Best Funeral Ever
By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Funerals entertain and educate about cultural traditions.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series highlights some African-Americans funeral traditions relating to celebratory home goings. God, prayer, and heaven are frequent topics; the importance of respect and professionalism is also underscored.
Positive Role Models
The Golden Gate staff is committed to providing a positive experience for the families who go to them; one cast member is more interested in putting on a show than pleasing the families.
Violence & Scariness
Death is a theme, but the way people die is not discussed. Caskets and urns are shown (but no remains); references are made to being cremated. Occasionally disagreements break out between cast members, but this behavior is discouraged the CEO.
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Products & Purchases
The series is a promotional vehicle for Golden Gate Funeral Home. Occasionally eateries like Chili's and other venues are discussed.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some events include drinking alcohol, but it's rarely visible.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Best Funeral Ever features the planning and implementation of extravagant African-American funeral services, a.k.a. home goings, that honor the lives of deceased loved ones. References are made to losing family members and friends, but causes of death are not discussed, nor are remains of the deceased shown. The series focuses on positive messages about respect, professionalism, and celebrating life, but there are a few catty arguments, and on occasion, the celebrations include drinking alcohol. Young or more sensitive viewers might have a difficult time with the show's focus on death, but older tweens and teens who are more comfortable with the subject should be able to handle it.
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What's the Story?
BEST FUNERAL EVER is a reality show featuring the Golden Gate Funeral Home, a Dallas-based funeral home known for creating personalized \"home goings,\" or celebratory funeral services that commemorate the lives of the deceased. It stars Golden Gate's CEO John Beckwith Jr., a.k.a. \"Mr. B,\" who manages a team of funeral planners, including the opinionated Shondra Alexander, veterans and best friends Deborah Davis and Loretta Pope, the flamboyant Trendnard Blanks, and Eplunus \"E\" Brooks-Colvinand. Also joining them is Blanks' son, John Beckwith III, and Pastor Eaton, whose charismatic preaching lifts everyone's spirits. From training professional mourners to wail by a coffin, to planning a full-out Christmas funeral extravaganza, the Golden Gate team will do everything they have to do to honor families' requests to create a positive experience during one of the most difficult periods in their lives.
Is It Any Good?
Best Funeral Ever offers an interesting look at the traditional African-American home going, which is a service designed to celebrate the deceased's return to an eternal life, rather than mourn their loss. It shows how these celebrations, which can include dancing, singing, props, special effects, and even trips to specific venues, offer families a chance to cope with their loss by allowing them to say good-bye to their loved ones in a way that is both joyous and loving.
Some viewers may be taken aback by the unique and extravagant services featured here, which are very different from the reserved services folks often expect from traditional funerals. Planning these larger-than-life events creates some reality drama and humorous moments, too. But throughout it all, the show offers very strong messages about the importance of running a business that is professional, respectful, and honors the cultural traditions of a community.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about funerals. Commemorating someone's death is important in many different cultures. What are some unique ways that different cultures or communities honor the dead? Why do some cultures view certain behaviors at funerals to be inappropriate for the occasion, while others find them acceptable?
Why do you think Golden Gate Funeral Home is featured in a reality series? Is it because of the way they run their business? Or to advertise their services?
- Premiere date: January 6, 2013
- Cast: Loretta Pope, Trendnard Blanks
- Network: TLC
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: December 15, 2022
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