Is 'The End' inspired by true story? Showrunner Samantha Strauss reveals real-life inspiration

Is 'The End' inspired by true story? Showrunner Samantha Strauss reveals real-life inspiration
Harriet Walter and Frances O'Connor in 'The End' (Showtime)

The upcoming Showtime series ‘The End’ is an Australian TV series that took the world by storm for its unique storyline and amazing characters. So, the network thought of bringing the show to the US as well and there is quite a buzz around it.

The show is an Australian dark-comedy series revolving around three generations of a family living with separate but intersecting obsessions, trying to figure out how to die with dignity, live with none and make it all count. It mainly focuses on Edie Henley (Harriet Walter) believes that she has the right to end her life on her own terms. Kate has little choice but to ship Edie out from England and deposit her in Australia’s Gold Coast in a nearby retirement community – Edie’s worst nightmare.



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The series talks about the difficulties faced by older people who want to die and choose Euthanasia. But, it is still taboo across the globe. Additionally, no one wants to go away from the family. So, the thought of living in a retirement home makes Edie feel that she will be missing so much from her life.

The concept of the show resonated with many and they got to know about the mentality of older people and also about family dynamics. However, there is a real story attached to it. Yes, it is kind of based on a real story and it is really close to the showrunner Samantha Strauss’ heart.


Frances O'Connor (Dr Kate Brennan) in 'The End' (Showtime)


Is ‘The End’ based on a real-life story?

The show is both heartbreaking and funny at the same time, but most importantly it covers taboo subjects as euthanasia, addiction, and gender identity struggles. Showrunner Samantha Strauss opened up about the show and revealed how she took inspiration from someone closer in her life.

In a recent interview, Strauss noted that she was working on the idea since 2003 and had a “grandmother” who was relocated to a retirement village in Australia. She also opined that her grandmother did not want to go there and arrived really depressed because of her husband’s demise.


She said, “Dad gave her six months to live – he’s a doctor and he thought she was on her way out. Mum looked around and went, ‘No, we just have to get her into the cool group. Treat it like high school’.”

Joanna Werner and Samantha Strauss (right) attend the 3rd Annual International Emmy Kids Awards at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers on February 20, 2015, in New York City (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)


According to Strauss, the idea was to let her meet some really cool people and once she felt that she was popular among the group, the plan would be a success. So, did it work? Yes, it did.

Strauss noticed that there was a tremendous change in six months and her grandmother made a best friend named Pamela, who’s also the basis of one of the important characters on the show. She added, “Within six months, instead of being dead she was wearing a red dress and driving a red car and dancing on tables and drinking atrociously and getting home at 5 am. And I loved it! I was in this kind of in-between stage of life and I would spend heaps of time there because they were such interesting characters.”
This is when she started writing about it and as she became older and wiser, she got to know about the seriousness of the matter. So, she decided to create a show around it.

‘The End’ is one of those shows that would be perfect for the whole family. It is emotional, riveting, and most importantly, a lot of fun.

‘The End’ premieres on Showtime on Sunday, July 18, at 8 pm ET.


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