'The End' Is Near on Showtime

From left: Harriet Walter as Edie and Frances O'Connor as Kate in 'The End'
(Image credit: Mark Taylor/Courtesy of Showtime)

Showtime premieres the dark family comedy The End Sunday, July 18. Set in Australia, Frances O'Connor plays a doctor, and Harriet Walter portrays her mother, who arrives from England after a scary incident to be closer to family. 

The End is created by Samantha Strauss, who described the show as "three generations of people who are trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be." 

We spoke with Strauss for the podcast "Series Business."

O'Connor's Kate is a doctor specializing in palliative care. She's opposed to euthanasia, while her mother Edie, played by Walter, wishes to end her life. "All of us deal with death in private and behind closed doors, and we don't often find the space to talk about it with other people," Strauss said. "Hopefully there's a spirit underneath the series that is life-affirming."

Kate's husband is in prison and they have two kids, one a trans boy. Their names are Oberon, played by Morgan Davies, and Persephone, played by Ingrid Torelli. I asked Strauss about the funky kid names. "If your name is Kate, you might want to give your child a more dramatic name," she said. 

Davies "inhabits the character with so much humanity and dignity and fun," said Strauss, who also described Oberon as naughty and rebellious. 

Ingrid Torelli portrays Persephone. She's "the glue of the family," said Strauss, with a "slightly sociopathic streak."

There are 10 episodes and two premiere July 18. The End is produced by See-Saw Films, and is a co-production between Sky UK and Foxtel Australia.

We asked Strauss if she sees the half-hour show as a comedy or a drama. "It's hard for me to make that distinction," she said. "Hopefully you might laugh and cry at once--that would be my ultimate goal."

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the L.A. Times and New York magazine.