There’s a New Reality Series About … Death?
"The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning" is a forthcoming reality series set to air on NBC's Peacock
When reality TV first came out, it was about celebrities with sex tapes and rich wine moms yelling at each other. These days, reality TV shows are about things like organizing your home and — checks notes — preparing for death.
The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning is a new reality series set to premiere on NBC’s Peacock streaming service, The Hollywood Reporter announced Thursday. According to THR, the unscripted series is basically going to be the Marie Kondo of death, and each episode will feature a “Swedish Death Cleaner” who will help people prepare for their inevitable demise. Per Peacock, the Death Cleaner will help people who “are at a major crossroads [to] organize and demystify [their] homes, lives, and relationships,” thereby “allowing us to prepare for death while we enjoy life.”
“In this series, viewers will be taken on an honest and emotional journey as they watch everyday people conquer their worst fears and discover who they really are on the inside,” said Rod Aissa, executive vice president of unscripted content for NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “We hope our compassionate and dynamic series sparks conversation within each household and breaks the stigma around mortality and the tough reality of letting things go.”
In case this doesn’t sound weird enough, the series — which is based on the 2018 best-selling book of the same name by Margareta Magnusson — is also produced and narrated by Amy Poehler for some reason. “We are so excited to work on such a life-affirming project with the genius creators at Scout,” said Poehler, referring to the production company behind the series. “Swedish Death Cleaning reminds us to focus on what is truly important, and we couldn’t find a better team to take this journey with than Peacock and the incredible Scout Team.”
But while a reality series about death may not have been on your streaming content bingo card, death is kind of in right now. In 2020, Vox dubbed Millennials the “death positive generation” due to their interest in planning their own funerals, preparing for death and otherwise facing the inevitability of their own mortality. And as THR noted, death planning has also been having a bit of a moment on TV lately, appearing on shows like This Is Us and Human Resources.
Death is clearly in for 2022, and given the current state of the world, it’s not hard to see why. While a reality show about death prep may not be as fun as watching wine-drunk housewives scream at each other, it’s certainly relevant programming for our current era of late-stage human existence. There’s really never been a better time to embrace your mortality.
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