Six Feet Under Finale

Just saw the finale. For a while, everything was rocking. The eyes were getting a-misty. The heart was still involved. There was the promise of some sense of finality, some ultimate message about existence that Alan Ball (who did, after all write and direct this send-off), hoped to provide for us. But what did we get in the final ten minutes?

Saccharaine moments that were, amazingly enough, more unconvincing than the Xmas future seen in the Richard Donner-Bill Murray version of Scrooged. (And that takes some doing.) Actors under really bad makeup living out their final moments in the future. A cheap finale. The overall message of living, so eloquently portrayed in the first hour, disrupted by some of the silliest moments ever seen in Six Feet Under‘s history. What Ms Chicha deservedly referred to as the most emotional car commercial ever. I don’t think so. Let’s try “most expensive car commercial ever.”

And it’s all thanks to Alan Ball that these characters were cheapened for an unconvincing future and, most likely, an unconvincing present.

Ah well. Go figure. The series went out with a bang and once again proved that, all along, this was an audacious yet flawed series. I have to agree with my good friend Beck that this series certainly did well, all things considered. And it certainly did me in because I’m an emotional fellow.

But I would argue that it was Jill Soloway and Kate Robin who knew how to write for this show and that contributed to the show’s convincing narrative, not Ball. Without these fantastic talents, the show would have quickly turned absurd and hackneyed. So here’s thanks to them or possibly Ball for hiring them.

Even so, the other thing that strikes me as false about the Six Feet Under solution is that salvation comes from a trust fund. This is about as realistic as D.W. Griffith’s shameless melodramas of blind women finding miraculous cures through generous scientists. In short, it just doesn’t happen. Which begs the question: how can anyone here be sad when the financial realities are out of scope with a sizable percentage of the population?

In the meantime, what does the man forever jaded against television have to look forward to? Why, Battlestar, of course!

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