“Everything was beautiful. Nothing hurt.”
Laugh, cry and contemplate the infinite, as one of America’s most influential novelists, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. dives headlong down the rabbit hole exploring death, all the while paying tribute to life.
With a wink and a nod, the TV mini-series brings his divine comedy, God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian, to the screen. We follow Vonnegut as he undergoes the impossible to reveal an America that has seemingly passed him by.
He enlists the aid of Dr. Kevorkian at the state-of-the-art lethal injection execution facility in Huntsville, Texas. The plan is to administer a series of “controlled near-death experiences” guiding him through death’s door just long enough to interview the dearly (and not so dearly) departed.
Vonnegut daringly makes multiple soul-searching trips down “the blue tunnel to the pearly gates” strapped to a gurney, in the name of public radio and the meaning of life.
The show stays true to the book’s original aesthetic: Surrealism pervades, blending heaven and earth, and blurring the lines between streets of New York City and the ethereal.
As Vonnegut navigates through history, time and space, he encounters the notable deceased, as well as angels, demons, love interests, and the crotchety yet philosophical Saint Peter, who strives to keep Vonnegut’s journalistic aspirations in check.
Not one to give up easily, the writer emerges with witty accounts of chats with Isaac Asimov, Mary Shelley, James Earl Ray, Carla Faye Tucker, Eugene Debs, John Brown, Vivian Hallinan, Adolf Hitler, William Shakespeare, and the writer’s own alter ego, Kilgore Trout, among others.
What began in 1999 as a series of ninety-second interludes for WNYC Public Radio, evolved into a provocative exploration of questions and answers about who and what we live for, and how much it all matters, in the end. Ultimately, it shines a light on the uplifting truth, as felt in our hero’s celebrated passage:
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