I finally watched the finale of Six Feet Under. I’ve been putting it off for as long as I’ve had the DVD boxset for I didn’t want my time with the show to end, but I finally gave in. I’ve had a long love affair with Six Feet Under * and I was more upset to hear that HBO had decided to cancel it than when I heard the same news about The Sopranos and Oz (my two other favourites). HBO makes good television, there’s no denying it, and Six Feet Under was surely its shining star. I don’t even know where to begin with describing it, and I’m sure most of you are familiar with it already. I wager that it’s impossible for anyone to watch Six Feet Under without being affected by at least one storyline or character. I always identified most with Brenda, not because I think I’m particularly like her, but because I always loved how deeply honest she was no matter the consequences. She had that unenviable quality of complete self-destruction that became her undoing time and time again, yet she always embraced it because she knew that that was who she was. She was strong, brave and incredibly bright, yet unfailingly a slave to her ‘condition’. It was a contradiction I couldn’t ever quite fathom.
The finale. I’d heard great things about this episode so I was rather surprised when nothing happened for the longest time. No one seemed to be wrapping up any loose ends, and I certainly wasn’t experiencing the intense emotions that I’d been warned about. In fact, I watched it in three parts because I got a little bored with it twice. And then. Oh my life, and then! I’m not going to go into detail because I’m sure some of you haven’t seen it, but I can’t remember a time I’ve been so overwhelmed by watching something I knew, intellectually, was a made-up story. I sat on the floor in front of my TV like a child and I stared at the screen, and I cried and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. And when it was over, I went back and I watched it again and I cried some more. And then I watched it a third time. I remember that M. texted me at some point in the middle of it all, but I was too hysterical to respond to him. It was ingenious television, and I should have seen such an ending coming knowing the show as I do. It was the absolute perfect fit, and undoubtedly the most appropriate way to end its run. What shocked me was its rawness, and its unexpectedness. It’s almost as if they purposely shot a series of mundane story lines for the episode so that viewers would be overwhelmed by the intensity of the last ten minutes. It worked. Oz ended with some sort of metaphorical notion of all the prisoners being evacuated and driving into the distance (to what fate?), and I’m sure that the Sopranos will end with Tony losing his life, but nothing could beat what they did with Six Feet Under. Amazing. Incredibly moving. Breathtaking. I really wouldn’t tell you lies about this. I wish I could see it all for the first time again; hysteria and all. In fact, I’d recommend you watch all five seasons, just so you can really appreciate that finale. Seriously!
* Along the same lines, I still can’t bring myself to read Bukowski‘s last book with Henry Chinaski because then Mr Chinaski will be gone from my life forever. I can’t be doing with that, for I’m rather in love with the chap; vile and all as he may be.