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By David C. Velasco

GENRE: Fantasy, Drama

60 minute drama/fantasy pilot. 

Killed in a freak accident and stuck on Earth, a young man’s spirit discovers his death breaks apart two best friends who fell for him and now struggles to set things right believing it’s his ticket out of an Earthly purgatory.


Life after college doesn't get easier for the living or the dead.

A 1-hour, genre blending, drama/fantasy where sometimes, only death can give one a chance. New Girl showed us 20-somethings ups and downs, full of sexual, emotional, and work-related tension. The Good Place put a twist on those in the afterlife.

After Lives meshes both with fly-on-the- wall Herón: he’s a spirit, with no heavenly guidance as to why he’s still here. Putting a twist on the love triangle trope, he has two different women fall for him, only to be killed in a freak accident. Good friends, his death and jealousy break them apart. At stake is his eternal existence and repairing the damage he feels he caused.

It puts a normal character into an irresolvable situation, finding out more about himself -and others enduring the angst of starting out in life- dead than he ever could while alive. Another, but quirky spirit assists in his Quixotic journey.

Through it all, both seek a reason they were left on Earth. It explores the themes of life, death, forgiveness and identity.


The Good Place (NBC)- Instead of going to heaven or hell, Herón’s stuck in an earthly purgatory with zero guidance.

Dead Like Me (Showtime)- The dead dealing with how their deaths affect the living and how those they knew change.

Ghost- Seeking closure before moving on.

Season 1 Arcs: Pilot: Herón’s life after culinary school is enviable: rising chef at a 3-star restaurant, great social life. Nikki and Ellie -opposites in many ways- are good, all but inseparable friends. Admiring both, Herón can’t choose. Ellie confesses her love of Herón to Nikki, who hides her own. Misinterpreting an incident between the two, Ellie storms out of his loft, believing Nikki seduced him. Bolting across the street, he’s about to go after her, but Nikki holds him up for a moment. Tearing away, he jets after Ellie, whereupon he’s struck and killed. Later, Ellie lays flowers at his grave. Nikki appears to do the same. Each hurl accusations and argue over whom he would have chosen. Sitting on his own grave, Herón wonders why he’s stuck on Earth.

Season: Drifting, he discovers people formed the wrong impression about him, giving him a sense of a wasted life. So too the ending of Nikki & Ellie’s friendship. Feeling guilty, he vows to repair the rift, giving him a sense of purpose in death and perhaps the reason he hasn’t moved on. He meets fellow spirit Ursula. With her oft reluctant help, he begins this quixotic journey, and struggles to find a way to communicate with the living. He finds out she watches over her high school boyfriend, paralyzed in the same accident killing her. Despite her misanthropic façade, she’s tormented about the accident, blaming herself for ruining her boyfriend’s chances of college on a football scholarship.

Albert feels he’s wasting his life. Sets out to be a Lothario like he believed Herón was. Breaking up with Megan, Herón tries stopping him but can’t be heard. Ellie goes about as if nothing happened. But she’s not the same: shuns friends, harbors contempt for men she feels inferior to Herón’s (perceived) standards. Herón discovers she’s been used in the past by friends, believing Nikki no better. Charming Simon makes a move on her. Thinking he’s like Herón, she shows interest. He learns about her rift with Nikki and promises to help. Herón and Ursula discover he’s a player, wanting to bed each in turn. Nikki has trouble moving on. Feels responsible for his death. Unable to bear the pain of guilt and losing him and Ellie, she readies herself to commit suicide. Angered, Herón screams at her. She stops, as though she felt something, and refrains from hurting herself. Herón and Ursula discover strong emotions on their part can be felt by the living. As closure, her boss allows her to write an article about him. She embarks on writing a remembrance of Herón, but struggles with finding out who he really was, and realizing she didn’t know him that well.

The pair run into the vain Breanna, part of the Chichi Posse. She boasts about sex with Herón. Denying it, Ursula presses him and concludes he’s still a virgin. He defends his choice, taught to have a depth of feeling before sex, but he lets others live as they see fit. A point of contention since he’s trying the opposite. When Albert’s about to have unprotected sex, Herón tries stopping him, with Ursula’s reluctant help. She discovers a new way to interact with the living: they can briefly possess the bodies of the living and affect their behavior when emotionally vulnerable.

Using this, Herón tries communicating with Ellie and Nikki as they dream. He appeals to Ellie to make amends. When she argues she deserves him, he states so does Nikki. Believing it was just a dream, she ponders reconciling. In her dream, Nikki confesses a love for him and, to a degree, for Ellie, having feelings for both sexes since a teen. He figures out she’s bi. When pressed by Ursula what he would have done in life with such knowledge, he has no answer. Herón tries steering Albert back to Megan but hits a snag: his new friend Lucy falls for him. Ellie’s first date with Simon ends back at his place. Ursula urges Herón not to interfere. People must make their own choices, even bad ones. It’s what makes the living, and the dead, who we are.

Albert tries getting back with Megan, much to Lucy’s chagrin. Urged by Simon for his own reasons, and her dream with Herón, Ellie speaks to Nikki. When a light-filled tunnel appears, Herón and Ursula believe they can now ascend. About to enter, he hesitates. Looking back, he sees Ellie and Nikki part without reconciling. He also catches the faces of several people, including Lucy, each unhappy, angry or jealous. Egged on by Ursula to ascend, he feels something else is missing…

For extended synopsis, character descriptions, episodes, see....

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Désirée Nordlund

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Judith Grace Bassat

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Tasha Lewis

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Nathaniel Baker

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Nate Rymer

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