It’s time to write about the king of TV serials, my second-favourite TV show of all-time (after The West Wing): Six Feet Under, created by Alan Ball.
It’s been a long time now since I last watched this show, but I can’t wait to watch all 65 episodes (five seasons) of this HBO treasure over again. It’s the story of a dysfunctional family that runs a funeral home, making death a major theme in the series. Indeed, each episode starts with a death, someone whose funeral the family will be planning that week. Six Feet Under has an undertone of dark humour throughout, and there’s usually a ghost to talk to, but the emphasis is on thoughtful family drama, with each episode examining specific themes related to death and the meaning of life. For me, the episodes were so well-developed that I often thought I had just watched a great short film. And no television show I have ever seen offers even a fraction of the discussion-worthy content which Six Feet Under provides.
Of course, Six Feet Under would not be the great show it is if it didn’t feature such a terrific ensemble cast: Richard Jenkins as the deceased father, Frances Conroy as the mother, Peter Krause and Michael C. Hall as the two brothers at the heart of the show, Lauren Ambrose as the sister, and many more non-family members. The cinematography and music are also of the highest standard.
There’s not much more to say except that if you haven’t yet seen Six Feet Under, put it high on your list. It’s life-affirming, humanizing and profound. ****+ is needed for this one. My mug is up and the tastiest brew can be found inside.