All Things Reconsidered:

Six Feet Under

By PopMatters Staff

30 October 2011

Over the next several weeks, PopMatters will be presenting a series of essays exploring Six Feet Under from the show’s gestation and evolution in regards to HBO’s rise as a haven of quality original programming, all the way to its transcendent final six minutes, which set the bar for perfection of a series finale.
A Truly Grand Finalé: The Final Six Minutes of ‘Six Feet Under’

Six Feet Under cements its legacy with a send off that is so sublime, so simple and so perfectly obvious you can't help but laugh... through buckets of tears.

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The Crows Come Home to Roost: The Death of Lisa Kimmel Fisher

Six Feet Under concludes its third season with a bold suite of emotionally devastating episodes that go straight for the jugular, nearly drowning the Fishers -- and the viewers -- under a tidal wave of fear, guilt and despair.

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Better Living Through Therapy: Six Feet Under’s “The Plan”

In the episode "The Plan", Ruth's humorous attempt at self-actualization and self-discovery at a self-help seminar reflects television's ingestion of and obsession with society's therapeutic culture.

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Defying Convention: “Six Feet Under” and the Unreliable Narrator

A pivotal, emotionally raw argument late in the second season of Six Feet Under completely undermines our perceptions of Nate and Brenda's primal and toxic relationship, illuminating the way the show plays havoc with our sympathies and televisual convention.

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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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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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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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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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//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

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