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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Masterpiece about Life and Death

10/10
Author: Farhang Bayat from United States
29 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I just ended watching the whole series and am left astonished and more than anything amazed at how good it really was. I started watching it because of the rating it had in IMDb and the other articles describing it having one of the best finales of all time. Like most other HBO shows, it takes its time to start developing. The first episode left me eager for the next, but as the season grew bigger and bigger, I started caring less for the characters and couldn't get why so many people were amazed by it. So the first season left me a little irritated, and the second wasn't any better, Brenda seemed to get farther and farther from my attention and I didn't really care for any other characters except for the mother, who was one of the sweetest things I've ever laid eyes on. I was a little hesitant to even check out the 3rd season. So after 3 weeks of procrastination I went back to the Fisher family and boy, I'm glad I did. From the very first episode things were all very different. Nate was understandable, so was David and everyone else. And I was glad to see that after the ridiculous second season of the show, no more wrong steps were taken. David's phobia, Claire's relationships, addition of George, everything seemed so natural. Seasons 4 and 5 were all very well. So why didn't I take some points for the stupid second season? I was going to do that until I saw the finale of the series, that's when the final 7 minutes of the show blew me away. I who had hated the entire 2nd season, couldn't even remember why I felt like that back then. Just the way the show wrapped itself up, was mesmerizing. Now I'm sure, I will never forget the Fisher family. My advice? Watch the whole series even if only for its final 7 minutes; it will be the most humane thing you've felt in a very long time.

rating : 10 out of 10

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Real life drama

7/10
Author: l-kempson from United Kingdom
1 February 2011

I have to say when i first watched this I was glued to the screen and the reason for this was I could relate to so much of what this family was going through and just how hard life can be. It good to see something that is real and affects the lives of millions. This is an emotional series and there were times when i simply cried and there were times when I would laugh. As for the acting it is brilliant I cannot fault one single person. For a family that is doing the best they can in life this is amazing and so close the real life. I guess for me it was good to know and see that I was not alone in this world and other people have their problems and this shows how you can and have to deal with them.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

.....Every Day Above Ground Is A Good One.....

10/10
Author: haider ejaz (hyder_sagg2003) from Pakistan
26 January 2011

Six feet Under, is a beautiful portrayal of Life. The pains, joys, sorrows are all part of life and we all know that in the end we DIE. But the memories and time that we spend never dies it exists in some sort of feeling in others and memories.

The Five Seasons were extremely good. And each episode was well made and acted. It was really wonderful to watch the complete series. I'd love to congratulate the cast/crew/directors/writers on the wonderful achievement.

The Drama is Bold and accurate about life and how we live it.Thus is one the few best TV series ever made. I was extremely attached with the series, there was a bond created b/w me and this. I could feel it, I cried, I laughed and I was moved. I will never forget this in my life.

The concept is brilliant and it revolves around death which is depressing but in a good way......

10/10. Must watch.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Best TV Show in the world! Deserves more than awards and applause.

10/10
Author: tv_is_my_parent from Turkey
30 November 2010

This shows takes the quality on TV the highest place. Great story lines, amazing acting, legendary writing and directing. Six Feet Under is the greatest television series you'll ever see. Every episode begins with a death and this tells what the show is about. It's about life and death and the thin line between them. Every episode, every character, every emotion and every event created realistic.

All the characters are from the real life. All the fights are real, all the pains are real. This is life itself, this is everything. There is no boundary, there is only freedom to show everything us humans face everyday. This is definitely HBO's best series. Don't even care what IMDb vote says.

If you still didn't watch this masterpiece so what you're waiting for? But i have to say it's art. If you like cliché teen and vampire dramas don't waste your time. It's a little hard to get into it at first but once you love it you forever love it. 10/10

Best Seasons: Complete Series (5 Seasons)

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Real lives, and deaths, as never before

9/10
Author: iain_connell from United Kingdom
5 April 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This HBO series was ground-breaking from the start, giving the lie to the old gibe that the US is incapable of producing quality, radical television. Not just the subject matter - death and how we deal with loss - but the family of funeral directors and their relationships, has stretched the boundaries of what is acceptable on the small screen. In 63 episodes, recently watched on videotape and DVD, we are drawn into the lives, loves and sexuality of what becomes less like a dysfunctional family and more like real people, real relationships: the realities of an affluent post-industrial secular society.

I have never seen, and sadly don't think I will again see, such an intimate dissection of family life, explored in such depth and at such length, but always with affection and spade-loads of black humour. It is said that once drama series start to focus more on character than story and situation, they tend to drift towards cosiness. (Remember MASH, which veered from its original hard edge to a sentimental exploration of wartime relationships.) Instead, Six Feet Under's relentless swings and roundabouts, sometimes shocking (David's abduction), often cruel (we just knew, didn't we, that Nate would once more wreck his relationship with Brenda, even with a baby on the way and a child to care for), always believable (Billy & Brenda and their boundary-free mother), often jaw-dropping (Claire and the purloined foot, the stiff with a stiffy, Rico casually replacing the back of a corpse's scull), never let up on the realism.

The performances were almost all excellent, the two main leads (Peter Krause and Michael C. Hall) only relatively poor in such company. I particularly liked Claire (Lauren Ambrose) and Rico (Freddy Rodriguez), but to single them out seems hard on the others, specially Brenda (Rachel Griffiths) and her faultless American accent. But what stands out for me were the characterisations. What a gift to Frances Conroy to have her inhabit a perfectly realised late-middle-aged woman (Ruth) with so much to reveal behind the domesticity. It's a role that most actresses of her age would die for (!), and she gave it everything and then some. And the final series once more allowed the actors full reign to their musical talents (perhaps an original casting requirement), returning to the lip-synch breakout performances which were a feature of the first episodes. Lauren Ambrose, in particular, revels.

And that was while they were still alive; the final act was to allow Nate's brain condition to return, sending the family into a tailspin of tragedy (but final uplift, a magical last five minutes) from which they, just like their professional clients, have to recover. Even without so many hours in the company of these troubled but fully realised characters, the ending would sear its way into memory; but having watched the whole five sets, it is in my view the finest conclusion of a television drama series. It's possible that Alan Ball and his creative team viewed these as a potential, rather than actual, set of future lives; after all, knowing what we do about them, is it likely that these people would still be with the partners we last saw them with, twenty or thirty years hence ? But the last few minutes seems more like an affectionate coda to the present, allowing them finally to find some contentment (but with one exception: SFU could never be *that* optimistic) in the future.

There are some minor quibbles. Sometimes the fantasy-wish-fulfilment-dream sequences were overdone, so that when the characters really did lose temper or break control the impact was lessened because we'd seen that 'not' happen so many times before. Some of the relationship breakups and recoveries seemed overly rapid, so that what looked irrevocable was healed in the next one or two episodes. And given the subject matter, it must have been tempting for the writers to rely on shock and awe yet again (the lift, the cougar, the mixing machine) rather than explore the more mundane realities of death. Middle America, if not Middle England, must have been several times provoked, sometimes deliberately.

So, get the DVDs and allow yourself to be drawn in; forget the contrivances (the opening sequences usually have little to do with the rest of the episodes), and spend 63 or so hours of your life with these annoying, funny, disappointing, sexy, talented, and wonderfully real people. You'll never forget them.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

American Dreams

7/10
Author: Sean Buckley from Manchester
16 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Season One.

The show centres around a dysfunctional family as they struggle to run an independent funeral home. After the death of the patriarch the family struggle to redefine the roles both in the society and within the family unit.

With the growing popularity in American TV we have been force fed a myriad of different clichés and caricatures masquerading as valid humanistic character types. Six Feet under goes to great lengths to obliterate and poke fun at these recent tropes and successfully creates a weird but grounded hyper real world. We watch as David (Michael C Hall) struggles with his faith and its impact on his homosexuality. We watch as Nate (Peter Krause) finally settles down with what seems to be the girl of his dreams. The almost obligatory teenage daughter character (Lauren Ambrose) here constantly fights the societal norms of her turgid, vapid high school. Lastly, we see the widowed mother of the family struggle to deal with her ever diminishing control over her family whilst trying juggle two new men in her life. There are various other plot lines which bleed into the central, anchored melodrama which help give the show a bustling and busy feel keeping the action and characters fresh throughout the 13 episode season.

Six Feet Under is a potentially divisive programme. It may superficially have the zip and kooky music which you would usually find in an episode of 'Desperate Housewives' but it is brazen and brash with its dealings with the human elements of its plotting. Here homosexuality is outed, proud and true. We see the gay characters interact properly, as if it were not just a novel plot weapon or a statement. Its refreshing to see such honesty on screen. Also, the shows deals intelligently with mental illness. We see it in its various guises and forms. Nate's new love has a past filled with psychiatric assessments and tests which have left her hardened and sceptical. Her brother is the shows main focus with regards to mental illness, he floats in and out of episodes, his bi-polar condition is painted as both dangerous and humorous. This duality is what ultimately gives the situations their humanity, there is a constant dialogue with the viewer and their expectations. It never pulls the rug completely from under you but it does tease and threaten to do so.

The episodes themselves function on a simple but effective arc. at the start of each episode we watch the death of the person the family will tend to in the funeral home. The death then informs the lives of the family both emotionally and structurally. the most effective use of this structure is in 'The Trip' in which Rico, a talented funeral home worker has to prepare a 3 week old baby for a funeral viewing. For anyone this would be a harrowing experience but it is especially poignant for Rico who is expecting his second child any day. it is this cyclical inner logic that drives each vignette. This is oppositional to other successful TV shows like 'Breaking Bad' which opts for a much more roaming continuous story.

It would be impossible to write about the show without commenting on the acting. It seems (to me at least) that we have to schools on show here. Both Krause and Ambrose conduct themselves with a certain freedom that is both endearing and involving. Ambrose constantly crows and sighs in between freight train hyperbole, it never looks text book but its still equally as effective. Krause is much more refined but still practices the same formlessness, he is understated even when faced with the gravest of strife. The thing that makes his performance so good, is his reactionary choices. It is how most of us would react, and not just how he SHOULD react as a dramatic character.

Michael C Hall is fantastic also on the other side of the coin, both he and his mother both provide the more comedic elements as we revel in their plight. They play it more straight (excuse the pun) and the humour comes out of watching them play off the other family members. Halls uptight David is constantly preaching etiquette by day and hitting gay bar and taking drugs by night. The mother figure is trying to hold her family together in a difficult time, whilst gallivanting with two separate men in secret. There is so much fun to be had watching their performances here, they both just eat up every scene they are in.

It is no wonder then that we live in a time in which cinema receipts are ever dwindling (or so we are constantly told) because the spaces between those tent pole blockbusters that seemingly everyone goes to are being devoured by engrossing shows like this. We don't then have subject ourselves to the possible social horrors of the cinema when we can just as easily get as much bang for our buck at home. The shows are not constructed to 2 hour forays into a tried and tested world either, due to the amount of hours an average season runs for, the film makers can explore every facet of a character or idea instead of giving us a small window in which to peak through. Its is no longer about getting from A to B, hell, there might not even be a B, its about the people involved. This is somethings that Six Feet Under exploits so well in its first season, you really get a sense of the characters and story growing in front of your eyes. Its a much more organic process than film often is and i cannot wait to watch more.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Rarely does a show come around that is as vital, and honest, and visceral as Six Feet Under.

8/10
Author: jmbwithcats from United States
28 January 2008

A drama series that takes a darkly comical look at members of a dysfunctional Pasadena family that runs an independent funeral home. The story of the lives and loves of the Fisher family, Alan Ball's creation (and sometimes writing) is certainly dark, but at the same time very layered, thoughtful, moving - by the end of the second season all the main characters have changed somewhat from what they were, and that's not meant as a criticism - and very funny. These are all qualities found in Ball's earlier script for "American Beauty" (who'd have thought he used to write for "Cybill"?), but there are people who can't abide the film while loving the series. Maybe it's the HBO connection... labels, who needs 'em? The closest the show ever gets to formula is the obligatory scene where the week's dead person is unveiled (the temptation to play spot-the-corpse-to-be is unavoidable, though the writers often wrong foot the viewer); the understandable desire to give all the main players something to do meant season 2's impact was diluted a bit, mostly due to Mathew St. Patrick as Keith (did we HAVE to get his family involved?).

Otherwise, the series is well nigh impossible to fault - the acting and writing are top of the range, the humor never gratuitously tasteless (and the fake commercials shown in the first episode have never returned, an early indication that this show may know when to quit), the series intriguingly inverts the usual male/female nudity ratio, as well as seeing homosexuality and drug use as aspects of life that are neither good nor ill (though no one will ever confuse this for "Queer As Folk" - Channel 4 or Showtime versions), and the title sequence illustrating the journey to the grave combined with Thomas Newman's sublime Emmy-winning theme music never fails to draw you in. For a show that's basically about death, this is full of life.

"In Loving Memory," in case you're wondering, was a 1970s British sitcom set in a funeral home. The difference between this and "Six Feet Under" is the difference between, say, Avril Lavigne and Reba McEntire.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Has weak points of course, but generally triumphs thanks to very good writing and delivery

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
23 October 2005

A death in the Fisher home is nothing unusual because their home is a funeral parlour. However when the death in question is that of his father, it brings Nate Fisher back home to join his brother David (who now runs the business), his sister Clare and his mother.

I can't remember why I first decided to watch Six Feet Under. It wasn't the controversial advertising campaign that got so many complaints at the time, but I suspect it was based solely on the fact that HBO had not let me down with the Sopranos or Oz so I thought I would trust them with this. I do remember though, why I kept watching it – because the quality of the characters and the writing is so engaging and involving. It is only fair and correct to criticise it for being so consistently depressing by having very little joy in the Fisher lives; indeed the only moments of happiness seem to exist so that the impact of it being taken away is that much greater. In a lesser show, this constant grind would have been a turnoff and the fact that it isn't here points to the quality of the writing and character development throughout the whole series.

Again it has its weak moments of course but generally the main characters are so very real and emotionally engaging (if not appealing) that you care more about them than you do the need to nick pick with the realism of the story. The realism of it is something that appeals to me because it always struck me as being wildly unrealistic and yet easily recognisable as well; again, not to bang on, but it is the writing that does this. While the dead, the home and the extremes of the events are obviously things that push it away from reality (for me anyway) however the feelings and actions of the characters are recognisable and it is these that keep you watching. The cats deserve (and have gotten) praise for making it all work as well. None of them were really known to me before I started watching and, surprisingly perhaps, I haven't really come across any of them in anything else since. Krause's Nate was the main focus at the start simply because he was coming back to the home at the same time as the audience came to it – thus making it felt like we were coming in with him. His performance has been roundly superb and the fact that he has got a real understanding of his character means that all the soul-searching and bed-hopping makes sense in context. Hall is just as good as David, producing a homosexual character that is refreshing far from the comedy "flaming" caricatures that I personally hope will someday be viewed with the same distain that we now view blackface. He produces a very real person and his insecurities are all very real – again a very good understanding of a rich character. Ambrose's Claire could have just been a stroppy teen but she makes it more than that and turns in a consistently performance as the artistically pained girl. Conroy rightly won many awards for Ruth and yet again, her understanding of her character makes it all seem so very easy. Rodriguez's Rico seemed a secondary character but as the series went on it used him better and gradually he was allowed to show how strong he could be as well. Griffiths lost her Australian accent and took on a role that became more tragic and real as the series progressed – she was strong till the end. Support is roundly good, whether it is the weekly mourners, the regular special guests or the reoccurring presence of Jenkins's Nate Sr, Sisto's Billy or Claire's many unsuitable boyfriends.

The whole thing is over now of course and throughout the five series it had highs and lows in quality while still keeping its game consistently above par. The writing was great and the cast seemed to respond to characters that were easily identifiable no matter how extreme the events of their lives were. Sad to see it go (for so many reasons) but it will last in my memory for its many strengths.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Weird, Bizarre, Very Adult – An Excellent HBO Series

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
1 November 2004

On 21 October 2004, I watched the first episode of 'Six Feet Under' and I loved it. Yesterday I saw the last one of this first season. 'Six Feet Under' is completely different from any other series I have ever seen. The theme and stories are weird, bizarre, very adult, dealing with death, but also excellent, with some of the best dialogs I have ever seen in a TV show. Themes like homosexuality, drug, adultery, remorse, sex, relationship, resentment, grief and death are approached in a daring and dramatic way, full of black humor. The characters are very human: Ruth Fisher (Frances Conroy) is a very unsecured woman who found pleasure in sex only after her fifty-second anniversary. The older and prodigal son Nate Fisher (Peter Krause) is the most balanced member of such dysfunctional family. However, his girlfriend Brenda Chenowith (Rachel McGriffiths) has lots of psychological problems due to her relationship with her parents and her maniac-depressive brother Billy Chenowith (Jeremy Sisto). David Fisher (Michael C. Hall) is the gay and resentful brother of Nate. In the last episodes, he discloses his homosexuality to his relatives and friends. Their sister Claire Fisher (Lauren Ambrose) is a teenager trying to resolve her inner problems. The first season has thirteen episodes as follows:

1) 'Piloto' ('Pilot') Director: Alan Ball (20 Oct 2004) – My vote is ten.

2) 'O Testamento' ('The Testament') Director: Miguel Arteta (23 Oct 2004) Nate and David inherit each 50% of 'Fisher & Sons' funeral home. The Kroener Service Corp. wants to buy their business. My vote is nine.

3) 'Não dá Pé' ('It Is Not Possible') Director: John Patterson (23 Oct 2004) The Kroener Service Corp. almost buys their business. Claire uses the foot of a corpse for a personal revenge. My vote is nine.

4) 'A Família' ('The Family') Director: Lisa Cholodenko (24 Oct 2004) The Mexican gangster Paco is killed and the Fisher has a problem with his family and gang in the funeral services. The police investigate a fire. My vote is ten.

5) 'Um Livro Aberto' ('An Open Book') Director: Kathy Bates (24 Oct 2004) Claire and Ruth visit their cousins to see their mother-daughter relationship. Nate has dinner with Brenda's parents. David is invited to be a deacon in the community church. My vote is nine.

6) 'A Sala' ('The Room') Director: Rodrigo Garcia (25 Oct 2004) Nate finds a secret room of his father. My vote is nine.

7) 'Fraternidade' ('Fraternity') Director: Jim McBride (25 Oct 2004) Nate and Brenda intend to travel together in the weekend, but Billy spoils their plans. My vote is nine.

8) 'Encruzilhada' ('Crossroad') Director: Allen Coulter (30 Oct 2004) Rico works for the Kroener Service Corp. The funeral business is weak and the Fisher brothers decide to rent the space for dance classes. My vote is nine.

9) 'A Vida é Curta Demais' ('Life Is Too Short') Director: Jeremy Podeswa (30 Oct 2004) David uses ecstasy with his new boyfriend. My vote is nine.

10) 'Uma Nova Pessoa' ('A New Person') Director: Kathy Bates (30 Oct 2004) A new employee Angela (Illeana Douglas) is hired for the position of Rico. The sincerity of her comments displeases the Fisher family. My vote is nine.

11) 'A Viagem' ('The Travel') Director: Michael Engler (31 Oct 2004) David, Nate and Brenda travel to Las Vegas, to a convention of funeral homes. David has sex with a prostitute without using condom. My vote is eight.

12) 'Vida Íntima' ('Innermost Life') Director: Rodrigo Garcia (31 Oct 2004) Innermost revelations are disclosed in this episode. My vote is ten.

13) 'Surpresa' ('Surprise') Director: Alan Ball (31 Oct 2004) Billy is interned in a psychiatric hospital. Brenda and Nate have a car accident. The season ironically ends with a new life and the baptism of Rico's son. My vote is nine.

My vote for the whole season is nine.

Title (Brazil): 'A Sete Palmos' (it is an equivalent expression in Portuguese to 'six feet under')

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

One of the best shows on TV

Author: Adriane (adriane7@mindspring.com) from chandler, az
11 January 2002

People who don't have HBO are missing out on one of the best new dramas on TV. It's as good as The Sopranos, and way better than those 4 s**** on Sex and the City. Everyone in the cast is great, and I especially enjoy Ruth, played by Frances Conroy. If you don't have HBO, get it!

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