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By Merle Bertrand | April 13, 1998

Jacob takes a job in Death’s Collections Department, working for old Mr. Grim himself. His duties include collecting the souls of the world’s dying based on the all-important titular Schedule, the list of appointments he and his fellow reapers must keep, not to mention filling out and filing all the paperwork involved. Trained by Dexter, an old hand who, though he looks Jacob’s age, has been with the company since an ill-advised drinking and driving episode back in the 50’s, Jacob catches on in a hurry. Things are going pretty well until he meets and falls in love with the granddaughter of one of his appointments. Thrown off-center by this new relationship, he foolishly starts becoming emotionally involved with his appointments, taking the soul of a vicious wife-beater, for instance, instead of the wife’s, his intended appointment. This sets in motion a chain of events whereby he’s ultimately charged with collecting the soul of his beloved to balance the books.
“The Schedule” is a near miss; a clever premise with a few good bits but ultimately undermined by inconsistencies within its internal logic. Stuff like how it’s left a little hazy as to when mortals see Jacob as just a regular guy as opposed to when they see him as a reaper. In a perfect world, these guys would tighten up the script and remake “The Schedule” again after gaining a few years worth of experience.

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