in Opinions

200 words on Six Feet Under Season One

I’ve heard nothing but great things about Six Feet Under. It’s been on my list of shows to watch for a long time. Recently I’ve gotten around to watching the first season. There are genuinely funny moments in the show, but overall I’m disappointed. We see each character having essentially a single conflict, and those story beats playing out all season. And it quickly grew stale. How many episodes can I watch of Ruth deciding between two love interests (neither of which I care about)? Or Claire going back and forth with Gabe? Or Nate going back and forth with Brenda? Or (especially) Brenda’s brother doing increasingly psychothic things? Twelve episodes, at least, is the answer, as some of those stories are still not even resolved. I also didn’t care for the plot points that weren’t set up in advance, like Nate’s reveal in the finale. It would have been much more interesting had early signs been hidden through the episodes; instead, it felt more episodic than serialized. My hope is that these are just the growing pains of an uncertain showrunner trying to play it safe, not knowing if he was going to get picked up for additonal seasons.