Six Feet Under
Originally aired :HBO
Currently available: Amazon Prime Streaming and HBO On Demand
Dates Aired: 2001-2005
Seasons/Episdoes: 5 season/63 Episodes
Starring/Where do you know him/her from?: Peter Krause/Parenthood (Adam Braverman), Michael C Hall/Dexter (Dexter Morgan), Frances Conroy/American Horror Story (Gloria Mott/Myrtle Snow/Moira O’Hare), Lauren Ambrose/Can’t Hardly Wait (Denise Fleming), Torchwood (Jilly Kitzinbger)
Family Friendly: Heck no. Lots of nudity, swearing, sex and naked dead people
Summary: This show, on the surface, is pretty straight forward. It’s the story of the three Fisher siblings (Nate, David and Claire) and their mother (Ruth) following the death of the family patriarch in a freak accident. Nathanial is killed in his hearse on the way to pick Nate up at the airport for Christmas. Nathanial leaves the family business, a funeral home, to Nate and David jointly and everyone is hosed off about this. Nate doesn’t want to be a partner in the family business and left home to avoid it, David doesn’t think Nate deserves a share in the family business because he left home to avoid it and Clarie wants to know why she was left out. Nate, David, Clarie and Ruth, essentially, spend the series finding themselves and each other until Nate’s death which rings in the end of the series.
The series finale is considered one of the best television series finale of all time by critics, and I can tell you that you’ll need a box of tissues to make it through it. The characters are great, multi-faceted and dynamic. The show is equally funny in places and heartbreaking in others and tackle important social issues like David coming to terms with his homosexuality and his struggle to become a father with his partner Keith. The characters are equally lovable and unlikable in turn, sympathetic and annoying, they feel real. In the very end and through Nate’s death the Fishers are finally able to attain something they never had before, a real connected family.
This is NOT a plot driven show, it’s character driven and those sorts of shows, movies or books aren’t for everyone. If you’re looking for big action, you won’t get it, but if you love great character exposition, this is the show for you.
Favorite Character: David. I can seriously relate to so many things about him. David definitely begins the series inside a shell, partially because he’s in the closet. David has given up his dreams to be a lawyer to help run the family business. He loves his partner, but doesn’t know how to make it work and express what he needs. He participates in dangerous and destructive behaviors searching for that ethereal something that is so hard for us to put our finger on. He finally gives himself permission to accept who and what he is, finds peace in his relationship with Keith, role as a father of two sons and head of the Fisher family and business. David is a great character who experiences fantastic, but realistic, growth over the course of the series.
Least Favorite Character: Brenda Chenowith. Oh, sure, there are less likable characters, but Brenda is billed has having been in all of the 63 episodes (though I think she was absent most of the third season while Nate was terribly married to poor Lisa. Brenda is a seriously screwed up, sex addicted daughter of successful psychologist parents. She’s the main character in a psychological case study called “Charlotte, light and dark” and a super genius. She’s messed up, crazy, self-destructive and a serial cheater. She gets it together and redeems herself in the final season. She grows up, settles down, is loyal to Nate, becomes a mother to her step-daughter Maya and finds a career that really works for her.
Pet Peeve: The Lisa/Nate episodes. At the end of season two, Nate finds out his friend with benefits, Lisa, is pregnant with his baby. They had a thing when Nate and Claire drove to Seattle to pick up a body and Nate was coming to terms with his AVM diagnosis. Lisa claims not to want anything from Nate, she just wants to raise their baby. When Nate has to enter emergency surgery due to his AVM rupturing, he wakes up in season three with a daughter and wife. It’s kind of weird. In fact, I was convinced for several episodes that Nate was in a coma and dreaming the whole thing. Everything about Nate changes; his tone of voice, his hair, his demeanor. He’s a shell of the slightly messed up, but fun Nate we’d seen earlier in the show. The writers must have realized that Lisa was a mistake as well, because midway through season 3 Lisa is dispatched. She disappears and her mutilated body washes up four episodes later, having spent some time rolling around the Pacific Ocean.
How Many Stars: ****1/2-Awesome, would recommend AND would watch it again.