Recent Features
Margaret Chenowith: “Six Feet Under’s” Resident Existentialist

The bitter taste that the existentialist worldview may leave in some people’s mouths can be compared to the sting we feel when we meet Margaret Chenowith, the eternally cackling, gleefully hedonistic, complexly troubled mother of Brenda.

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Think Big Fisher, Think Different!

Minor in name only, the many minor characters of Six Feet Under play a crucial role in foregrounding the foibles, dilemmas and defining features of the Fishers.

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The Madness of Minor Characters

The oddness of minor characters on Six Feet Under often led to the Fishers acting not quite like themselves, illuminating just how normal they were when compared to the rest of the world.

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Drifting Together, Drifting Apart: Sibling Bonds on ‘Six Feet Under’

Six Feet Under presents one of the most beautiful, honest and painful views into sibling relationships ever presented on television.

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How Would You Like It, a Little More Off the Top?

Makeup and special effects artist Genevieve Garner can transform the average beast into a beauty—or vice versa.

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Reconsidering Ruth: Reflecting on Motherhood in ‘Six Feet Under’

Though Six Feet Under does perceptibly depict Ruth attempting to find herself outside of her at time stifling domestic role, she ultimately finds her fulfillment and passion through her role as mother and in her relationships with her children.

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Humor vs. Religion: An Unholy War. Part Two: Dispatches From the Front Lines

For comedians like Ricky Gervais, Bill Maher and others, the non-rational beliefs and behaviors that religion fosters are, from a “material” perspective, manna from heaven.

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7 Nov 2011 // 9:00 PM

The Book of Ruth

A decade on, Ruth Fisher, the deceptively buttoned-down, wildly unpredictable matriarch on Six Feet Under, remains a singular representation of motherhood on television.

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You Can’t Fix Death: Living Life, Fisher Style

The tumultuous, but loving, relationships within the Fisher family illustrate Six Feet Under's complex and often contradictory views of the well-lived life.

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Funeral Songs: The Music of ‘Six Feet Under’

Two specific sequences from two separate episodes of Six Feet Under illustrate the show's complex and sophisticated use of popular music as both dramatic dramatic device and cultural signifier.

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This Show Just Got a Little Too Real: Bravo’s ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’

Bravo’s schadenfreude is such a fundamental part of Real Housewives that every episode unavoidably concerns a tragic figure that never appears on screen and cannot defend the character assassination the show perpetuates.

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The Funeral Parlor Palette: Color Symbolism in ‘Six Feet Under’

The use of a symbolically coded color palette in Six Feet Under adds a subtle dimension of depth to an already complex and rich array of characters.

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‘Six Feet Under’ and the Funeral Industry

Six Feet Under brought the stark, unglamorous realities of death and dying into living rooms, and shed light on the often times vicious business of the funeral industry.

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Living the Scream: How ‘Six Feet Under’ Woke TV from the Dream

Six Feet Under went straight for the jugular of the American Dream, daring to suggest it less an ongoing embarrassment of riches, more a shame-filled endurance of unease.

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‘Your Whole Life Is Leading Up to This’: Developing ‘Six Feet Under’ at HBO

Kicking off our Six Feet Under series... Like its fellow HBO series, Six Feet Under blurred genre categories, merging elements of soap opera and serialized broadcast dramas alongside nods to art-house cinema and modernist theater.

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Tough Guys Recite: The 5 Best Poetry Spittin’ TV Characters

Every generic hero on TV can finish a poetic quotation or identify a poignant quatrain (down to the line numbers). But few can spit Tennyson or Yeats with such venom as these guys.

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The World’s Favourite Parlour Game: The Quite Interesting Brilliance of ‘QI’

We rarely equate television game shows with admirable life philosophies, but the BBC's QI with host Stephen Fry pulls it off by making us think as well as laugh.

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Clear! Old-School Medical Drama, Stat!

A once-popular medical drama reveals how much has changed in America's health care industry -- and its television medical dramas -- and how much remains the same.

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‘The Sopranos’, Dissatisfaction and The American Dream

The Sopranos' portrayal of an American family, of the dueling pursuits of physical and spiritual, questions the principles of success distributed by governments and advertisers.

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Jean-Teddy Filippe’s ‘Forbidden Files’: Found Footage Lost (and Found Again)

Oddly missing in histories of the "found footage" genre, Jean-Teddy Filippe's "Forbidden Files" offers intriguing glimpses at horror and fantasy flickering into an uneasy camcorder reality, ten years before The Blair Witch Project made it fashionable (and lame).

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media

The Hills Are Alive, But Nobody Else Is in 'The Happiness of the Katakuris'

// Short Ends and Leader

"Happiness of the Katakuris is one of Takashi Miike's oddest movies, and that's saying something.

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