August 08, 2005

Six Feet Under

I can not stand most sitcoms and dramas on network television. Sitcoms generally use the same tired jokes over and over while resolving the occasional problem with cheesy moments designed to make the viewer feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Dramas are generally sanitized, avoiding most serious issues that may arise in life and carefully treading around the few they dare to confront.

I think that is why I have completely fallen for the series on channels such as Showtime and HBO. Dead Like Me, the unfortunately ill-fated dark comedy from Showtime, is one of the best series I have ever seen. Most of my friends would at least agree that I feel that way, and many probably hold the same opinion. It is not a conventional comedy; therefore, it must be at least partially original in its humor.

Six Feet Under, HBO's successful drama about a family and its funeral home business, is similarly appealing to me. It feels real. It embodies the opposite of network programming, showing the viewer the dirty, the gritty, and the ugly parts of both death and life.

The old cliche "emotional rollercoaster" does not even begin to describe this show. It has its happy peaks and rock bottoms as well as its quiet desperations and furious outbursts. The characters experience and face teenage angst, parental misgivings, rocky relationships, and family turmoil.

This is the only television drama I've seen where I connect with and care about all of the characters. This is the only drama I've wanted to cry over or to scream at when an episode ends. This is the only drama of which I want to watch episode after episode after episode, watching characters grow and/or fall apart.

If you know me at LETU, you will probably catch at least some portion of some episode during the upcoming semester. Of course, some will probably watch a few seasons with me. Unfortunately, some will see some of the characters, situations, or circumstances of the show and turn away from it. I see that as their loss.

Posted by Randy at August 8, 2005 03:01 AM | TrackBack