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.
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.
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.
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.
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.