Family Plots

The members of the Wissmiller family, three amiable women and their cantankerous father, make this reality spin on "Six Feet Under" a frothy take on the death business. Characters aren't exposed the way their fictional counterparts are on HBO -- these people are considerably more lighthearted, making "Family Plots" a fun little diversion.

The members of the Wissmiller family, three amiable women and their cantankerous father, make this reality spin on “Six Feet Under” a frothy take on the death business. The characters aren’t exposed the way their fictional counterparts are on HBO — these people are considerably more lighthearted. The filmmakers, instead, carefully distinguish each family member’s role in the mortuary biz and in their conjoined life, making “Family Plots” a fun little diversion.

“Family Plots” has a natural feel — no jokes, no ghastly responses to dead bodies or grieving relatives. It’s a crew of people maintaining deadlines, providing a service and dealing with death on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Show’s on par with Showtime’s vastly improved porn series “Family Business”; just as there’s little titillating in “Business,” there’s nothing grisly in “Plots.”

Skein is shot in a convincing fly-on-the-wall style. The six or seven participants seem rarely aware of the camera’s presence — a significant departure from shows such as “Airplane” or “The Restaurant.” Shonna, the embalmer, is the most reflective of the batch. She bosses around her gruff father, Chuck, a former boxer who still trains youths, and rides herd on the operations; everyone seems relatively adept at their jobs — no superstars, no goldbrickers.

The Poway Bernardo Mortuary might as well be a delivery service, just with a different set of orders: “burials, ship-outs and cremations” — in case you were wondering, the order of priorities in the mortuary business. Episode two, airing at 9:30 p.m., finds them dealing with stress in different ways, and slowly but surely, an intriguing family portrait — one that viewers can identify with — emerges.

Family Plots

A&E, Mon. April 19, 9 p.m.

Production: Filmed in Poway, Calif., by Hybrid Films. Executive producers, Daniel Elias, David Houts; producer, Po Kutchins; director, Elias;

Crew: Camera, Andrew Dunn, Darcy Dennett, Jayson Haedrich; editor, Allan Title; music, Music Box. 30 MIN.

More TV

  • Gabrielle Carteris SAG AFRA PRESIDENT

    SAG-AFTRA Members Approve TV Animation Strike Authorization

    The members of the Wissmiller family, three amiable women and their cantankerous father, make this reality spin on “Six Feet Under” a frothy take on the death business. The characters aren’t exposed the way their fictional counterparts are on HBO — these people are considerably more lighthearted. The filmmakers, instead, carefully distinguish each family member’s […]

  • Ryan Murphy Pose

    Ryan Murphy on 'Showrunning as Advocacy' and the Post-Me Too 'Age of Enlightenment'

    The members of the Wissmiller family, three amiable women and their cantankerous father, make this reality spin on “Six Feet Under” a frothy take on the death business. The characters aren’t exposed the way their fictional counterparts are on HBO — these people are considerably more lighthearted. The filmmakers, instead, carefully distinguish each family member’s […]

  • Diego Luna Narcos: Mexico

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Offers First Look at 'Narcos: Mexico,' Trailer for Rev Run's 'All About the Washingtons'

    The members of the Wissmiller family, three amiable women and their cantankerous father, make this reality spin on “Six Feet Under” a frothy take on the death business. The characters aren’t exposed the way their fictional counterparts are on HBO — these people are considerably more lighthearted. The filmmakers, instead, carefully distinguish each family member’s […]

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Virtual reality

    Nickelodeon's 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Go Virtual at Comic-Con

    The members of the Wissmiller family, three amiable women and their cantankerous father, make this reality spin on “Six Feet Under” a frothy take on the death business. The characters aren’t exposed the way their fictional counterparts are on HBO — these people are considerably more lighthearted. The filmmakers, instead, carefully distinguish each family member’s […]

  • Destan Arslanoski Stunt Performer

    Stunt Performers Say There's Not Enough Being Done to Address Risks of the Job

    The members of the Wissmiller family, three amiable women and their cantankerous father, make this reality spin on “Six Feet Under” a frothy take on the death business. The characters aren’t exposed the way their fictional counterparts are on HBO — these people are considerably more lighthearted. The filmmakers, instead, carefully distinguish each family member’s […]

  • Discovery Extends CEO David Zaslav's Contract

    Discovery Extends CEO David Zaslav's Contract Through 2023

    The members of the Wissmiller family, three amiable women and their cantankerous father, make this reality spin on “Six Feet Under” a frothy take on the death business. The characters aren’t exposed the way their fictional counterparts are on HBO — these people are considerably more lighthearted. The filmmakers, instead, carefully distinguish each family member’s […]

  • Janina Gavankar

    Eka Darville, Janina Gavankar, Italia Ricci Join North Fork TV Festival Lineup

    The members of the Wissmiller family, three amiable women and their cantankerous father, make this reality spin on “Six Feet Under” a frothy take on the death business. The characters aren’t exposed the way their fictional counterparts are on HBO — these people are considerably more lighthearted. The filmmakers, instead, carefully distinguish each family member’s […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content