Dead Like Me

Quirky afterlife dramedy is OK for teens.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

George and her fellow reapers try to ease other people's transitions to the afterlife, but the behavior of those in the living world (including George's family) is iffy and complex.


Viewers see how ordinary people die, and these scenes, while rarely involving murder, can be pretty graphic. For example, a man who is impaled with a high heel is shown with the heel embedded in his forehead. Another slips from a diving board and face-plants into the one below.


Some innuendo. An elderly man skinny dips. Some episodes deal with issues like transgenderism.


"Bloody hell," "idiot," "this sucks," "jackass," "sure as hell," etc.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the main characters in this dramedy are all dead. They serve as "reapers" or spirits who collect others' souls right before they die. Not surprisingly, then, this show is all about death (someone dies in each episode) and the afterlife, which might upset younger or sensitive viewers. Some of the death scenes are also quite graphic and potentially frightening. The show also explores some heavy topics, including transgenderism and bullying.

What's the story?

In DEAD LIKE ME, a group of already-dead "reapers" collect people's souls moments before they, too, pass into the afterlife. Ellen Muth stars as 18-year-old college dropout Georgia "George" Lass, who, in the show's first episode, dies when she's hit by a toilet seat that fell from the Mir space station. It's at this point that she meets Rube (Mandy Patinkin), the leader of the reapers, and learns that she's joining their ranks. The reapers -- including Mason (Callum Blue), Roxy (Jasmine Guy), and Daisy (Laura Harris) -- are all people who died with unresolved issues; they're charged with gathering a certain number of souls from people who are about to die. Once they reach their quota, they move to the next level in the afterlife.

Is it any good?


Mature audiences will find Dead Like Me to be smart, thought-provoking television that raises questions about death, spirituality, and much more. But parents with younger kids who are attracted to the sci-fi/fantasy element of the show will want to monitor their viewing.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what happens when you die. Potential topics include funerals, cremation, the afterlife, and other traditions, beliefs, and rituals related to death. How would teens like to be remembered? How would they like their life celebrated? What are parents' beliefs about the afterlife, cremation, and caskets? How did the traditions surrounding funerals come to be? How do other cultures respect and treat their dead?

TV details

Cast:Callum Blue, Ellen Muth, Mandy Patinkin
Networks:Syfy, Syndicated
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Dead Like Me was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 16 years old Written bydefjamffny16 April 9, 2008
age 0+

Dead Like Me

When I looked up the show Dead Like Me on this site and saw it was rated only TV-PG, I was thrilled and went to my local Hollywood Video to rent it and see what it was like. Tv-PG's don't have 4 F-Words!!! (And that's BEFORE I turned it off, there could have been more.) The episode I watched was the Pilot. All it did was totally turn me off to this show and I was wondering how in the world it got rated as if it were a kid's movie! Did the website make a mistake or have current episodes tuned down to a TV-PG or what??
Parent of a 2 year old Written byfoltzies02 August 18, 2010
age 17+

Pilot for adults only!

We have only watched the Pilot episode, and it appears the show has mellowed down afterwards, but I wanted this to be a warning. The Pilot episode has strong sexual images! During a scene in a bank, two co-workers are having an affair, and sexual scenes are shown. I can't imagine the show getting such low scores unless something changed, so hopefully things were much more toned down. Heads up, if you are starting the show, skip the first episode!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent Written bybgcsm March 8, 2014
age 18+
Based on the reviews, I thought we would love this series, but we were very disappointed. The plot was original and the acting was good, but the sex scenes in the pilot and the continued overuse of bad language, especially the 'F' word were a turn off. This was surprising to me as the series was rated as appropriate for a 14 year old. While in the process of entering my review, I also realized that I couldn't recall any great messages nor did I consider any of the characters to be good role models much less great role models. My rating is based only on the pilot.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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