On Christmas Eve, 2000, funeral-director Nathaniel Samuel Fisher is involved in a hearse-accident with a bus and is killed. Ruth Fisher has a hard time coping, so can't bring herself to identify her husband's body at the morgue. David, the secretly gay younger son who remained at home to help with the family business, feels nothing but dismay at the prospect of now continuing his hated job for good, and focuses on keeping everything in order for the newest funeral. Claire Fisher gets the news just after smoking crystal at a party, and is forced to hide it. Nate Fisher returns home just in time to learn of the death after making out with fellow plane passenger Brenda Chenowith in an airport supply closet, and is forced to keep Claire's secret, console Ruth when she confesses she'd been cheating on Nathaniel, and take abuse from David for conversing with embalmer Federico Diaz, not helping him or forcing the others to swallow their grief, and insisting that David unleash his own. Then, ...Written by
Eric Balfour was only supposed to be introduced as "Claire's Meth Date" for the show's pilot, but the director found his chemistry so satisfying with Lauren Ambrose that his role was developed into the character Gabe Dimas. Similarly, Dina Spybey-Waters's and Gary Hershberger's roles were only listed as "Chatty Mourner" and "Kroehner Representative (though the latter was already identified by the name Matthew Gilardi in the episode). See more »
The hearse in the opening credits has a Washington state license plate. See more »
[voiceover, as camera tracks slowly over a handsome reclining body]
For a body that's firm, yet flexible. For skin that begs to be touched. For the velvety appearance of actual living tissue. Top morticians rely on Living Splendor embalming fluid. Living Splendor. Only real life is better.
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This would have been an absolutely excellent movie. Sure, the characters are amazing and it's great to see them develop over the following seasons, but the pilot has absolutely everything.
A perfect, warts-and-all, emotional portrayal of a death and how it's affecting the immediate family members, all of whom have something in their life they are trying to hide. In spite of that, the characters are 100% believable, unlike some other series where character problems seem forced or far-fetched and are thus less relatable.
Great script, great acting. 'Six Feet Under' is a good, not a great series as far as I'm concerned. As far as single episodes go, however, this is probably one of the best ever produced.
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