Up Until 2: Finishing “Six Feet Under”

Last night, I finally finished watching all five seasons of “Six Feet Under.” I was up until 2 a.m., because I started with three seasons left and just couldn’t stop.

There are plenty of horrifyingly depressing films I have subjected myself to over the years — “House of Sand and Fog,” “Schindler’s List,” “Requiem for a Dream,” “Mystic River.” I’ve even seen most of them more than once. But none of them compare with the 63 hours of horrifyingly depressing HBO Original Series I have let wash over me for the past few weeks.

It was around the end of the 3rd season that I realized this was not going to end well. I can’t even talk about some of my favorite moments without giving away major plot points. And while many people would say that spoilers are moot for a series that’s been over for seven years, I’m here to tell you, they are not. Because I spoiled myself on the ending of this series 2 seasons ago.

Suffice it to say that most of anything that came out of Ruth’s mouth was The Best Ever.

And most of what came out of Nate’s mouth when he wasn’t being completely judgmental and idealistic.

“I live in a shitty apartment that was supposed to be temporary. I work at a job that was also supposed to be temporary until I figured out what I really wanted to do with my life, which apparently is nothing. I have lots of sex, but I haven’t had a relationship last more than a couple of months. I don’t even have the self-discipline to floss daily. I’ve had four root canals. Four. I’m thirty-five. I’ve had four root canals.”

Which made me laugh out loud, because I’m 31 and I’ve had two.

And Claire for like, the entire season 4 when she was a total and complete asshole. Because who hasn’t been there?

And David. No, like, David was The Best Ever. And I was a little concerned I wouldn’t be able to see anybody but Dexter… not so.

I felt like I had lost my best friend when it was over. I loved everybody at their worst because it was real. Life is messy and terrible shit happens in the middle of it. Sometimes there are happy endings. Sometimes there aren’t. Nobody is happy just for the sake of being happy. And when everything’s coming up roses, it’s usually a sign that shit’s about to hit the fan.

10 of my favorite quotes (just because they happen to be the 10 I can think of)

  1. “I know stealing a foot is weird. But hello, living in a house where a foot is available to be stolen is weird!”
  2. “I wish that just once people wouldn’t act like the clichés that they are.”
  3. “Is that the best anybody could come up with — Father, Husband, Caregiver?” “How would you prefer it — Introvert, Sadist, Mindfucker?”
  4. “Been running? It’s bad for the knees.” “Everything’s bad for something.”
  5. “You know what I find interesting? If you lost a spouse, you’re called a widow, or a widower. If you’re a child and you lose your parents, then you’re an orphan. But what’s the word to describe a parent who loses a child? I guess that’s just too fucking awful to even have a name.”
  6. “Is that some sort of Quaker thing? You fuck somebody’s husband to death and then you bring them a quiche?”
  7. “Well, I know that if you think life is a vending machine, where you put in virtue and you get out happiness, then you’ll probably be disappointed.”
  8. “The only god I know is a mean-spirited comedian in ugly pants whose every joke has the same damn punchline.”
  9. “If you were a gay mortician, what would you want for Christmas?” “A new life?”
  10.  “You can’t take a picture of this. It’s already gone.”

10 Favorite Episodes

  1. E4S1 “Familia” – Each episode features a death that is overlaid with personal and familial tribulations. In this one, a gang member dies and his leader wants to take things over. Some funeral homes would shy from holding a gangland funeral. Fisher & Sons did not — to great dramatic effect.
  2. E13S1 “Knock, Knock” – The final scene of this episode was one of the most touching things I’ve ever seen. I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to say that Nate helps David comes to terms with the death of their father in a unique and incredibly impactful way.
  3. E1S2 “Out, Out Brief Candle” – A college football star dies of heat exhaustion at practice, and Nate has to face what that means for him.
  4. E8S2 “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” – The first anniversary of Nathaniel’s death has the family reminiscing about their last time with him.
  5. E13S2 “The Last Time”
  6. E11S3 “Death Works Overtime” – Each episode starts with a death. This starts with 3 — and shows Nate dealing with an incredible emotional cliffhanger that stretches out over 4 episodes.
  7. E5S4 “That’s My Dog” – Lucas from “House” makes the creepiest crackhead.
  8. E12S4 “Untitled” – Claire is a total asshole at this point, and Nate finally gets some closure (though it’s not pretty)
  9. E9S5 “Ecotone” – I just… can’t.
  10. E12S5 “Everyone’s Waiting” – Maybe the best series finale of all time.

I found myself placing more time in between episodes as I reached the last season. I didn’t want it to end. And I seriously considered watching the whole thing over again. That happened once before, with “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (the book, not the movie). But I don’t know how ready I am for total emotional annihilation, so I think I’ll just watch “Downton Abbey” instead.


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