22 August 2005 | stonedonkies
Raw, personal conflict was never so mesmerizing
Six Feet Under is meticulous, beautiful, daunting, and powerful. One way or another, it will connect with you, perhaps in places you didn't expect and aren't willing to expose. At times wrenching, at other times cathartic, but always staring back at you knowingly, this show stands head and shoulders above the advertising-driven fare that clogs network TV with mediocrity, token minorities, and jarring commercial breaks. It changed the way I view television, and I recommend it to anyone who's tired of the same old crap.
After watching the series finale (which I won't spoil, don't worry), I sat in bed, unable to sleep. After poring over everything I'd seen over the past season, it struck me that SFU is the most raw and personal television show I've ever seen. Even more, there are no stand-alone episodes for easy syndication. Every single installment is part of a huge puzzle, or a few more miles on the Fisher family's road. I've always found Peter Krause to be a disappointingly flat performer, which is unfortunate because his character anchors the show, but the other actors are often transcendent. Regardless, every one of them radiates with a sometimes painfully familiar pathos. The cinematography is also staggering sometimes, taken from film rather than typical 3-camera TV work. If that's not enough, the music they choose to score the episodes is almost symbiotic; it seems ingrained into the film itself, even when you know it was just licensed.
This is not really a family-friendly show, though, encompassing profanity, nudity, violence, drug use, "alternative lifestyles" ... So in other words, it's just like real life. And despite the interpersonal conflicts that fuel the narrative to the point of melodrama, the show isn't afraid to pause every once in a while and let the show communicate without dialogue.
I feel very gratified to have watched SFU, and I've never felt that way about any other show in the almost-27 years I've been alive. Hopefully it will start a trend, if only on premium cable.