Life’s Delicious Little Ironies Dept.: Thanks to the miracle of Netflix, my current favorite cable show (non-Sopranos division) is Dead Like Me. If you watch it, you know that it has not only a female lead that doesn’t dress in Britneywear but two well-written 30something/40something female supporting characters (Joy, the lead’s mother, and Dolores, her office manager — yeah, their names are joy and sorrow and this is a show about the afterlife, not to mention that the female lead works for the Happy Land Temp Agency, which is just too damn bardo-fabulous to contemplate). The irony? The wellspring of the series was Piers Anthony’s On A Pale Horse — book I loved very much as a kid, but from an author that couldn’t write plausible female characters to save his life. The world may be falling apart, but there are pockets of improvement here and there.

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