Think ghost stories are overdone? Think again. Deadbeat on HuluPlus takes a fresh stab at a classic plot line.
It’s always a challenge to write editorial pieces about TV shows because it can be hard to not ruin the plot line. Luckily, there isn’t the biggest plot line to Deadbeat, which actually maintains part of the charm.
The entire premise of the show is about two Mediums who butt heads constantly: Kevin Pacalioglu, a deadbeat who can talk to ghosts, and Camomile White, a crypto-erotica author. Camomile White is beautiful, popular, rich, has an assistant who will do anything for her, and Kevin Pac is…well, a deadbeat. Kevin is always on the verge of not paying his rent, dresses like The Dude from The Big Lebowski, tends to make up words that sound real but definitely aren’t (so don’t quote him), and his only friend in the world also happens to be his drug dealer, Roofie.
Now that I’m actually explaining it, it sounds totally terrible. But bear with me here! Stay on for just a little bit longer!
I actually have an incredibly busy life. I’m super snobby with my TV time, so if the first few episodes don’t hook me (never judge a TV show based on it’s pilot, you should give it at least 2 more tries), I’ll stop watching. Regardless of how popular a show is, if something else sounds remotely more fun, like reading a book, I’ll read a book. Deadbeat had me moving on to the next episode before I realized what I was doing.
Deadbeat is worth the 10 episodes of your time.
Kevin, while a pathetic excuse for a human being on paper, turns out to be a super likable guy. He’s genuine, sincerely wants to help people–but only really seems to manage it with the dead ones–and tries to do right. His heart is in the right place, and you feel bad that things just barely work out for him. Tyler Labine does an incredible job at Kevin making him likable, pathetic, and the underdog all at the same time. His acting is spot on, his line delivery is the best, and his look is perfect. Brandon T. Jackson, who plays his drug dealing friend Roofie, is a perfect counterpoint to Kevin: he’s put together, smooth, business savvy, and sophisticated. Roofie is the one person in the world who gives Kevin a break and tries to get him work as a Medium and help him make next month’s rent without cutting him any favors.
Camomile White, played by Cat Deeley, is 100% unlikable. You’ll never like this woman. The only person who likes her is Kevin, and he doesn’t even know why he likes her. Her assistant Sue, played by Lucy DeVito (yep, that DeVito), bends over backwards for Camomile, and she doesn’t even like her. However, the show certainly wouldn’t be what it is without such a despicable character as Camomile.
I was trying to figure out what I liked about Deadbeat so much while watching it. The “hero” isn’t heroic, the “villian” isn’t all that evil (well…), and the budget for the show isn’t there. Then my friend explained it to me: it’s a real life kids cartoon for adults. I could go on in details, but for time’s sake, let’s just roll it all into the simple phrase “It’s a reality Pinky and The Brain.” You have to think about it, but that’s totally right. It’s a twist on Phineas and Ferb, taking a child’s plot device and tuning it to adults. And it’s brilliant!
While the characters aren’t incredibly deep, the subtext of the show is. Kevin is a guy who can help everyone but himself. He wants to do good and barely gets by doing it. While he wastes his time and talent, he thinks that helping people should be the norm. He wants everyone to love himself, respect herself, and everyone to get along. He wants people to like him to the point that he blunders into horrible social faux pas. And ultimately, he wants everyone to live a life to their fullest extent with no regrets and without unfinished business so they can be at peace. If that isn’t beautiful, nothing is.
Deadbeat is about loving people, helping people, all while providing some excellent social commentary, if you think about it. I’ve definitely thought about it a lot trying to figure out what I liked about the low budget show so much, and I’m pretty sure that’s it. While ridiculous on the surface, some of the riotous punch lines and banter-dialog speak much deeper. These low-key commentaries run along the lines of commercialism, capitalism, the beauty industry, and social norms. Don’t worry, none of this is shoved in your face, and you may, in fact, completely miss them if you weren’t reading this article right now. So if you’re like me and like cheap laughs that actually take a trivia-master mind to understand, this is your kind of show.
All in all, Deadbeat is a must watch. Don’t even add it to your queue, just start watching it tonight, or now, or whenever you get a chance. It’s left wide open for season two and we’ve gotta know what happens, so let’s get those ratings up!
Deadbeat is twisted, functions solely on adult humor, features a new kind of empathic-hero, and is ideal for any of our Larkable readers. Five stars, peeps, five stars!