Six Feet Under is a drama TV series which made its debut on HBO in 2001. It lasted for five seasons and focuses on a family called the Fishers who live in LA and run a funeral home.
The show resulted in consistently high ratings for the HBO network, with publications such as TIME, Empire and The Guardian rating it as one of the greatest television series of all time.
A funeral director dies and bequeaths ownership of the Fisher & Sons Funeral Home to brothers Nate and David. Other members of the Fisher family include mom Ruth Fisher and daughter Claire Fisher.
There is a recurring theme where a cast member will have an imaginary conversation with a dead person, during events such as the corpse being embalmed, funeral planning or during the funeral itself.
Cast and characters
- Eldest child Nate Fisher – Peter Krause
- Middle child David Fisher – Michael C Hall
- Emotionally repressed matriarch Ruth Fisher – Frances Conroy
- Youngest child Claire Fisher – Lauren Ambrose
- Business partner Federico Diaz – Freddy Rodriguez
- David’s on-off partner Keith Charles – Matthew St Patrick
- Nate’s on-off partner Brenda Chenowith – Rachel Griffiths
- Brenda’s younger brother Billy Chenowith – Jeremy Sisto
- Federico’s wife Vanessa Diaz – Justina Machado
- Ruth’s second husband George Sibley – James Cromwell
- Fisher family patriarch Nathaniel Fisher Sr – Richard Jenkins
- Brenda and Billy’s mother Margaret Chenowith – Joanna Cassidy
Six Feet Under was primarily filmed in Los Angeles, California. For example, the Fisher house exterior is located on W 25th Street, LA. Filming also took place on Long Beach, Hollywood, Gramercy Park, Lakewood and Van Nuys within the Los Angeles area. The main title sequence was filmed in Gas Works Park, N. Northlake Way, Seattle, Washington.
We see a guy saying to the girl lying next to him on a bed ‘I think it’s cool you live in a funeral home.’ Then three men are seen watching someone, and they say in unison ‘Casket climber.’ The matriarch says ‘I think your father’s having some sort of mid life crisis,’ as he’s seen dancing around a room, then pausing in his car to light a cigarette as a bus crashes into him.
The matriarch then says ‘There’s been an accident. Your father is dead’, and one of the brothers says ‘Sometimes I kinda feel like Dad’s around. Do you?’ The ghost of the Fisher father is seen looking down on the son. Then the ghost asks: ‘Where do you think I am, Heaven or Hell?’
The overall plots and characters in Six Feet Under were created by Alan Ball, but there isn’t a clear overview of how the series came about. One story states that Ball came up with the show’s premise after the deaths of his sister and father. However, he also spoke in an interview implying that Carolyn Strauss – HBO entertainment president – put forward the idea to him.
A copyright-infringement lawsuit saw screenwriter Gwen O’Donnell claim that she was the original source of the idea, that went through Strauss and was passed on to Ball. However, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected her claim.
Episodes and reception
Six Feet Under has a rating of 8.7 out of 10 on IMDb at the time of writing. It has a rating of 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. Furthermore, 90% of Google users have reported that they like this TV show.
The first three seasons of Six Feet Under have 13 episodes, and the last two have 12. The average viewership for the first three was around the 5 million mark, but it dropped to 3.7 and 2.5 for seasons four and five respectively.
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We compare the best streaming services for you so you can watch your shows at the best possible rate.
A Month for 12 Months
- $12.99 a month
- $119 per year
Although Prime Video hasn’t been around for as long as Netflix, this doesn’t mean you should expect a less extensive service. Like its main rival, Amazon has placed a large focus on investing in high quality content, as well as its own original productions. Key examples of popular titles include Transparent, Mr Robot, The Tick, The Man in the High Castle and The Grand Tour. If you want the security of knowing a series won’t be subject to rotation due to licensing, you can be sure that all Amazon Originals – like Netflix Originals – are there to stay. Outside of original content, you can expect to stream classics such as The Walking Dead, Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy, plus exclusives like Lucifer, Vikings and Preacher. (These titles may come and go, but plenty of other exciting ones are sure to replace them!)
Pros and cons
- Downloading content for offline viewing. Not all streaming services provide this feature, and so those who want the option of watching their favourite TV shows and movies on the go can use Prime Video to download these titles before leaving the house.
- Convenient all-in-one package. Amazon Prime Video is unique in that it offers customers several other perks besides video. Fast shipping, music, groceries and other such services make for a highly effective lifestyle bundle that’s hard to turn down.
- Free trial. You can decide if this service is for you by partaking in a free trial for a full month. Cancelling it before this period is over means you won’t be charged for Prime Video.
- Library isn’t as extensive. Of course, the downside with focusing on other areas such as groceries and music – as well as the fact that Amazon wasn’t originally a streaming service; it just branched out to be one – means that you won’t get as many titles as you’d expect from big names such as Disney Plus.
- Few titles receive critical acclaim. While services such as Netflix and Disney Plus will be used to putting out content that is widely talked about and shared by consumers, Amazon Prime Video doesn’t have as much luck in this department.
- Hefty price tag. Some are put off by the yearly fee for Amazon Prime if they want to pay upfront. At $119 a year for US customers, it’s a sum that isn’t parted with lightly, and some may question if it’s worth it if they can get more titles for a lower price with another streaming service.
Types of content available
There is a wide range of content available to stream with Amazon Prime Video. Available genres include action/adventure, animated, children, comedy, documentary, family, drama, sci-fi/fantasy, teen, sport and thriller. You can watch Prime originals and exclusives such as Lucifer, The Purge or Homecoming. Titles are also arranged according to what you’ve previously watched, recommending related titles you may enjoy. You can view movies that other customers enjoy, so if people are watching Legally Blonde, 22 Jump Street or The Great Gatsby, these will be available to click onto from the Prime Video homepage. Certain movies are also available to rent, so if you want the latest titles on your compatible device, they are available for just a few dollars each. Some titles are only available for a limited time on Prime, so catch them before their expiry date. Recent movie releases can be bought as well, meaning you won’t miss out if you didn’t manage to see them on the big screen. Other categories on the Prime Video homepage include Highest Rated Movies, Rent or Buy bundles, and Prime Video channels such as Hayu.
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Death at a Funeral
This is a dark British comedy featuring a ton of dry wit and a star cast. The plot involves a man who has to arrange his father’s funeral without any help from his successful brother. When the day comes, the father’s ex-lover blackmails the family with salacious photos and Daniel’s cousin doses her new boyfriend with LSD, thinking it’s Valium.
This show has several seasons to its name and over 80 episodes. Viewers watch the life of Tony Soprano, played by James Gandolfini, as he goes through life. The only difference is that his workplace is running a criminal organisation, and there’s an Italian family who are just a bit complicated featuring in his life. Many people regard The Sopranos as essential viewing.
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Curb Your Enthusiasm
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Six Feet Under
Nathaniel Fisher Senior hands over his funeral home business to his two sons before he passes away. However, this leads to the brothers and the rest of the family fighting about the decision.
Deputy US Marshal Raylan Givens has an unconventional outlook on justice enforcement. He is reassigned to Lexington, Kentucky – an area he grew up in and thought he had escaped for good.
This rockumentary family sitcom explores three different types of family living in LA, who are all interrelated.
A group of people who get to know each other online stumble across a manuscript which predicts the disasters which took place over the previous years. They then find themselves being tracked down by an organisation known as The Network.