Review of: The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade
FRONTLINE’s The Undertaking, aired October 30 at 9 pm on PBS.  It enters the world of Thomas Lynch, a writer, poet and undertaker whose family for three generations has cared for both the living and the dead in a small Michigan town. Through the intimate stories of families coming to terms with grief, mortality, and a funeral’s rituals, the film illuminates the heartbreak and beauty in the journey taken between the living and the dead when a loved one dies. (click here for details)
Alan Ball (Creator of Six Feet Under) Quotes:
“I cannot claim credit for the premise of SFU. The idea of doing a show about a family-run funeral home was pitched to me by Carolyn Strauss of HBO. She had just finished reading The American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford, a non-fiction book about the “death-care industry” first published in the 1960s, and was fascinated by the world of funeral homes. In my research, I also read the Mitford book, but the books I found most helpful were The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade and Bodies in Motion and at Rest: On Metaphor and Mortality, both by Thomas Lynch, a funeral director and poet, and a brilliant, soulful writer. These two collections of essays about life as an undertaker gave me a sense of the tone I wanted the show to have.”