I don't get Showtime, so I kind of missed out on an intriguing program called Dead Like Me. Since the first season was just released on DVD, a friend has been begging me to buy it, telling me that it's her favorite show. So I went ahead and got it, and she's right... it's pretty great. Which begs the question: Does series mastermind Bryan Fuller wake up and say "I am such a friggin' genius!" to himself in the mirror each morning? If I created something this brilliant, I know I would be.
The show centers around a girl named George who dies when a toilet seat from a Russian space station falls from orbit and vaporizes her in an explosion. Rather than continuing into the afterlife, George becomes a "Grim Reaper"... one of the legion of undead who collect the souls from the dead (or about to be dead) and escorts them into whatever awaits them in the great beyond. She's actually part of a team of "Reapers" who are directed by their leader "Rube" (deftly played by Mandy Patinkin).
It sounds odd, I know, but what makes the show really special is the black humor which permeates every scene. Sometimes touching, other times funny, but always interesting and smartly written, It's kind of a look at life from a not-quite-living perspective.
Might be worth checking out at the video store if they have it. The opening credits showing Grim Reapers in black hooded robes with scythes doing everyday normal things like going to work, doing laundry, and playing basketball is reason enough.