Six Feet Under
The TV series “Six Feet Under” received widespread critical acclaim, particularly for its writing and acting. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time and consistently drew high ratings for the HBO network and the show’s finale has also been described as one of the greatest television series finales.
The series won nine Emmy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and a Peabody Award. Despite some mixed reviews, the show is generally regarded as a groundbreaking exploration of grief and loss on television, with a quirky, sideswiping sense of humour.
Six Feet Under is an American drama television series created and produced by Alan Ball. In the entertainment world, Alan Ball is a legend, with his work entertaining millions over the years.
This is dark humour meets edgy, never too sure where you are and storylines and storytelling reaching deep into the recesses of your body and spears through emotions which you never realized you had.
Some of Ball’s other work includes:
- American Beauty: Ball wrote the screenplay for this 1999 film, which won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay
- True Blood: Ball created this HBO series, which premiered in 2008 and ran for seven seasons. The show is based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries novels by Charlaine Harris and explores the coexistence of vampires and humans in a small Louisiana town. Ball served as an executive producer and writer.
- Uncle Frank: Ball wrote and directed this 2020 film, which premiered on Amazon Prime Video. The film follows a gay man named Frank who returns to his hometown in the 1970s for his father’s funeral and must confront his past and his family’s homophobia.
Besides his work in film and television, Ball has also written several plays.
Family Funeral Home
Premiering on HBO in 2001, the series had 63 episodes across five seasons. The series depicts the lives of the Fisher family, who run a funeral home in Los Angeles, along with their friends and lovers.
The title “Six Feet Under” refers not only to being buried as a dead body is buried but also to primal emotions and feelings running under the surface.
The series is dark and edging into places that series on HBO became synonymous for.
Forget about the slow burn of many HBO series, with Six Feet Under you are thrust (there’s a scene with much thrusting, if you get my drift) into the story in the first 20 minutes.
It’s testament to the quality of writing and acting that you get to meet, learn and watch characters and a story that makes you feel compelled to watch.
I mean, it’s set in a family home that doubles up as a morgue. You couldn’t get more weird than that.
The main characters in Six Feet Under are the members of the Fisher family, who run a funeral home in Los Angeles.
The main characters are:
- Nate Fisher: The eldest son of the Fisher family, who returns home after his father’s death to help run the family business. He struggles with his own mortality and relationships throughout the series.
- David Fisher: Nate’s younger brother, who is gay and struggles with his identity and relationships. He is also a funeral director and takes over the family business after their father’s death.
- Ruth Fisher: The matriarch of the Fisher family, who is a widow and struggles with loneliness and finding her own identity outside of her role as a wife and mother.
- Claire Fisher: The youngest child of the Fisher family, who is a rebellious teenager at the start of the series and grows into a young adult throughout the show. She is an artist and struggles with finding her place in the world. Gets high on crack in the first episode just before getting the dreaded call about her father’s death.
Other important characters include Brenda Chenowith who Nate; Federico Diaz, a funeral director who works with the Fishers; and Keith Charles, David’s partner.
The show also features many recurring characters and guest stars who play important roles in the lives of the main characters.
The show received critical acclaim for its writing, acting, and direction and won numerous awards, including nine Primetime Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and a Peabody Award.
It’s not an easy first episode watch only because it’s so different to other shows I’ve watched and, like True Blood, unsettling.
HBO had a terrific run of series with different, difficult and taboo themes with brilliant casting and writing.
I’ve recently reviewed True Blood, Band of Brothers: A Tale of Heroism and Brotherhood, Peaky Blinders – Series 1, Outer Banks, and the superb Ganglands.