‘Life in Pieces’ EP Details the Shorts’ Rocky Mexico Trip in Season 4

Ron P. Jaffe/CBS

The family that vacations together… struggles to stay alive together.

In the sitcom Life in Pieces‘ return, the Shorts are Mexico-bound to celebrate the 50th anniversary of loving parents Joan (Dianne Wiest) and John (James Brolin). No surprise, things go horribly awry. “Big family vacations can be a horror show,” says executive producer Justin Adler.

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Plus, the actress opens up about sharing scenes with sister Joey King.

More postcards from Life’s fourth season:

Joan and John

The clan is primed for fun in the Yucatán to commemorate the couple’s milestone — but the eco-lodge they’re staying in “is in the real jungle, complete with snakes and tarantulas and scorpions,” Adler says.

Heather and Tim (Betsy Brandt and Dan Bakkedahl)

As her three kids (including Holly J. Barrett’s Samantha) have grown older, Heather (Joan and John’s eldest) questions her identity as a full-time mom. Meanwhile, expect a “seismic shift” for husband Tim, says Adler. “After a serious heart scare, he is forced to change the way he lives. It has a ripple effect throughout the family.”

(Credit: Ron P. Jaffe/CBS)

Matt and Colleen (Thomas Sadoski and Angelique Cabral)

“Everything about their relationship has been difficult,” says Adler of Joan and John’s
middle child and his wife. The fertility-challenged pair take a chance on an open adoption with a pregnant 17-year-old (The Acts Joey King, sister to Hunter King, who plays Pieces’ Clementine).

Greg and Jen (Colin Hanks and Zoe Lister-Jones)

With a “miserable” Jen pregnant again, Adler says, Greg (the Shorts’ youngest) has to step up with their 3-year-old, Lark (Ana Sophia Heger), “as well as be a supportive punching bag for his wife.”

Watch an exclusive clip from the second episode (airing at 9:30/8:30c) below:

Life in Pieces, Season Premiere, Thursday, April 18, 8:30/7:30c and 9:30/8:30c, CBS