The Daily Ping

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March 8th, 2003

Six Feet Under

For my money, the best television show on the air today is HBO’s Six Feet Under.

I first heard of the show back in 2000 or 2001 when it debuted. I remember seeing something about Ed Begley, Jr., being on the show and I dismissed it; I figured that it really wasn’t worth my time. But when the second season started, Jeani and I decided to give it a try. It quickly became one of our favorite shows, and there are a lot of reasons why I find it superior to most TV stuff.

The characters are written so well, and so truthfully, that they feel comfortable, familiar, and accessible. The series focuses on the lives of the Fishers, a dysfunctional family (aren’t they all?) that happens to run a funeral home. The father of the family, Nathaniel, is killed off in the very first episode; he continually “visits” the family – but it’s not as cheesy as it sounds. Every episode features a death at the start, and that character often plays an important part in the course of the episode. Again, not as cheesy as it sounds.

The writing on the show is wonderful. Plots are never of the “aw, come on!” variety; all seem plausible and carefully measured out. The characters are perfectly cast, from eternal angst-ridden Claire to buttoned-up David.

As a bonus, being on HBO there are no commercials; shows are actually about an hour (although the season three premiere was a scant 45 minutes.) At the end of every episode, I’m left wanting more. It’s that good.

I guess part of the surprise is that I’m willing to pay the extra $12/month it costs for HBO. The way I see it is that a night at the movies can easily cost about $25 to $30, just for a two-hour flick. Six Feet Under plays out like a 12-hour movie, and stands on equal footing to most Hollywood productions. Thus, a buck an hour? That’s a good deal to me.

With all the talk about commercialism on blogs and websites lately, I’m sure a few people are rolling their eyes at me right now. But when you find something good, really good, you want to tell other people about it. Six Feet Under is the best show on TV, and if you enjoy TV, you really should be watching it.

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

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