Wrestling with Death

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Wrestling with Death TV Poster Image
Pro wrestler mortician fam has heart; disturbing imagery.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The importance of family is central. Treating the dead with respect and professionalism also are themes. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

LaFonce Latham is the patriarch of the family, but Ms. Sandra also calls the shots. The family does their best to treat clients with kindness.

Violence

Scenes show corpses, embalming practices, and bodies being prepared for burial. Wrestlers grab, choke, slap, punch, throw, stomp, pull hair, and scream (mostly for show).  

Sex

Wrestling costumes are tight; men often are shirtless. Wrestlers sometimes dress in drag. 

Language

"Ass," "pissed"; curses bleeped. 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wrestling with Death is a reality show about a family of Osceola, Arkansas, morticians who also happen to be professional wrestlers. It features lots of wrestling-themed stories and some rough matches but also images of corpses being embalmed and prepared for funerals. There's also some strong vocab ("ass," "piss"; bleeped cursing), tight wrestling costumes, and shirtless men. All this being said, the central theme of the show is the importance of being a strong family. 

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What's the story?

WRESTLING WITH DEATH is a reality show about a family of Osceola, Arkansas, morticians who also happen to be professional wrestlers. Funeral director LeFonce Latham owns and operates the Wilson Funeral Home with the help of his wife, Ms. Sandra; son-in-law Jerry; adult son, Bubby; daughter Tonya; and his new son-in-law Derrick. Tagging along is his grandson, Max. While he helps folks get through their saddest moments during the day, on Friday nights he entertains them by running the Mid-Southern Championship Wrestling League. LaFonce, along with Ms. Sandra, Jerry, Derrick, and extended family members, train hard and face off with professional wrestlers, but it doesn't stop them from being the best and most caring morticians they can be.  

Is it any good?

Starring undertakers by day, wrestlers by night, this unscripted series attempts to contrast the family's two worlds by mixing scenes of their gentle professionalism as morticians with the rough-and-tumble events inside the ring. However, the attempts to connect the two worlds by connecting the lessons learned from each of the deceased to their everyday lives is a little clunky. 

It's not the most sophisticated of shows, but wrestling fans will appreciate the matches as well as the behind-the-scenes training. But even seasoned fighters may be taken aback by the mortuary footage, which includes images of cadaver preparation and funerals. But behind all the toughness, this show surprisingly has a lot of heart. And in the end, it's all about family. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the mortuary business. Why is this work often considered taboo? How does the family deal with running a business that makes many uncomfortable?

  • Why is wrestling a popular sport? (Is it even a sport?) What kinds of stories do wrestling matches tell? Why?

TV details

For kids who love reality shows

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