I think the real reason that I couldn’t quite get on board with Dead Like Me is that I was already watching Pushing Daisies, Bryan Fuller’s newer, shinier take on death-centric whimsy. If the older show was about using death as the gateway to a more fulfilling life, then the new model is about taking that idea, reifying it, coating it with a romantic glaze, and serving it to the audience in a pie tin with a side order of Kristen Chenoweth’s boobs. And where the mourning family on Dead Like Me was a pitiless morass of realism, Chuck’s aunts on Pushing Daisies give the audience — thanks to the show’s storybook atmosphere, as well as the fact that Chuck is not actually dead — some hope that there’s something other than despair in their future.
Also: In place of Dead Like Me’s lame office humor, Pushing Dasies has cute clothes and singing. Love!