Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hulu's Deadbeat

Hulu did a really smart thing in creating the supernatural sitcom Deadbeat. They combined the concepts behind two popular long running TV shows (Ghost Whisperer and Psyche) with the overdone, but somehow popular, fat dumb guy who is always on the brink of homelessness, as the hero. Wait. I guess most of us working class citizens fit that description, at least as far as our marketing culture is concerned. None of us are thin enough or smart enough and how many of us are only one or two paychecks away from homelessness?

Our hero is sweet incompetent drug dependent Kevin Pacalioglu (Tyler Labine), or Pac as his friends call him. He only has one friend, his generous, softhearted, African-American drug dealer Roofy (Brandon T. Jackson) who mostly gives Pac drugs for free while also finding him work. Black guy and white guy best friends helping each other make a living with a lot of well-written humor is where the resemblance to Psyche ends as Pac, unlike Shawn, really does talk to dead people. In fact, he has relaxed and casual conversations with them as though they're two people meeting at a public event where the surprise is always on the ghost's face when they realize Pac can actually see and hear them. 

Yes, Pac can easily see and hear the pleasantly surprised ghosts and helps them tie up their unfinished business in the material world much like Melinda in Ghost Whisperer; however Pac seeks out the ghosts for a small fee (due to his hilarious inability to negotiate) as a service to his clients who want to be rid of the haunting. Melinda, on the other hand, is approached by ghosts because she can see and hear them and help them communicate messages to the living, and not necessarily because they want to leave the material realm and move on to the spirit world, but because Melinda needs them to move on for her own life to return to normal.

I've only seen the first three episodes which, in 22 minutes each, are full of sweetness, silliness and smartly resolved story lines as Pac struggles to pay his rent, repay Roofy and overcome the bully Camomile White (Cat Deeley) who is threatened by Pac's knowledge that her lucrative career as a celebrity medium is a sham as she's a complete fake.

I'm looking forward to seeing the remaining 20 episodes!

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