We gave it a B-
This trite little wisp of a TV movie is more entertaining than it should be because of the charm of its stars. In the opening moments of Hi Honey, I’m Dead, we meet Brad Stadler (Tour of Duty‘s Kevin Conroy), a handsome, glib, dishonest real estate mogul — ”a lousy human being with great clothes,” someone remarks. Brad is obnoxious to everyone, including his long-suffering wife (Catherine Hicks of Child’s Play) and young son (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Brad’s not around long — he dies in a freak accident — but his spirit is reincarnated in the body of a nice little nebbish of a guy, Arnold Pishkin (Moonlighting‘s Curtis Armstrong).
No reincarnation comedy would be complete without a wisecracking angel, and this one is played by the insufferable stand-up comic Paul Rodriguez. The angel tells Brad that if he ever wants to go to heaven, he’d better make up for his earthly sins. You can imagine the rest: Arnold does many good deeds, and Brad’s wife and son come to love Arnold in a way they never did Brad. But as Arnold, Armstrong has puppy-dog charm in St. Bernard quantities, and Hicks is her usual beguiling combination of sweet hardheadedness. (As the years go by, it’s becoming clear that Hicks could have been the Doris Day of her generation, but they just don’t make Doris Day movies anymore.)
Hi Honey, I’m Dead isn’t much more than a long sitcom, but its quiet, optimistic tone is a welcome change from the Fox network’s usual overbearing cynicism.