21 July 2006
For as much practice as the cast of Six feet under had doing it, I think at least half the cast still had trouble convincingly crying even in the show's final season. Or maybe it was me laughing that made their sobs seem so fake.
The show's creators wisely stopped the show after five years, likely fearing the prospects of further catastrophes to heap upon the poor Fishers (and friends). I certainly can't think of many more trials and tribulations they could experience. The writers of the DVD menu summaries cleverly covered many of this season's surprises, but the show's writers could've done them a favor and left some out.
On a technical level the show is quite good. The cinematography features lots of good composition and great shots*. Too bad the plot and characters detract and distract the viewer from noticing.
So why did I watch it? This isn't the sort of 'so-bad-it's-good' fare that would normally attract me. Well, it wasn't always 'so-bad'. The show's first season is quite good, and inconsistent in tone with the res tof the series. Almost every episode of every season begins with a death and fades to white, but only the shows of the first season also featured semi-parodic commercials for mortuary products that were easily worthy of some of SNL's efforts.
In almost all of the early shows the characters find themselves talking to the dead, and early on it's cleverly done. Later on, one episode in five does the same thing and somehow almost always lacks the same punch as before.
Am I sorry I watched the latter four seasons? I don't think so, but I'm not sure. The series last few episodes and finale were highly-discussed on the 'net, and to have missed them left me feeling a little excluded.
That said, I still haven't seen most of the last season of The X-files, and there's a show I enjoyed wholeheartedly for most of several seasons.
Six feet under started out better than many shows, and ended well and appropriately, but I'd like to see more of the sort of effort that went into the very last 15 minutes than the couple thousand that preceded them.
* and many not-so-great ones. For some reason, at least this season, there are a lot of shots of coversations with bright backlighting, giving the impression that the characters are glowing or have halos. And that they're badly, unnaturally lit.