Monday, February 13, 2023

Not Dead Yet - Pilot

Well there's a half-hour of my life I'll never get back. Not Dead Yet is a workplace comedy that forgot the comedy. Gina Rodriguez stars as a thirtysomething still acting like a twentysomething who returns home to a career she abandoned years ago for a relationship that eventually went up in flames. Half of the episode shows us examples of how everyone else has grown up in Nell's absence, leaving her on shaky ground both in her work and social life. The other half deals with dead people.

The first two-thirds of the "Pilot" episode is largely from Nell's perspective and her reactions to how everyone in her life is annoying before her late revelation that she's the problem. Our writers find numerous ways to make Gina Rodriguez unlikable, and not at all sympathetic (man did her boyfriend escape a nightmare of a life together), before allowing the dead to give her some perspective on life. However, since we've spent so long being told what a dumpster fire of a person Nell is, digging her out of the hole is now going to take an enormous amount of extra effort.

Assigned to work in obituaries, Nell begins seeing the ghost of the man (Martin Mull) whose obituary she needs to write. While the set-up of a woman who sees dead people writing obituaries or someone returning home and putting their life back together both offer fine starting points for a series, how events are staged is bizarre. Nell's ability to see the dead doesn't manifest leading her to work in obituaries (which would be odd but at least make a marginal amount of sense). Instead she's assigned a less prestigious job than the one she abandoned years ago and this new ability coincidentally manifests to conveniently make the life of the character, who the writers have spent the majority of the episode convincing us not to like, easier.

  • Title: Not Dead Yet - Pilot
  • IMDb: link

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