Monday, August 08, 2005

All Alone Is All We Are

"Six Feet Under" has been one of our favorite shows since its beginning, and I'm sad to see it a way. In another way, the characters are, one and all, wearying me to such an extent that I'm relieved to say goodbye to them. Ruth, in particular, has been wearing my last nerve down for a couple of seasons now. I just don't find many redeeming qualities in any of them--they're a shallow, self-centered, faithless, disloyal bunch. And what does it say about me that, if I had to pick one of them to be deserted on an island with, it would probably be post-ECT George?

The show consistently exhibited some of the best writing on television. The narrative arc is feeling satisfyingly complete, beginning with Nate's arrival upon the death of his father and ending (somewhat) with his own death. Although, since the series' end is yet to come, and did not occur with Sunday's funeral episode, the writers do have me curious as to what the denouement will be (Brenda's baby?). I'm looking forward to it with a bittersweet anticipation, as I will look forward to what's next for some of the talents that were discovered on this show, both in front of and behind the camera.

One of my favorite things about the show throughout has been the seamless incorporation of music that perfectly matched the mood of that episode, even if you only heard it over the closing credits. Nirvana's "All Apologies" was a fitting accompaniment to the penultimate episode.

Biggest pet peeve? Besides the basic unlikeability (well, it oughta be a word) of the characters--much like my feelings about "The Sopranos"; I was interested in the characters, but I did not like them--that would be, to borrow a term from Jim Rome, the gratuitous, overdone dropping of the "F-Bomb". I realize that HBO original programming apparently has some sort of F-Bomb quota it has to meet, but give me a break. These people spoke this way to customers--grieving loved ones of the recently departed, for crying out loud. Good writing is good writing, and a high "f-count" does not make it "edgy."

In my own imaginings of "What Happens Next?" (and admit it, you're all doing it), I have the most hope for Brenda. I wish the best for George, Billy, Clair, Keith, and grudgingly, David...and don't give much of a rip about any of the rest of them. I'm sorry to say I had lost almost all fondness for Nate well before he died. I think Brenda perfectly summed up Nate's sad relationship history when she told Milquetoast Maggie, "All he ever wanted was someone who could make him feel like he was a better man than he actually was."

And the Nirvana song lyrics? Well, I recently had a therapist, in discussing my grieving over my father, tell me much the same thing when she said, "It hits kind of hard when you realize that you really are all alone in the world." I think that was when I decided I wasn't seeing her any more. Not the zenith of encouragement for a depressed person, perhaps? Hmmm? In any case, it was a lot more palatable coming from (doomed) Kurt Cobain.

Ashes to's been fun, SFU.


  1. Finally, someone to share my angst over "Six Feet Under" with. It seems as though most of my friends stopped watching last season. I truly loved the show & appreciate the excellent writing & acting, but what happened to the humor?? Remember the first 2 seasons? The writers always found some way to incorporate something funny even in the most devastating situations. All of that is gone. the characters have all become so whiny & unlikeable. I feel as if I'm on the verge of an anxiety attack each time I watch it. Only two more episodes to go! Thank goodness!!

  2. I thought it was just one more! Is it two? I know exactly what you mean, and I almost stopped watching myself. It got to the point where I was thinking, "I hate these people!" Even the one stable character they introduced, Maggie, turned out to be a big ol' Quaker hypocrite! I remember at one point Alex and I deciding that there was hardly a character on the whole show who was not in need of psychiatric medication and treatment! Billy and George were not the only nuts, by far!

  3. Didn't watch 6 feet under because we don't have premium cable - but was wondering how you were doing regarding your dad.

  4. I dunno, I think better. The Zoloft is helping, I'm hardly crying at all. I've been warned that things may come flooding back on the anniversary of his death, which will be Sept. 9. The first year of my life without him. Still seems surreal. Thank you for asking.

  5. Interesting. I can't get enough of reading about "the end of SFU."
    I found myself vascilating, trying to find some redeeming qualities in these Fisher folks, and there were some. And Brenda's directness--"is this some sort of Quaker thing..." The whole Nate-Lisa thing just was not the same.
    It's no surprise that Peter Krauss has done Broadway. And, the writing in that show was truly amazing. I, for one, will miss it.

    Maybe the therapist was trying to get at that hard core yet spiritually empty, "we're born alone and we die alone." Someone at work told me that once when I was dismayed about one of the many times I have been duped/insulted or whatever. What a crock, though, in reference to relationships that really matter.
    I have never been able to connect with a therapist on a deep level, which is precisely why I started voraciously reading self help books and journaling way back when to supplement.

  6. Michelle, you just make me wish even more that some of my internet friends were closer geographically. I want to have you over for a SFU "funeral" party! Bella and Natalie can play in another room, far away from the F-bombs. ;-)