Hilarious TV Series The Kominsky Method Helps to Discuss Death and Estate Planning

Sep 17, 2021 | 0 comments

The Kominsky Method
The Kominsky Method DVD cover

The Kominsky Method shows how to age with humor. The award-winning Netflix TV series stars Michael Douglas as Sandy Kominsky, an aging acting coach, and Alan Arkin as Norman Newlander, his long-time agent and friend. The series pokes fun at a range of aging issues: fear of death, funeral planning, diseases that can kill you, the growing multitude of medications and supplements we take, and yes, even estate planning.

The Kominsky Method was produced from 2018 to 2021 and continues to stream on Netflix. It’s just starting to become available on DVDs.

Bette Davis often gets credit for the saying, “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.” The increasingly bumpy road into old age calls for the humor deployed in this series to help smooth the ride and encourage baby boomers to plan ahead for end-of-life issues.

In the first season, Norman’s wife dies of cancer and Sandy supports his friend through her death, honoring her wishes for funeral planning, and convincing Norman that he has a reason to continue living. Sandy has his own issues to contend with: avoiding the topic of death, contending with prostate issues, dating and relationships, and paying back taxes to the IRS.

How to Age with Humor

You can get a sense of the humor in this collection of clips from the series:

The Kominsky Method on How to Age with Humor

Other End-of-Life Issues

In later episodes, Norman continues to process his grief and explores dating as a senior. Sandy experiences the challenges of being the executor of an estate. Sandy’s ex-wife comes back into his life, with lessons for those who need to make advance medical directives (which is every adult). All of these tough topics are tackled with a light touch that makes them easier to discuss after watching this series.

In 2019, when Michael Douglas won a Golden Globe award for his role as Sandy Kominsky, he proclaimed, “Alter Kakers rule!” The Yiddish phrase translates to old guys, or old farts. It was a salute to his then-102-year-old father, the renowned actor Kirk Douglas. The elder Douglas died February 5, 2020. His later years had their challenges, including barely surviving a helicopter crash in 1991 and a stroke in 1996.

Gail Rubin, death educator

Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist and The Doyenne of Death®

Gail Rubin, who has a license to use film clips in her presentations, will present “Not Planning to Die with The Kominsky Method” during the Before I Die New Mexico Festival. The Festival will take place in Albuquerque, NM and online October 30 to November 2, 2021. Depending on pandemic conditions, in-person Festival events may become online sessions.

The Before I Die Festival concept brings together entertaining and educational elements to start conversations. Events are designed to prompt baby boomers and their millennial children to start conversations, learn what you need to know before you go, and plan ahead for end-of-life issues. Learn more and register at www.BeforeIDieNM.com.

Funeral homes, cemeteries, estate planning attorneys and other related organizations can partner to host Festival events in their markets at no cost. It’s a great way to connect with your community and get end-of-life planning conversations started! Call Gail Rubin at 505-265-7215 to discuss opportunities.




A Good Goodbye