Of course anniversaries are more celebrated & bemoaned over more notable moments in your life. Years being married, years being alive, weeks since that first kiss, days since that someone left you, years since that life changing moment & of course deaths.
I have lots of these large moments, and even more of the smaller ones, as do you. One small 1, that is notable to this article...I dont even remember the date of. I just remember turning on the TV, at an exact moment & got distracted by something so I didnt go looking thru the channel selector for something I would normally watch, I just left Showcase on. A show I had heard about, but never watched came on, I didnt know it at the time, but it would become my favorite show of all time. Of course I am talking about, Dead Like Me.
I didnt get into DLM when most of its fans did, right at the beginning. I caught the show after it had already aired its final episode. But not too long after. This makes it even more maddening for me, since I live where it was filmed... Vancouver, Canada. Having your favorite show filming in your town is something special. You get to pass places you associate with it. But for ME, its disappointing that I didnt catch on sooner, after all I am an autograph hound. So missing a chance to meet the cast sucks for me.
Since the shows cancellation, I, like many others around the world have, fought to get it back. Sure, we were "treated" to an abomination of it in the form of a straight to DVD movie that the writers, director & casting agents should be black listed from Hollywood for ever for having co-conspired to create it. Many fandoms would have been happy with that, but DLM fans wanted a proper ending, with ALL the real cast, not some fake Daisy that either the actress, or director, or both were completely void of the skill set to recreate. No one wanted that guy from Lost stealing Rubes role. ... ok, I am starting to get off topic here *unclenches fist aimed at wall*
Lets bring this back around to celebrating the show. Today is a notable day in the shows short 2 season history, it is the 10 year anniversary of its birth.
On June 27, 2003 a show, created by Bryan Fuller (creator of the current NBC show "Hannibal") presented us with a story about an 18 year old girl, Georgia Lass (Ellen Muth), who on her first day working at Happy Time Temp agency is killed on her 35 minute lunch "hour" by a toilet seat falling from a space station. Instead of going to heaven or hell George stays here, to be a grim reaper, a role she is not sure she even wants to have. Soon after her demise, we are introduced to her new "family" the other grim reapers she will work with.
Rube Sofer (Mandy Patinkin) is her by-the-book (except a couple times when it suits him) boss who is responsible for giving out the assignments to the other reapers. He is sort of like the father figure to the group.
Roxy (Jasmine Guy) is a tough as nails meter maid by profession, and of course reaps souls on the side. Her death is something she still has resentment over, a murder, that an invention she created was used to complete the task.
Mason (Callum Blue), oh Mason Mason Mason is the typical fuck up who means well, but finds taking the shortest route to success often fits him better. He grows during the series, and its a shame that we never get to see if he would become a competent, stable undead person.
Betty Rhomer (Rebecca Gayheart) is a reaper with a bit of an adventurous streak, she died from jumping off a cliff for fun, and leaves the series much the same way.
Her replacement, Daisy, Daisy Adair (Laura Harris) seems eager to let everyone know she used to be an actress who cavorted with all types of movie personnel when she was alive. She is also more complex than the shallow persona she lays out to the public.
These were the new members of Georgias family.
Georgia had real family, that were still trying to deal with the real loss of their daughter & sister. Something Georgia herself often had trouble dealing with.
Reggie (Britt McKillip) was her younger sister, Georgia often ignored her when she was alive, but now that she was "undead" was trying as hard as she could to be there for her.
Clancy (Greg Kean) is her father, an English Professor that also is sleeping with 1 of his students.
Joy (Cynthia Stevenson) is the mother that is now focusing on Reggie, after losing her oldest daughter to a tragedy she essentially sent her to by demanding she go to work.
Although Rube repeatedly warns Georgia to not have contact with her old family, Georgia repeatedly ignores these warnings & spies on them over the course of the series.
Of course the 1 lesson we all learned from this show is... grim reapers dont get paid. They still need places to sleep, eat & whatever else. So they either need to steal, like Mason does, from the recently deceased, or get acctual day jobs, like Roxy has. Leading Georgia, now as Millie, back to Happy Time, where she takes the same job she previously had.
Her boss Delores Herbig (Christine Willes) is a far too chipper former drug addict who is committed to Happy time & takes people leaving the temp agency hard, often throwing them going away parties to celevrate their time at Happy Time.
Crystal (Crystal Dahl) is the receptionist at HT & 1 of the more mysterious characters on the show. Shes observant, sometimes mean & also helpful. when she catches Georgia & her co-workiers using Happy Time 1 night to do their own work, she doesnt even blink an eye, just joins in & helps them with their task. Many have wondered if she was also a reaper, as she seemed unphased by them & in the final episode, after seeing Georgia leave HT, typed her name into the database at HT.
The group of course, always meets every morning at Der Waffle Haus (pictured below) for their assignments & sometimes, even some food. Their regular server Kiffany (Patricia Idlette) seems unfazed as well by the odd behaviour of the group leaving many to wonder what her role in all of this is as well.
There are questions we will never know the answer to. Although DLM did well enough ratings wise, decisions made by higher ups (mainly Bob Goldblatt) decided they wanted to bring in all new shows & wiped out many of Showtimes current shows, including DLM. Untill "Shameless" came in 7 1/2 years later, DLM still held the network record for highest rated pilot ever on the network.
Years after its cancellation, people still go looking for answers about many things with the show. I know, because my blog on Der Waffle Haus location
http://canadagraphs.weebly.com/1/post/2011/06/dead-like-me-fans-i-give-you-the-original-der-waffle-haus-set.html averages about 3 views a day still, with over 3300 views in its 2 year existence, it shows that even now, after all these years, people still want to know about the show.
As this is the 10 year anniversary, I felt compelled to do a follow up to my DWH blog & post a few more locations I am familiar with in town. So here are a few that I managed to track down (I have many more that I just havent had time to get to....but will try to eventually get to....and maybe add onto this blog post.)
The Lass Home
On a quiet side street in Shaughnessey. (skytrain - get off at King Edward Stn & take a short 3 minute bus to Oak, about 3 min walk from there) near Oak & King Edward lies the Lass home. 3851 Osler Street was where a lot of scenes were shot. I dont know if the interiors were done there, or in studiom but all the exteriors. The garage sale, George & Rube sitting on the steps waiting for the milk man to arrive, and many more moments took place here.
A walkway connecting Hastings & Cordova street (skytrain - 1 block south & 1 block west of Expo/Millenium Line Waterfront Stn west exit) at the end of Hornby St in the north end of the downtown core, it has changed very little since the untimely death of Georgia Lass. Flowers grow in the area where she was torpedoed. You can stand there, look towards the buildings, which are more or less still the same as then & see the path the toilet seat took.
On Granville Street at Pender (skytrain - 1 block north of Granville Stn, 1 blk south of Canada Line Waterfront Stn Granville St exit), this place is now a downtown campus for Simon Fraser University. The spinning door that caused BM Moore's death is no longer there (sad). But the outside achitecture & some of the inside still remains the same.
The Sun Tower building at the corner of Pender & Beatty (skytrain - 1 block downhill from Stadium Skytrain Station) has been seen & used by many film crews over the years. Of course, over Bettys shoulder they zoom in to an office building where Happy Time is supposed to be... One of these days, I have to find the right angle see if that building is infact there.
One of the more interesting deaths in the series was that of Ronnie Dobbs. The reason, he could see gravelings. Considered crazy by his Doctor & probably society, Ronnie was proven right when he figures out that Georgia is there on behalf of death to get him, sadly, no one but him will ever know. I havent tracked the church he dies at yet, but where he 1st sees Georgia & gravelings is at the corner of Cordova & Howe (skytrain - right at the top of 1 of the exits for the Expo/Millenium Line Waterfront Skytrain Station) infront of a Pricewaterhouse Coopers office tower. You can see in the scene where he looks out the window at the guy falling to his death that its a view from this side, as the Waterfront Centre Hotel is in the background, which is behind where these photos were taken.
Right around the corner from the Ronnie Dobbs spot (skytrain - use same directions as Ronnie Dobbs spot & go 1/2 block west) is a crosswalk on Cordova (and the start of the pathway for Toilet Seat. Situated between Howe & Burrard on Cordova, the crosswalk & its surroundings are mostly all the same.
We of course all remember the scene where Georgia first realizes she doesnt look the same to the living. At the corner of Howe & Robson (skytrain - 1 block south, 1 block west of Vancouver City Centre Stn. 1.5 blocks South, 1 block West of Granville Stn Granville St exit) you will find the building. The scene was filmed on the Howe side of the building. The building that was filmed in front of hasnt changed, but the window display sure has. The book store Chapters (a long time resident of the location.. uses the spot to promote whatever sales they have now).
I had hoped to have this blog up earlier in the day, but I simply cornered myself into a spot where I had to cram (procrastinated). I will look this over some day soon & hopefully addto it & edit any problems I see. But for now, here are some of the season 1 filming spots for Dead Like Me, on the 10th anniversary of its 1st ever episode airing.
Now excuse me, I have to go marathon thru 2 seasons of a certain show.