In the last few years, since the advent of reasonably-priced complete season (or series) DVD sets of many TV shows, I have altered my TV viewing habits -- I rarely follow episodic TV as it is aired, preferring to purchase the DVD sets and watch a complete season over the course of several days. In this manner, I've enjoyed series like "Deadwood", "Rome", "Pushing Daisies", "Reaper" and "The Wire", to name a few.
Recently, I picked up the complete "Dead Like Me" series, which included the two seasons of the show and the special TV movie. I think I gave it a shot mostly because I really like Mandy Patinkin as an actor, especially from his role as Inigo Montoya in "The Princess Bride". I was pleasantly surprised by this show -- it started a bit slowly, but really came into its own about halfway through the first season, and was really developing into a fascinating meditation on life and death, grief and regret. It's unfortunate that it was canceled.
But perhaps equally as unfortunate was the abysmal TV movie of "Dead Like Me", which was apparently put together four or five years after the series was canceled. The producers got most of the cast back together, which I guess is some kind of achievement, but could not/did not get Mandy Patinkin to return, nor the actress who played "Daisy Adair". The latter was disappointing (the replacement actress just didn't "get" the character, nor did she have the right "look"), but the former was a disaster -- Patinkin's absence really pointed out that he was essential to the core appeal of the show.
But even worse was the writing. I'm not sure what happened, but it really seemed like whoever wrote this TV movie basically forgot all of what made the show interesting. It made me glad that I had come late to the show, and was not one of its devoted fans who had waited five years after the series cancellation... and were rewarded with this dismal offering. -- PL