On Christmas Eve, 2000, funeral-director Nathaniel Samuel Fisher is involved in a hearse-accident with a bus and is killed. Ruth Fisher has a hard time coping, so can't bring herself to identify her husband's body at the morgue. David, the secretly gay younger son who remained at home to help with the family business, feels nothing but dismay at the prospect of now continuing his hated job for good, and focuses on keeping everything in order for the newest funeral. Claire Fisher gets the news just after smoking crystal at a party, and is forced to hide it. Nate Fisher returns home just in time to learn of the death after making out with fellow plane passenger Brenda Chenowith in an airport supply closet, and is forced to keep Claire's secret, console Ruth when she confesses she'd been cheating on Nathaniel, and take abuse from David for conversing with embalmer Federico Diaz, not helping him or forcing the others to swallow their grief, and insisting that David unleash his own. Then, ... Written by
On the evening of the airing of the pilot, Francis Conroy was commended for her performance by a fellow shopper at an L.A. supermarket. This shocked her because the show had not yet aired on the West Coast. The complimenter explained that he had seen the program's premiere via the East Coast feed. See more »
The hearse in the opening credits has a Washington state license plate. See more »
[in front of a casket]
You did a real good job on her.
Well, we do our best.
If there's any justice in the universe, she's shoveling shit in hell right now.
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This episode, the first one of the series, is simply great. I began watching it a few days ago, and I think this is one of the greatest things there have been in television. The pilot episode doesn't get boring at any time, and keeps you awaiting for what happens in the next scene.
The characters are probably among the best I have seen in a television program. It reminds you of the film "American Beauty", also written by Alan Ball. The freak mother, with their sons: the runaway, the repressed one, the teenage girl. The initial situation (the death of the father), unleashes one situation after the other, told in an excellent way, and the inclusions of phony ads makes way for the laughs, although there are several moments that will make you laugh. The performances can't get better, neither the script.
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