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Series / Dead Last

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From left to right: Vaughn, Scotty and Jane.

A 2001 series on The WB about a rock band that comes across a magic amulet that allows them to see and communicate with ghosts. This new power obligates the three band members, Scotty (Tyler Labine), Vaughn (Kett Turton), and Jane (Sara Downing), to help the dead people wrap up their Unfinished Business and Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence.

The show's genre was a solid mix of Urban Fantasy, Horror, and Dramedy. Only 13 episodes were produced before it was canceled.

This show provides examples of:

  • Applied Phlebotinum: The Amulet of Soren.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Holders of the Amulet of Soren are entrusted to help ghosts take care of any Unfinished Business and move on to the afterlife.
  • Blessed with Suck:
    • The ability to see and communicate with ghosts comes with very few perks, and a lot of drawbacks. Helping out spirits is a mostly thankless job, and it tends to make Muggles think you're either crazy or on drugs.
    • Being a ghost (or at least the ones that the wielders of the Amulet of Soren attract) is this in the series universe. Turns out that being a loser in life is a very good reason to decide there's Unfinished Business once you die, and the really cool people that died (like famous scientists and such) did so with no (ghost-making) regrets. The band tries to explain this to a crazy scientist that wanted to kill them and take the Amulet for himself (thinking that it will let him speak with Einstein or Elvis), but the man won't listen.
  • Cassandra Truth: Whenever any of the band members claim that can see ghosts. A later episode have them trying to explain that the ghosts the Amulet attracts are not famous people like Einstein (those guys pass away wth no Unfinished Business) but rather immense losers to a Mad Scientist that believes otherwise (which is the reason he wants to kill them), and sure enough the man doesn't wants to listen.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: The Amulet of Soren can't be destroyed by any means, and always makes its way back to the holders.
  • Ghostly Goals: Anything from solving a murder to demonstrating that an equipment mistake (and not their own skill) was the reason someone's last hockey game was epically awful.
  • Invisible to Normals: Ghosts are invisible to anyone who isn't one of the current holders of the amulet.
  • I See Dead People: Whole premise of the show.
  • Jacob Marley Apparel: In one extreme case, a ghost died naked. This made things extremely awkward for the main characters.
  • Magnetic Medium: Justified. Ghosts tend to flock to the amulet bearers because they want to resolve their Unfinished Business and move on to the afterlife.
  • No Ending: Only 13 episodes were produced.
  • Mr. Exposition: The former holder of the Amulet of Soren stuck around after he died so that he could explain the responsibilities that come along with the amulet to the next holders.
  • Poltergeist: With enough time and practice, ghosts can develop Psychic Powers. This means that in many cases the protagonists can't simply ignore ghosts, because the ghosts would just use their Poltergeist powers to make the protagonists' lives miserable.
  • Selective Obliviousness: The protagonists attempt this occasionally to avoid having to help ghosts. It usually doesn't turn out well.
  • Spoiler Opening: The incredibly poorly done opening completely spoils the events of first episode.
  • Unfinished Business: The reason ghosts exist.
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Weirdness Magnet: The Amulet of Soren acts as one. Justified in that bearing the amulet forces the users to help spirits with their Ghostly Goals, so naturally ghosts seek out the amulet-bearers.