It’s actually enjoyable. No joke.
Logline: Just like a birthing nurse on the other end of life, experienced hospice nurse Carmela Magdelena Faria shares the joyous, humorous, unique, creative and at times heart-breaking End-of-Life experiences she’s honored to be part of. Her friends, lovers and life as a single thirty-something is rich with mistakes, passion and a healthy dose of self-deprecation.
The End. is a 60 x 6 dramatic series chronicling the true stories of a hospice nurse guiding patients through the process of dying and, in the process, being profoundly impacted by each person’s reflections, thoughts, regrets, hopes, joys, fears and senses of humor in their final moments.
The End. takes place in a hospice facility and surrounding homes in modern-day Philadelphia. The location has suburban, urban and rural influences, being home to people of many different races and nationalities.
Carmela Magdalena Faria
A charming hospice nurse in her late thirties that has had enough experience to be a true leader in the field. Over the years, she has learned the value in respecting each patients’ journey through the process of dying, understanding that supporting their needs is the most important part. She sees beauty in each patient’s unique journey and finds it important to be with them during their final moments. And when it’s time to battle others in order to get what is needed for her patients, she is well equipped for the fight.
A handsome younger man (30’s) that was the sole caregiver as his wife lost her battle with ovarian cancer. As a younger man from a blue collar family, he wanted to study sports medicine, and paid his way through earning a biology degree, but had been unable to get into graduate school. After witnessing Carmela work with his dying wife, he has decided to become a hospice nurse. His relationship with Carmela is complicated. Before his wife died, she began planning his future; going as far as planning an initial date for Paul and Carmela. Now, is he falling in love with Carmela, or is he just seeing his wife in her?
Sasha, LuAnn, and Bhoopesh
Carmela’s three best friends from nursing that she considers her ‘tribe’. There used to be 8 girls in the clique, but four of them have been married off. Now all that remain are these four women that try to pick up men at bars after the men have struck out with the hotter chicks. They call themselves ‘The Bomb Squad’.
Clinical Director of the hospice. She is powerful, always wears tight business suits, and is way prettier than Carmela. Took a very small increase in pay for a huge increase in hours and responsibility just because she likes the power over others. Married, but in a loveless marriage. Her husband is massively whipped but successful business man. Jane is secretly lusting after Paul and goes about sabotaging any relationship Paul and Carmela may have.
D. Richard Hathaway
A chubby, pompous, very wealthy business tycoon that has become a major financial donor to the hospice facility. Due to the tremendous amount of money he donates annually, the hospice team is asked to essentially cater to all of his needs and appease him at all times. At the hospice facility: “what he says goes”…. and what he says isn’t always the most admirable of things. And the real reason he donates to the hospice is because he is trying to sleep with Jane O’Hara.
Southern Belle who had polio as a child and is hundred percent independent requiring leg braces and two wrapped arm canes. She loves her husband but over the years her intuition has led her to believe that he has an unusual attraction to children. Because of this, she chose not to have children with him, secretly aborting on three occasions. She confides in Carmela that she is worried about what her husband will do after she passes away.
Lovable, Italian construction worker/car mechanic, Franco is dying of mesothelioma has been enduring any treatment in order to delay death long enough to see his teenage son continue to grow and play sports. He has a great sense of humor and a tendency to diffuse the gravity of his condition.
A platoon commander and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient who became addicted to opioids after returning to the battlefield with unhealed injuries. He insists that his wife and two adult children stay outside his room because he ‘wants to do this dying his own way’. The sacred pomp and ceremony of the military memorial service and a family’s conflict honoring the traditions of military life, is shown in his story.
Carmela gently lies her hands on a 35-year-old woman, BINNY, supporting her through the process of dying. She glances at an empty chair next to the bed. Binny’s husband, PAUL, who had insisted on being bedside during her last moments, is not there and misses it.
After breaking the news to him, Carmela completes the paperwork that is necessary after a death. As Paul mourns, Carmela goes through the paperwork, finding a mysterious envelope addressed to her.
Carmela stops at a convenience store for lunch with her other nursing friends. She opens the mysterious envelope and finds three hundred dollars in cash and a note reading: ‘Do it.’ Excited, the friends tell her to keep the money, but Carmela insists on doing the right thing – turning the money over to the Hospice Auction Fund.
Shortly after, Carmela gets a confirmation for a dinner reservation texted to her phone. It turns out that Binny left instructions in her will for her attorney to make dinner reservations for Carmela and Binny’s husband, Paul. During the twelve months that Carmela was her hospice nurse, she’d gotten to know that Binny was a planner… and now she has a plan for Carmela and Paul.
Paul is a hunk and Carmela is strongly attracted to him, but she knows it’s inappropriate to go on a date with him. Her friends push her into it. On the dinner date, Carmela and Paul completely fall for each other. Binny was right, they are a great match. Carmela helps Paul in his grieving, but quickly that connection turns physical and the two find themselves in the bedroom.
Paul cannot perform sexually under the stress of his grief. The encounter turns awkward. Paul, humiliated, storms out and Carmela is overwhelmed with guilt. Just then, she gets a text from the Hospice administration assigning her to precept a new graduate who is joining the nursing team next week. Her assignment: Paul.
– END OF EPISODE
Each episode of The End. will feature 2-3 different patients that are under Carmela’s hospice care. As Carmela serves her; patients, managing their symptoms or guiding them through the process of dying, she discovers more about herself. While learning some of the most intimate details of her patients’ lives, she’s able to reflect on her own. In addition, Carmela’s relationship with Paul will continue to grow romantically, becoming more complicated and putting her career at risk.
As demonstrated successfully by medical-themed shows such as ER and Grey’s Anatomy, The End. will demonstrate how the nature of careers in medicine shape those working in it, affecting their personal lives, growth and development. This series will be the first to focus on hospice nurses, always given the most delicate of jobs – guiding the vulnerable through the process of leaving this life.
Series Development – Season 1
Episode 1: Pilot – ‘It’s Hard to Kiss With a Stiff Upper Lip’
Carmela tries to fulfill the dying wish of a patient, causing her to compromise her own judgement.
Episode 2: ‘Secrets’
A patient reveals a secret about her husband and the crimes she fears he may commit after she is gone.
Episode 3: ‘About Face’
A dying soldier refuses to involve his family in his death and Carmela is torn between doing what’s right for the family and what’s right for the patient.
Episode 4: ‘Intentions’
After a dying woman is over-medicated, Carmela suspects the woman’s volatile son is trying to euthanize her.
Episode 5: ‘Holding On’
An old construction worker with mesothelioma tries to outlive Carmela’s expectations in order to stay alive long enough to see his first grandchild’s birth.
Episode 6: ‘Fallout’
The militant son of a former patient shows up at the hospice facility, heavily armed, planning to end suffering in his own way.
About the Creators
Nina Angela McKissock
Hospice Nurse / Author
Nina Angela McKissock is a registered nurse who was drawn to End-of-Life Care simply because the hours were flexible while she was raising a family on a horse farm. The life lessons she learned from the simplicity of listening and bearing witness to someone’s journey inspired her to keep notes on many fascinating stories. Fifteen years later she decided to share twenty-two of the stories as a memoir. She was hell-bent on sharing the truth—the truth that all families are complicated, no one is all good or all bad, that compassion is very different than sympathy, and that the way someone has lived their life will be the way they approach their dying. At times messy, funny, tragic and heart-opening, Nina wanted to tell the stories from a non-religious perspective without an agenda. Nina now lives in Philadelphia and teaches hospice and palliative care.
Michael Miceli has been the winner of 20 screenwriting awards over the past decade, including “Best Script” at the 2012 NY/LA International Film Festival for his feature-length crime thriller, Besa which was optioned by Triumphant Pictures. Miceli also penned the Silver Award Winner for “Best Short Film” at the 2012 Oregon Film Awards for his film, Damaged Goods, which also won “Best Short Script” at the 2011 LA Comedy Festival. Michael has been optioned by production companies in LA, NY, Malaysia, Switzerland, and London.