Fourth quarter has officially come around. Regardless of grade, be it freshman or senior year, most all residual motivation leftover from first semester officially died last quarter. That, of course, means a new show is needed to fill up all the time that was previously used for studying and homework.
These past two months, I’ve been obsessing over Big Little Lies, an HBO mini series that everybody should watch, but that’s besides the point. The point is that I bought a month of HBO Now in order to watch Big Little Lies, and still having plenty of time leftover, knew that I might as well make the most of my binge-watching methods.
This led to me starting the show “Six Feet Under” on a complete whim. Going into it, I knew the show had to do with death, which I learned because I had googled “top HBO shows of all time”. I assumed that the show would include supernatural elements in some way, like ghosts or something, or at least a crime show. After all, no show is just about death.
I was wrong. Six Feet Under is about the Fisher & Sons funeral home, or rather, about the Fisher family that owns the funeral home. In the pilot, the family patriarch and head of Fisher & Sons dies in a car accident, leading the rest of the family to pick up the pieces and continue the business, along with simply try to continue their lives. Despite being a show about funerals, which is quite possibly the most unenticing topic there is, I was hooked.
Even though the show began in 2001, “Six Feet Under” was incredibly ahead of its times.
The show stars Michael C. Hall (who would go on to play Dexter in Dexter) as Dave Fisher, the de-facto head of the family business and middle child. When not embalming bodies or planning
funerals, he struggles to figure out his life path as a closeted gay man. Dave is far from stereotypical, and is instead a serious, workaholic who struggles deeply with his own religion and relationship to his church, along with to his family.
The family matriarch and mother of the kids, Ruth Fisher (Frances Conroy), is a somewhat off-putting and mildly creepy middle-aged widow, who attempts to find and understand her own ‘needs’ after her husband dies. Her odd relationships with a plethora of men turn out to be far more interesting than I would have expected.
The last two family members are Nate Fisher (Peter Krause), the oldest child of the three, and Claire Fisher (Lauren Ambrose), the youngest daughter.
Nate’s plot lines and relationships quickly lead to a realistic exploration of mental illness in a way that neither romanticizes nor demonizes the diseases, and Claire’s issues through high school are emotionally raw in ways that most shows are unable to capture
Each episode begins with a death scene. The deaths range from depressingly tragic to morbidly hilarious, and the episodes continuosly capture the full spectrum of human emotion.
Most importantly, it’s a character-driven show rather than driven by absurd plot-lines or the likes, so the character development and corresponding attachments are real.
To be fair, I still haven’t actually finished the series, which is five seasons long, but from my spoiler-free google searches, I’ve seen that sites online claim that the series finale is allegedly the most impactful of any show ever.
That’s why Six Feet Under really is the best show to watch this fourth quarter; there’s nothing that speeds up binge-watches quite like anticipating an ending to a show that’ll make you feel empty inside for weeks.