Next Up On Norwegian TV: Celebrities Planning Their Funerals

From the country whose hit shows have featured slow boat rides and bird box video streams comes "Kisten" ("The Coffin") in which famous people spend time thinking about and preparing for their future final send-off.

What's the Latest Development?

Currently airing on the Norwegian state network NRK is a show, Kisten ("The Coffin"), in which national celebrities are asked to think about what it means to face that literal final curtain. As part of their appearance, they "decorate their own casket, pick a funeral playlist, and reflect on their lives and beliefs." In the first episode, which aired late last month, folk rock singer Bjarne Brøndbo confesses that he fears death but neither believes or wants to believe in an afterlife.

What's the Big Idea?

Writer Feargus O'Sullivan notes that, as with other unusual program offerings -- including its most recent reality smash hit, a 24/7 stream documenting the happenings in and around a set of birdhouses -- NRK is going where very few networks dare to tread. The idea of a show revolving around planning one's own funeral may sound macabre, but online clips of Kisten "show how refreshingly off-guard people can be in small countries where local celebrities operate within narrow limits -- both on their fame and on the potential damage a bit of unscripted honesty could do their careers."

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