I was not a Six Feet Under fan from the beginning. But, thanks to some former housemates of mine, I slowly came around on the series. And, now, it’s over. Tonight’s series finale of the show was about as solid and powerful as it needed to be. It was a terrific cap to a very strong season (a step up from last season’s misguided mess). But, more importantly, the series has ended with all the equal measures of humor, dysfunction, and sadness that made it a hit. I won’t spoil it for those who are planning to play cacth-up over the next few days, but the last 10 minutes (scored wonderfully with Sia’s “Breathe Me”) will probably go down as one of the more original and touching wrap-ups for a TV series ever.
Plus, more than just the end of an era for fans of the show, this marks the end of an era for HBO. The network that bills itself as “Not TV,” is also not really in the business of domestic dramas. Six Feet Under probably moved us more than any recent acclaimed series sharing airtime on the network. While amazing in their own ways, The Sopranos, Deadwood, The Wire, and the upcoming series Rome are genre dramas. As much as we can relate to bits and pieces of them, I feel we watch those shows more for their fantasy factor. We watched Six Feet Under because it was real, it was us. Hopefully, HBO will bring another drama like it into the future fold. We may feel for the plight of Tony Soprano and his family, but it’s not like we can see our mirror image the same way we saw it with the Fishers on Six Feet Under.
Who knows how Rome will be, but we’ll find out soon. Plus, we still have the other returning and new HBO shows (Extras can’t come quickly enough) to keep us intrigued. But for my own suburban gothic TV drama fix? I’ll be anxiously awaiting the new seasons of Nip/Tuck and Desperate Housewives, in September. It’s not TV. It’s what we’ll miss without Six Feet Under.