Francis is a perfectionist. Francis is the eccentric personality of the funeral parlour. He is struggling
with obesity and has the maniac need to own the most powerful leaf blower. He hates leaves.
Leaves are everywhere, and he wanted to destroy them all.
The first minute of the reality series tastes like a sip of bitter black coffee.
‘The funeral business is generally always busy,’ says Francis. ‘Why? Because people die.’
Imagine the funeral parlour run by the Kardashian family but without the whole ridiculous charade.
And that is the Tipene Funerals. Surely not just any funeral parlour.
Francis and his wife Kaiora, both funeral directors in the Auckland suburb of Onehunga, found the
proverbial golden mean, combining the parlour with humour and fun. They are giving us what we all
desperately need these days. A heart-warming sincere hug.
‘The Casketeers’ is a reality show about death and sadness, the inherent part of life – yet, this TV show will make you laugh. And it’s all thanks to the clever and dry New Zealand sense of humour, which without a doubt plays the leading role in The Casketeers.
It is hard to believe that this reality show hasn’t been scripted. Each character appearing in the show is unique and invites us to their world in an unobtrusive way. The world of well-balanced comedy and tragedy.
The world wouldn’t be able to keep on going if not for Kaiora. She is the head and neck of the parlour. Her main task is dealing with Francis’s leaf blower obsession and preventing him from spending money, a bit too freely, on non-essential things. Things such as a brand new backpack
blower. A backpack blower worth bagatelle $1500.
The juxtaposition of sacrum and profane in the show might feel overwhelming at first, but that is how they are taking the taboo of death away. They are doing it so easily but with tact, care and propriety. To them, the funeral business is about sensitivity.
The best proof for that is the touching scene where Francis and his colleague Fiona are standing in the rain, singing Māori folk music over the tiny white casket of a baby.
‘The Casketeers’ is the program that would unexpectedly touch your heart. It will embrace you with captivating Māori death culture and passionate and emotional Haka dances to show respect towards relatives who passed away.
This program is about spiritual growth and wistfulness but also about the silly scandal of vanishing biscuits. In each episode, everyday life intertwines subtly with the sphere of holiness.
In each episode, Francis is trying to lose weight to fit in a smaller casket in the future.