An empty living room with a TV on the wall

 

Written by Samantha Watson

 

Funeral directors are almost always misunderstood by the general public.

 

Nothing illustrates this better than the way funeral directors and other funeral professionals make their appearances in pop culture. There are all kinds of shows and movies out there that are far from accurate, but still entertaining for many of us to watch.

 

Movies

Bernie (2011)

Based on the true story of Bernie Tiede, an American mortician who married a widow to inherit her $5 million estate then murdered her. While not indicative of most morticians, this drama/comedy gets a 6.8/10 on IMDb and a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes.

 

The Funeral Director (2012)

This short film is just five minutes long, but its dark humor might be a much closer interpretation of the profession than some of the films and shows on this list, albeit a bit more depressing. You can watch the film here.

 

The Undertaking (2007)

Thomas Lynch, a funeral director at Lynch & Sons in central Michigan, takes FRONTLINE behind the scenes for a real-life look at death. Lynch offers a look at more than just the funerals he performs, but what he’s learned along the way.

 

Death at a Funeral (2010)

Based on a British film of the same name, this American comedy has virtually nothing to do with the funeral profession. It does, however, make light of some of the drama some funeral directors deal with every day, like sibling rivalry and family secrets.

 

Shows

Six Feet Under (2001-2005)

After their father’s untimely death, two brothers must overcome family drama and take over the family funeral home. One of TIME magazine’s All-TIME 100 TV Shows, this HBO series looks at what the living can learn from death.

 

Pushing Daisies (2007-2009)

Though not necessarily a show based on funerals, Pushing Daisies takes a unique look at death with a man who can bring people back to life. Ned uses his gift to help an investigator by bringing murder victims back to life, including his childhood sweetheart.

 

Family Plots (2004-2006)

An American reality series follows the lives of the employees at Poway Bernardo Mortuary, a family-run funeral home in Poway, California. With an 8.4/10 IMDb rating, this show offers an entertaining look into the life of a funeral director.

 

Best Funeral Ever (2013-2014)

At Golden Gate Funeral Home in Dallas, the staff don’t organize funerals — rather, they organize home-going celebrations. Best Funeral Ever on TLC provides a glimpse into their lives and the over-the-top extravagant funerals they arrange.

 

So, how many of these shows and movies have you seen? Which ones do you like, or hate? Let us know in the comments below, or suggest some we might have missed!