Thanks to FFI Fellow Ron Drucker for the latest in “blogs from the Fellows” for his review of the Netflix thriller “Bloodline” — a family business saga with implications for practitioners.


Looking to mix improving your family business consulting skills, while enjoying serial TV programming? Check out “Bloodline” on Netflix.

“Bloodline” follows a Florida Keys family that operates a beautiful waterfront boutique inn. Primary characters are the founder (father), mother, and four very different children. Each character comes to the family and business with his or her own demons. All family members have secrets: some shared with other family members, some shared with non-family members, and some secrets they keep to themselves.

To the guests, the inn is “perfect” in every respect. Not visible to the guests is the family business story line. Yes, it is a dark thriller, but there is much to learn about family business dynamics. The founder has never forgiven his eldest son, whose negligence when a teenager resulted in the death of the favored fifth child, a young teenage daughter.

Her death, and what follows, leads to many lies which always seem to come back to haunt the other children. Having been rejected by his father and, in his mind, his siblings, the eldest son feels free to be the anti-social person he becomes. Regrettably, being part of a Florida Keys community, alcohol consumption is a priority.

With the possible exception of the attorney daughter, the entire family is alcohol addicted. The attorney daughter represents the family and the business, so the professional conflicts are quite clear. Family members request she surreptitiously change her father’s will to meet their personal needs. Her brother, who repairs boats and operates a small marina, cannot figure out if he wants to remain in his marriage.

The mother, played by Sissy Spacek, sees all her children as perfect, despite their flaws and, in some cases, very destructive and illegal behavior.

Of course, there are business challenges, conflicts, misunderstandings and infidelity. Kyle Chandler, of Friday Night Lights fame, plays the “good son,” torn between his professional obligations as a local police detective, his family obligations, and the crimes he personally commits. The writers of this show are the same creative group who wrote Damages, the award winning TV series.

OK, I admit it; I am not objective. My brother-in-law, Mark Baker, is the Executive Producer. Try it, you will like it!

About the Contributor:

Ronald H. DruckerRonald H. Drucker, CPA, JD, LLM is an FFI Fellow and has been a member of FFI since 1989. He is chairman emeritus, special consultant at Drucker & Scaccetti in Philadelphia. Ron can be reached at [email protected].