America runs on family-owned businesses. But what happens when your family business is death?
Meet the Grimmers. Aaron and Jessica Grimmer inherited the “family business” from Aaron’s dad who was playfully known around the house as the Grim Reaper. Rather than simply killing people, the couple decided to take their victims out in a more dignified and classy way… with a dinner party! Through Aaron’s inviting smile and Jessica’s unbeatable style, they entertain and interview a wide array of guests all before finishing the “job” in a ridiculously campy way. Last Meal satirizes our foodie culture and the popularity of celebrity interviews through a quirky and comedic lens.
The foundation of this show's success is the Grimmer’s unified, yet dynamic, relationship. The couple is married in real life and chose to keep their real names for the show, which only adds to the overall allure. Inspiration for the show’s portrayal of the Grimmer’s deadly dinner parties came from a variety of sources including a Salvador Dali cookbook, Seth Meyers’ interview style and Catherine O’Hara’s over-the-top character on the new Canadian TV show, Schitt’s Creek. The couple’s own personalities shine through their attention to detail, charming demeanor and comedic timing.
Living in Portland, Oregon, both Aaron and Jessica are down to earth people, especially considering their grim profession. The first season of the series has a total of six episodes. Interestingly, many the show’s dinner guests represent the LGBT+ community. Commenting on the sexual orientation of their dinner guests, Aaron noted, “in hearing our guests tell their stories, being gay is definitely a huge influencer in their lives and art. But we’re complex creatures!” He added that sexual orientation is just a piece of the puzzle in what makes an individual. “We wanted to know each person as a whole. Each of them, in their own way, had such heart and passion and authenticity.” It’s clear that both Aaron and Jessica genuinely miss their guests when the time inevitably came to kill them.
Last Meal 2
And what would a dinner party be without refreshments? When asked about the Grimmers’ preferred “last meal,” Aaron excitedly explained how the ideal meal would be a simple French onion soup outside a cafe in Paris with his lovely wife Jessica. “I’m staring at Jessica while the setting sunbeams dance in her hair. And I could die, I could die at that moment. With that meal. With her. For me, that would be it.” Jessica agreed, but added that she would obviously be in a better outfit.
Although a dinner party is normally all fun and games, the Grimmers only host them because they have a job to carry out. According to Aaron, “Each death was planned out ahead and was part of an overall theme for the dinner.” He continued, “I think there’s something very gratifying and even flattering in having a whole crew of people orchestrate the timing and manner of your fake death.” With all that attention, you’d think their guests would feel on top of the world... until, you know, they die. Throughout each dinner party, viewers can sense the elephant in the room… that the guest will eventually pass on to the afterlife in some, usually gruesome, way. To add to the dramatic irony, Aaron and Jessica’s entire staff—the chef, butler and mixologist—are all in on the scheme.
Last Meal 3
While the series focuses on Aaron, Jessica and their guests, the supporting cast helps sets the tone of each episode. Aaron boasts, “Phillip Berns, who plays the Butler, is a great actor and a dear friend of ours.” The natural camaraderie amongst the cast enhances the satirical vibe of the series. Given the makeup of the case, it only seems a matter time before Aaron and Jessica add their own kids into the mix so they can teach the little boogers about the “family business.”