I just finished watching the first season of Six Feet Under. By “just,” I mean on Wednesday, when I wrote this blog post. You see, sometimes, I write four or five posts in one day, but I then schedule them to magically auto-post days later. For example, I have Music Monday posts scheduled for the next month. Why? Well, why not? Stop looking at me like that. Stop it! Stop it! Seeing as it’s Wednesday, I really enjoyed today’s Wheezy Waiter.
So, Six Feet Under, I was going to write about that show. I have this friend, to protect her identity we’ll call her “Cari.” This “Cari” told me that her favourite show is Six Feet Under. I had heard about it, but never watched it, didn’t even know what it was about, but I like Cari, and I trust her taste1. What do I like? What don’t I like?
This one is kind of obvious. These characters run a funeral home, the series begins with the death of Nathaniel Sr., the patriarch of the family, and so the Fishers must come to terms with the giant hole in their family. Nate, who ditched the family for Seattle now rejoins and must learn to deal with his fear of death. This is a fear I’ve never understood, media makes it out that everyone is afraid of death, are they really? I’m not. I have more of a “who cares” attitude to death, not those I love, just mine, and when one talks about fear of death, I think they’re obviously referring to their own. When it comes to the death of others, it’s the absence in your life that you fear and hate and are sad about, not death. When it’s your own death, you fear the afterlife, non-existance, whatever. I can’t really see that as a problem. I didn’t exist for an eternity before I did exist, and after I die, I’ll cease to exist again, that’s not scary, that’s kind of nice.
That was a bit of a tangent there2, sorry. So, Nate fears death, and he has to become a funeral director, awesome turmoil. Then at the end of the season, he discovers he might be dying… even better! Fuck yeah!
Why is Nate’s chest hair in a perfect rectangle?
God plays a very large role in this series. God is passive through this show, and it isn’t a religious drama like Quantum Leap was or Battlestar Galactica. However, the Fisher family are Christian and their faith plays a large role in their lives. David is gay, but still feels attached to a religion that supposedly hates him. He goes to church and even becomes a member of the church community by becoming a deacon3. David’s faith is very important to him, and there’s even a scene where he’s down on the floor praying to God. This is something you rarely see in television, and though I’m not a man of faith, and if I were, it wouldn’t be that faith, I find it nice to see something contrary to the standard a-theist4 point of view on television. Television avoids this topic, and often it’s for the best, but it adds so much to the characters of this show. Nate is also Christian, but not church-going. He states that he definitely believes in God. Ruth’s faith however is one of a very June Cleaver point-of-view, maybe that’ll get deeper and stronger in future seasons.
This plays a large role in Six Feet Under, as David is gay. More so because David is closeted. Throughout the first season, David discovers that his father always knew, his sister finds out, then his brother finds out, and eventually his mother learns his secret. David’s own bigotry and self-hatred hold him back from accepting himself, and his religion, of course, plays a large part in this. It’s really well done, and my god, it makes for some good television.
Those are three areas that are discussed in the show, there’s more throughout, there’s lots of discussions of what love is, and sorrow, and self-hate, and guilt, and sex and more, but this will last for this post, because it’s already a long fucking post.
- Even if she has mistakenly began to eat dead animals again. Not Animal, the muppet, no animals, as in mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. [↩]
- But isn’t that what my blog is all about? Random tangents. Coffee? Anyone…coffee, anyone? Huh? Sorry. I like cotton candy. Check out my muscle. Potato chips! It’s a Ferris wheel! So I guess what I’m trying to say is plastic bag! [↩]
- A role I never before knew existed in Christianity. [↩]
- That dash means a lot. In other words, I was saying God-less and not specifically anti-God. [↩]