Six Feet Blunder: Ball Goes Dark…As Usual

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First off, I should say that if you haven’t seen Six Feet Under on HBO lately, you should NOT read this blog post. There is definitely SPOILER material.

If you have or don’t care, then read on because I feel the need to rant. This is a brilliant show that makes me think and sometimes annoys the hell out of me.

SFU is winding to a close. Only three episodes remain as I post this and the last episode culminated with the death of Nate Fisher, basically the protagonist of the entire series.

The reluctant funeral director who seemed to get more annoying and irritating as the series progressed died of a brain hemorrhage caused by a pre-existing condition those who watched the show knew about. It is fitting that he suffered the stroke that led to his death right after cheating on his pregnant wife, Brenda.

Of course, before dying, he told Brenda that he was no longer interested in being married to her and that he would be taking Maya, his daughter who she helped to raise, away from her. Then, he croaked. I’m glad.

Nate was a self-centered, womanizing jackass. The sensitive, former health food store worker who never wanted to work for the family business got meaner and more frustrating as the series continued. I’m glad his character died. He’ll probably be more interesting in death given the series’ propensity to have ghosts chat with live folks.

But, the series overall has really gotten dark and weird. The mother (Ruth) went from seemingly starting to enjoy her life to marrying a man with a history of mental problems who eventually goes nuts and has to be electro shocked back into sanity. Meanwhile, Ruth has decided she has no interest in caring for her husband and treats him like crap when he returns from the hospital.

Claire has shacked up with Brenda’s insane brother, Billy, who nearly killed Brenda in a previous season. Billy’s anti-psychotic medication is the only thing keeping him sane, but he’s giving it up to renew his passion as an artist. Great.

Rico cheated on his wife with a stripper. Cheating among the straights in the cast seems to be a common theme for series creator Ball who is gay. In fact, David, the gay brother, seems to be the one person whose life has improved throughout the series and he has steadily become the nice, stable, well-adjusted one while all the straight people have gotten meaner, crazier and, in Nate’s case, deader. Hmmmm…

The series was great for a number of seasons but it seriously jumped the shark for me when David was carjacked and nearly set on fire. I just cannot imagine that one family can have this many problems – brain problems, drug addictions, mental illnesses, carjackings, murders, violence, infidelity…it was bordering on soap opera status.

I applaud the show as a whole. It is brilliant television and the actors have all been amazing. Peter Krause who plays Nate has done an amazing job as has the rest of the cast.

I just wish they would’ve allowed the show to progress more like the first couple of seasons. Yes, the characters had problems and there was certainly drama. But, it wasn’t the over-the-top variety we saw over the last 2 seasons. I was half-expecting an alien abduction or a terrorist bombing at Fisher and Sons. In some ways, that may have been more entertaining.

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