Monday, August 22, 2005

Six Feet Under

It was the end of an era last night. Six Feet Under, one of the best (if not the best) shows on television finally met it's end. And what an end.

Like most - but not all - of the HBO original series, Six Feet Under was different from your average one hour drama. There were of course the obvious differences - nudity, swearing, violence, no commercials - but it was different in far more important ways as well. The show had a very cinematic style; the various directors shot it more like an independent movie than a television show. The actors inhabited their roles in a way that was far more pervasive and convincing than any other television show I've ever seen. Six Feet Under was a show about emotion, pure and simple, and it's rare to see emotion done such justice.

The final episode was almost perfect. In addition to being beautifully shot - there was one particular shot in which we see Ruth reflected in a mirror over George's shoulder that simply took my breath away - the episode perfectly captured the essential message of the series: death is a part of life, perhaps the most important part, and everything we do is in some ways in preparation for that final moment. The pain of the death of our loved ones can be a force that drives us to live and this show - and particularly the character of Ruth, played excellently by the extremely talented Frances Conroy - taught me that in a more powerful way than any event in real life ever has. To me, and to most of Six Feet Under's viewers, I imagine, the Fisher family and their surrounding cast of characters became real, and watching their sadnesses, happinesses, lives, and deaths was as emotional an experience as life (and death) itself.


Blogger Partially Hydrogenated said...

I haven't watched the final season yet: going to wait until the DVDs hit, and do it in a couple of sittings. That being said, I love the show wholeheartedly. It's absolutely brilliant.

August 23, 2005 3:42 PM  
Blogger steve said...

Something interesting that I hadn't noticed at first: on the Six Feet Under homepage - which this post links to - there are obituaries for all of the major characters. I'm glad this information - at least not all of it - wasn't included in the series finale itself, but it's fun to read after the fact.

August 24, 2005 10:35 PM  

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