Six Feet Under: Man, am I glad THAT’s over

I spent the last few weeks working my way through all five seasons of Six Feet Under. Man, what a depressing experience. The first season was pretty good: it ended with everyone having come through the trauma of the father’s death with new direction to their respective lives. I was excited to see what each of these human beings that I’d been introduced to was going to do with his or her “new lease.”

Then I watched four more seasons of a bunch of selfish whiny assholes destroy themselves and each other. Not a one of them would I piss on if they were in flames. I get the feeling, from the talking (as opposed to the walking), that the creators thought the message they were putting across is, basically, “life is short: make of it what you can.” Only, the message they actually seemed to be communicating was, “life sucks: kill yourself now.”

I was never much of a fan of American Beauty: too pat and romantic, plus, you know, subtextually icky. Now, I’ll actively avoid anything with Alan Ball’s name on it.

I tuned in for a little bit of the 2003 or 2004 season (don’t know what number that was). I was interested because it had Peter Krause from Sports Night, one of my favorite shows ever.

I was not impressed. As you said: a bunch of selfish, whiny assholes, whom we are apparently expected to like because they do weird things that most of us haven’t done, such as use a neti pot to shoot salt water up one’s nose (which I have done), and bury the decomposed corpse of one’s wife in the desert (which I have not).

I’ve heard that I missed the good season. Judging from what I saw, I’d rather rewatch the worst episode of Freaks and Geeks than the best of Six Feet Under.

I liked it, from first season to last. I cried during the montage at the end.

You Americans are neat fun to watch.

It *was *a documentary, right? :wink:

Must’ve been quite an ordeal, subjecting yourself to four seasons’ worth of something you despised. When I think something is utter shit and not worth my time, I generally give up after a dozen episodes, max.

Bravo played the whole series starting last September, and since I never watched it, I thought I’d tune in. So I dutifully watched, every week, 2-3 episodes a week, depending on what Bravo decided to play. I didn’t like the mom, and I didn’t like Nate, and I didn’t like their dead dad, and I didn’t like Brenda, or Brenda’s brother, or Brenda’s parents. But I absolutely loved David and Claire. I was watching the first season of Dexter at the same time, and Michael C. Hall just stunned me. I’m actually hard-pressed to think of actors I find as compelling as Hall. I think the reason I liked Claire was because, at the time, I was getting to know my youngest sister again after a very long absence, and I just felt a strong affinity to her and her growing pains.

And I cried like a big girl at the end of Six Feet Under.

Anyway, I understand watching five seasons of a show you despise. It took me something like 6 months to get through the whole series, and I strongly disliked most of it, but yet, I was compelled to continue. Except, at the end, I actually found that I had grown to care for these people quite a bit. The final minutes of the last episode was some of the best television I ever saw.

Awesome. Now I feel vindication for my decision not to watch any seasons after season one. If only I hadn’t watched season one.

I loved Season 1 and the little I saw of Season 3, but I haven’t seen the rest and haven’t been in a hurry to check it out. Not when there’s still Deadwood to discover!

They were doing something right, lissener, or you wouldn’t have kept watching. :slight_smile:

I couldn’t relate to any of the characters – not even the middle-aged widow, and I was a middle-aged widow when I watched it. Every week I yelled at the screen – Brenda, Nate, Claire, Billy, etc. – don’t do that! But they always did.

Like pepperlandgirl, I found the show quite compelling. I thought the show was well-written and beautifully filmed, and the odd deaths they did in the prologues in the first few seasons were delicious. And the finale was stunning.

One of my top all time favorite shows, ever. Yes, some of the characters are whiney and self-absorbed, just like real people. That’s one of the things I liked about it-I saw so many people I know in these characters.

The only one I didn’t quite get was Ruth, the mother. I got her character, but her fashion sense was all to hell (even wallflowers don’t dress 30 years behind the times), and the men she chose! Ye gods-that woman had no judgement.

Ruth’s sister–just like every other addict I’ve ever known.

I really loved Claire-fantastic acting and I came to love her. I’m glad she found happiness.

Nate-I wanted to idealize him, but he could be(and was) a real shit at times. He was human, but he tried to do the right thing.

Lisa-what a character! What a mystery–and a great resolution.

Brenda-kept people at a distance; a character very hard to like. I know several Brendas (ok, so they’re not sexual addicts like Brenda).

David-wonderful character. He really becomes himself and fully accepts his life.

Keith-he also has a growth arc that is satisfying to follow.

Frederico and Vanessa–nice to see a supporting character become whole and full. The only clunker was Vanessa’s job. no way would a nurse’s aide be allowed access to controlled substances like she was.

Nate Sr.–a mystery inside an enigma, but aren’t all dead people? Who hasn’t found out something about someone close who died and cannot reconcile that bit of info with the person they thought they knew?
I also loved the deaths that started each show. If the show did nothing else, it demystified the industry of death.

The finale was so well done–such a life affirming, uplifting ending. I could watch the whole thing all over again.

I liked the beginning, but I was done about a season before they were. Finished it just to see how it was going to end.

Dirty Sexy Money (which has a producer in common and stars Peter Krause) is getting great previews. And is such a cool title.

I’ll give you the first season was by far the best. I wish they kept the commercials around those were great too. I liked whole series. I cried watching two episodes. I can count the number of times I’ve cried watching movies on one hand.

One of the interesting aspects was when they got into the details of preparing the bodies, like when Federico described how he used a can of tuna fish to prop up a breast so the body looked even. And the random deaths that opened almost every episode were interesting.

I really enjoyed season one, but it somehow left me with zero desire in watching season two. Sounds like I made the right decision.

Oddly enough, the same thing happened with Rome. I own the first season, but doubt I’ll ever get around to seeing the second. Maybe it has to do with the feeling in both cases that all the story arcs that interested me had been satisfactorily resolved.

Season One was definately the best, but I didn’t mind the other seasons until the last one. Every episode of the last season, was just a bunch of screaming, AFAICR.

I loved David, and although I wouldn’t like Ruth or Claire as real people, I thought they were interesting characters.


I really loved the series- which I didn’t start watching until Bravo started showing it. David and Claire are also my favorites- Ruth was very hard to “get” , Nate Jr. was downright disappointing and Brenda…well let’s just say I had a love/hate relationship with her. Claire is absolutely a clone of my next youngest sister.

My only complaint is that the corpses no longer were as important to the stories later on in the series. The beginning episodes often had a major character reflecting on the life of the deceased and how it may shed light on issues in their own life. One of my favorites was when David was preparing the remains of a gay young man who was beaten to death. Also… when they let Fredrico in as a partner… the whining on every end got old.

It’s like the Woody Allen joke in “Annie Hall” - the food here is terrible - and the portions are so small.

The last few minutes of the final episode were brilliant; maybe the best conclusion ever, though the Newhart show of the 1980s is a close second.

One of my very favorites, too, and a show that I recommend with no reservations. I watched all six seasons on DVD after the show was over on HBO and I loved all six. In fact, I can’t think of a single episode that I didn’t like. It was gripping, well written, and wonderfully acted all the way through. The last episode was devestating, I cried myself dry.


Starting about 3 episodes into the second season, I realized that the only thing the writing had going for it was the art of the cliffhanger. As I complained to a coworker, the only reason to keep watching 6’U is to “find out what happens.” When the story has no other substance, no other reason to watch but curiosity about what happens to the people involved–when they’re not even real people–you’re smack dab in the middle of All My Children-world. Period: the art of the soap opera fade. It’s the skill that has made Stephen King and Dan Brown gajillionaires: no art, just clever withholding of resolution.

My second reason for watching it was, working in a video store, if I was going to not-recommend it to customers, I wanted to be able to say why. If it ended up all being worth it in the end, I wanted to know that.

Yes, the final sequence (despite some laughable makeup effects) was well done. Trouble is, I saw it coming two seasons prior: how else *could *they end it? ABFAB did the same thing better. ( :stuck_out_tongue: )

As soon as I realized that the “theme”–that we *bury *our feelings six feet under (get it?!?! how brill!!!) was all there was to it–that nothing more interesting than a cleverly plotted soap opera with big-budget production values was in the offing–I saw it through to the end more dutifully than anything else.

And by the middle of the first season I was SO tired of how they handled the “visitations.” I mean, we all muse on such memories, but we don’t literally talk and shout to the empty space in the room where our dead father seems to be standing. Way too literal and concrete. Every time someone else came into the room saying “who are you talking to?” I rolled my eyes. I rolled my eyes a lot. But perhaps hardest when Ruth, worried about George, asked Brenda what it means when someone talks to themselves. I was like “HELLO?!?! Everyone in your goddamn family does that! YOU do that! BRENDA does that!” Lame lame lame lame lame.

And if Nate woke up from one more dream, surprised to learn that he was dreaming, I was gonna blearrgh.

I liked it a lot.