSON WOULD EXPERIENCE THEIR OWN AUTOPSY. SWEET SUMMER CHILD, I WASN’T PREPARED FOR THAT SCENE. Oh my god, the soul stays in the body.
- Well, that answers that. George’s job is vital, and missing her appointments is a bad thing. Someone probably should have told her that????
- I just want it to be known that I predicted that Roxy would murder Mason for stealing quarters. THE EVIDENCE IS IN THE VIDEO. I WAS PREPARED FOR SOMETHING.
- Then we’ve got Reggie. My heart hurts for Reggie. My heart hurts for Joy, too, who is clearly unable to deal with her grief. She lashes out at her daughter, though I admit… lord, it has to be infuriating to find out your daughter is stealing toilet seats. Right??? In a way, it’s like Reggie is claiming all the toilet seats she can so that no one else has to lose their sister by a rogue toilet seat from space. I know that sentence probably reads like pure absurdity in any other context, but it fucking destroys me, y’all. George had no idea what sort of influence she had on her younger sister. Her disaffected attitude was passed down, and now Reggie doesn’t know what to do without George around anymore. So she steals toilet seats and creates a beautiful tree of spoils like a fucked up Christmas tree.
- God, these people are messed up. Have the reapers just adjusted over time, or are they struggling, too?
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Mark Links Stuff
– I have been nominated for a Hugo in the Fan Writer category! If you’d like more information or to direct friends/family to vote for me, I have a very informational post about what I do that you can pass along and link folks to!
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