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Monday, April 16, 2007

six feet under

Okay, I admit I cried my eyes out during the last sequence of the final episode of this amazing series set in a family-run funeral home. And it's also the main reason I didn't reply to emails as promptly as I would have liked last week given that there were nearly twenty hours of the 5-disc DVD to watch. I sometimes find it hard to fit in a single DVD during the same time period (yes, even though I don't work full-time, snort), so this mega-viewing marathon was a bit of a reach, but so worth it!

The writing and acting in this show were both excellent, and the subject matter—I was going to say 'refreshing' although that's probably not the best way to describe the topic of death—not addressed before. At least, not in any real depth, and not on TV. And that's what I appreciated the most; it's frank and real handling of an issue that affects each of us. I don't remember the movie Terms of Endearment that well, but I do recall being annoyed by the fact that they never seemed to use the words 'death' or 'dying', as if by using silly euphemisms they could skirt around the unpleasantness of it all. So my hat goes off to this show for allowing viewers to have the chance to think about death in a meaningful way. And to be entertained at the same time. I know it sounds kind of strange as death isn't inherently funny, but I liked the show's dark, even macabre, sense of humour, and I have to admit I looked forward to seeing how they would kill off each week's doomed character. ;)

If I have any quibble with the show at all it would be their depiction of drug use as it began to feel as if everyone and their uncle dabbled with various drugs at some point or another. Now maybe I just live a very sheltered life, but that didn't seem realistic to me and it started to get on my nerves a bit. Still, a minor point most viewers might not even agree with.

Like I said earlier, the final sequence had me in tears. In it, the youngest main character of the family, Claire, drove from Los Angeles to New York to meet her future, while flash-forwards showed when and how each of the key characters would die, including Claire in 2085. It was moving and poignant, and seemed so fitting given the central theme of the show. I even felt a bit bereft afterwards, not wanting it to end, and that too seemed appropriate. I was glad therefore that the DVD included special features discussing the impact of the show, the cast, characters, writing, favourite moments, the look of the show, how it began, and how it ended. It gave me a much-needed feeling of closure.

I think it takes a brave series to kill off its central character when there are three more episodes left, and I applaud Six Feet Under for doing that. And the actor playing that character said something in one of the special feature segments that I really liked, "And if there's one thing about death I can tell you, death will shut you up right quick, so if you have something to say in this lifetime, say it." How true.

Everything changes. And everything ends. Goodbye Six Feet Under.
Well done.


Blogger Dakota said...

I used to love Six Feet Under and never missed an episode but I never got to see the final. It used to be on telly around 8:30 PM, then they changed it to 11 and later they scheduled it even later (after midnight). Maybe I should get the DVD’s in :) If the end had such an impact it just has to be good!

I love the quote too :)

April 17, 2007 10:15 a.m.

Anonymous krissa said...

I've heard of the show, but never seen it. Thanks for the post and the link. It does seem interesting. For some reason, that quote reminded me of the Monty Python movie (I believe it's "History of the World") where there are Americans visiting family/friends (?) in England. The Grim Reaper shows up and ends up yelling at the Americans, "You Americans. all you do is talk and talk and talk. You say things like "I just gotta say this" and "Let me tell you what", well you're dead now so SHUT UP!" My friend Margaret and I thought that was so funny! :) ... Great post!

April 17, 2007 10:49 a.m.

Blogger KJ's muse said...

Hi Dakota,

Yeah, it was on really late here too, but then I no longer had cable, so couldn't watch it anymore. DEFINITELY borrow, rent or buy Season 5 if only to view the last 10 minutes! :)

Snort. I like that line too, Krissa. Speaking of grim reapers, I really got into the show Dead Like Me before I was without cable. Hmmm, guess it's a bit of a theme.... ;)

April 17, 2007 6:15 p.m.

Anonymous susan said...

I'm with Krissa, I've actually never watched it even though I've read about it. Maybe I should expand my TV-viewing horizons to include it. I cackle at that line too Krissa, it's funny in itself and the delivery of it is perfect.

April 17, 2007 9:51 p.m.

Anonymous krissa said...

Hmmmm...I thought I left a comment on this thread yesterday, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's mistakenly on another thread. ... Anyway, I think the movie is actually "History of Life", but I may be wrong. It was in 1992-ish that we watched it. ... Hi Susan. :)

April 19, 2007 9:29 a.m.


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