Invest your time – DVD style!Posted: October 26, 2006
Hey all. This will be my first in a series of DVDs you should invest your time with if you haven’t seen the show the first time around or want to relive the shows you love. Some of these are not on the air anymore so DVD is your ticket to television bliss.
Ok, for my first series I highly recommend Six Feet Under. I don’t have HBO so I didn’t get to watch it when it was on (last year was its final season), but I’ve been watching it avidly with my girlfriend on DVD. We are starting season four right now and I believe it’s the final season.
SFU is the story of a dysfunctional family in LA who run a funeral home, Fisher and Sons, in the wake of the family patriarch and Fisher and Sons owner Nathaniel Fisher (Richard Jenkins). The Fisher’s consist of prodigal eldest son Nate (Peter Krause), uptight taskmaster David (Michael C. Hall), aspiring young artist Claire (Lauren Ambrose), and the insanely prim and reserved matriarch Ruth (Frances Conroy). Also in the cast is David’s on again off again cop boyfriend Keith (Matthew St. Patrick), Nate’s girlfriend Brenda (Rachael Griffiths), who’s a genius but emotionally incapable of keeping her life together, and Rico (Freddy Rodriguez), the funeral home’s restorative artist with aspirations of making partner.
Creator Alan Ball put this series together with the intention of talking about death without the bullshit; our culture is terrified of death and acts like it doesn’t happen. Death is sanitized and almost unreal in this society, and the show is a no-holds bar examination of the emotions, realities, and intricacies of death and life alike. The performances are top notch, with both powerhouse regulars and rotating characters that show up for story archs and disappear continually. Standouts include Frances Conroy’s ruth, who should win best actress even when she’s not in a project, Michael C. Hall’s David, as he navigates through a terrifically written personal journey of dealing with his sexuality, and Richard Jenkins’ Nathaniel, the Fishers’ late father who visits the family from beyond the grave from time to time to dispense wisdom or prod them to seek out a better self knowledge. And of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Lauren Ambrose’s Claire. She is incredible in the show, and if you are friends with me on Facebook you already know; I have an unhealthy obsession with Lauren Ambrose.
Aside from the suburb acting, the story lines are great, the writing is excelent, and the cinematography and filming is gorgeous. With only 13 episodes a season, you might feel jipped before you throw the first disc on, but what you’ll find is that each episode is like a 60 minute high budget film, and there is so much character development and so much story is packed into each episode that you will be amazed it all happened in 13 episodes each season. There is a perfect balance of humor and drama, and all else I can say is if you choose to invest your time with this underappreciated gem, get ready to be entertained, and yes, get ready to be moved.
I give seasons 1-3 four out of four stars, and I’ll check back in with you when I’m done with season four.
Six Feet Under (2001-2005) Created by Alan Ball. HBO.
Seasons 1-3 ****