Friday, June 02, 2006

"Six Feet Under"

I came home from a church cultural event tonight and decided to watch some t.v., and was thrilled to see that "Six Feet Under" was playing on HBO-- and it just happened to be the episode following the one I had seen the other night.

I stopped watching "SFU" in its third season (after Lisa's body was discovered) because it upset me too much. I would watch and get drawn in and become so wrapped up in the characters that I would practically be in the grips of an anxiety attack by the time it was over. I figured I would eventually see the last seasons on DVD -- maybe over the summer when I could go take a nice walk in the sun after getting hit in the gut by the mallet of Alan Ball's brilliant vision.

I should have known better than to watch tonight: Nate died. I had a feeling he would. He had a second AVM and went into a brief coma, and after he finally broke up with Brenda, I just knew he would flatline. And he did. I feel just sick about it.

One of Nate's last comments to Brenda (played by the ever-marvelous Aussie actress Rachel Griffiths) about why he was ending their tumultuous relationship was, "I used to think it was passion and now I know it's just drama." I wanted to cheer for him for finally achieving this understanding. Way to go, Nate! At least you got that one bit of wisdom under your belt before you took that final voyage.

The writers of "Six Feet Under" are so great that you can't just be happy for Nate to have found peaceful love with Maggie; there's the moral issue of his betrayal and abandonment of his pregnant wife to factor in. Just when you're wondering, gee, am I happy for him or do I hate him -- boom, he dies. And his mother isn't even around for it.

That's what makes this show so devasting. It's life real life, only more exquisite. The actors are just incredible. Why did they not earn Emmys? All of them? I mean, I'm a HUGE "Sex And The City" fan, but it's hard for me to believe that "Six" wasn't at least as honored by the industry as was "Sex."

I don't watch a lot of television and haven't since I was a kid, but "Six Feet Under" is certainly the best television drama I've ever seen. And I loved "Northern Exposure" an awful lot.

Sorry for the spoiler. You should see it anyway.


Blogger CK said...

Funny, we just finished watching it last night. We've been getting them on DVD since we don't have cable. Same story--the stuff is gut wrenching.

I won't spoil the last few episodes for you, but the final one is still dancing around in my head. Probably the best show I've ever watched, maybe next to "My So-Called Life."

You're right about the characters--there's not a single one that I don't hate and love at the same time. And I think it's so powerful because when I see parts of myself in them, or my family (am I David or Keith? Nate or Brenda? is my mom like Ruth?) it's in the context of a complex individual, so I realize that I'm not the "good guy" or the "bad guy." I just am--in relationship with people, and then I die. And that's okay.

Definitely get them on DVD, but watch the last one during the day where you can go take a walk!

Blogger LaReinaCobre said...

Finally finished watching the last season. These characters infuriate me even while they fascinate me. Especially Claire and David. Human imperfections haven't been this well portrayed on television since Homicide: Life on the Streets.

Great show.


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