Tuesday, April 12, 2011

1.8 Meters Below Ground; or, for the non-metric crowd: Six Feet Under

“Everything. Everyone. Everywhere. Ends.” Really, it’s true. I mean, it really is true. But Six Feet Under, the critically acclaimed series that ran on HBO from 2001-2005, takes it upon themselves to prove it as thoroughly as they can. Wait, I take that back, they don’t simply “prove” it, they celebrate it. Celebrate finality? Well, yeah. What, you think the idea of impermanence is scary or sad? Well….

Don’t tell those people, ‘cause they are rather happy about the whole thing.

CleverEuphemism here, and you doubt me? Well, try this on for size: One of the most likeable characters in the show, and really the one touchstone all the characters share, Nathaniel Fisher Sr., dies about 5 minutes into the series. In a way it is his death that catapults the series forward. And how does Nathaniel handle it?

Yes that is him, played by Richard Jenkins, sitting on top of the funeral limo in quite the outfit at his own funeral.

The show winds up challenging your perception of life and death and blurs the line between the binary, while also complicating the discussion about it. The series also tackles how a plethora of cultures, both within the US, but also around the world, all deal with death differently.

Not that Americans exactly think of death in the most serious of terms all the time anyway

Generally the show opens with a scene of some unknown character dying in some unique fashion. In the course of the 60+ episodes of the series we see people die from: sticking their head out of a sunroof of a limo, autoerotic asphyxiation, and a personal favorite: a woman stopping her car in the middle of a highway and running into traffic thinking it was the rapture because she saw naked, inflatable anatomically correct blow-up dolls float up towards the heavens out of the back of a porno van. Yeah.

If this is what the rapture does to your face count me out.

Now, the whole dying thing takes up only a small portion of the show. I mean, we get a whole bounty of television goodness. Characters deal with drug issues. High school drama is present, as if there is any other kind. We also lay witness to what is probably the most dysfunctional family in the history of filmed art. And there are a handful of well-known performers that come and go during the run of the show including Rainn Wilson, Kathy Bates, and James Cromwell.

When I die, make sure he isn’t my mortician please.

Oh yeah, and there is one thing that I didn’t mention yet. One thing that a lot of people here tend to watch HBO and other such premium channels for. Gay sex between emotionally unavailable morticians soon to be serial-killers? I mean, I think it goes without saying really. Who doesn’t want to watch serial-killer Dexter (also known as Michael C. Hall) make out with some black dude?

Honestly, I could never get into Dexter after watching Michael C. Hall as an emotionally unstable twink for 5 seasons.

There is male-on-female action too. I mean, this is still HBO we are talking about, but come on male-on-female? That is soooooo overplayed, amirite or what?!

Anyway, I admit, part of this post is to convince the local Cynic to cave and start to watch this show, ‘cause she should. But, really, you should too. The DVDs are plentiful and to be had. Or, if you know how to work the internet, you can watch it streaming (just not on Netflix, just run a search).

And I learned countless things from this show, very important life lessons:

So remember kids, shave your balls.

I do warn you all one thing though. When I started watching this show on DVD a few years back I got hooked and wound up watching all 5 seasons worth in about… 3 weeks. Yeah, the show became my life for a brief moment. It’s addicting, and glorious.

CleverEuphemism bidding you adieu and bidding you all good watching.

[Nate and Brenda discussing a couple o’ kids]

Nate: There’s something weird about twins, well these twins anyway.

Brenda: They’re cute.

Nate: They smell like bananas.


  1. Freddy Rodriguez is Mas y Menos, and that's all he'll ever be, okay? OKAY!?

    Oh, Dexter. You sentimental fool.

  2. No one else wants to watch your dead people show either :p



    (Simon made a Teen Titans reference!)

  3. They are too busy to post because they are either preoccupied watching the show, or doing important things with their lives.


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