Saturday, December 13, 2008

Six Feet Under

Alan Ball, TV Series (9.1*)
One of the most interesting and unique tv series ever, Six Feet Under was about a family who owns and operates small mortuary. Peter Krause (Sports Night, Dirty Sexy Money) and Michael C. Hall (Dexter) play two brothers who inherit the business when their father dies in a car accident in the first episode. The show's creator, Alan Ball (hey, another Georgian!), won an Oscar for the screenplay of American Beauty; this show is much quirkier.

Each episode begins with an untimely death, then the show usually includes this person's final arrangements. Basically a black comedy, the emphasis was on the darker rather than the comedic side; the irony derives from the fact that we're all going to need this family's business eventually, maybe sooner than we expect.

Some serious issues are covered: Krause's marriage to Rachel Griffiths (Brothers and Sisters) seems to be drifting apart; Hispanic mortician and cosmetic reconstruction expert Freddy Rodriguez feels that he is considered hired help rather than a valuable partner; the widowed mother Frances Conroy (Desperate Housewives) is having a terrible time dealing with loneliness; Krause constantly has conversations with his dead father, Richard Jenkins (a best actor nominee for The Visitor) who had his own secret life that's slowly revealed.

The terrific music is by multiple Oscar winning composer Thomas Newman. The show ran for six seasons, and won numerous awards, and is one of the best serious shows in tv history.

Note: Look for Ball's name on the gravestone in the opening credits, which were some of the best ever thanks to Newman's music.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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