Wednesday, March 22, 2006

In yet another ode to the HBO show Six Feet Under, I ask you, how is it that a show about death, and people struggling in their relationships and facing pain and grief be so uplifting? How is it that I come away feeling better, happy? (with the exception of that one episode where David gets held up by a psycho all night--that was just traumatizing).

I know what you're thinking: it's a distraction from my own pain, or a vicarious living through others. But I tell you you're wrong.

It's so real that it's validating. There aren't any heroes or saints, just people trying their best to cope, to improve, to make it through somehow. I like it when people are real. Oh I know there's drama spiced in and a few implausible situations, but more often than not when a character is making a totally bad choice, E. and I look at each other and say, "This really happens. People DO this stuff." Maybe, I also like to see characters surviving the seemingly worst thing--the loss of a loved one.

Maybe on some subconscious level I do believe (and have always believed) that I had to "get it right" or the tiny tinfoil world of my reality would crumple in on me. Maybe I have always feared that I could make no mistakes, that the consequences would be too big, and thus have always worked a little too hard to "be good." I have never gotten so mad that spit flew from my mouth; I've never cried really openly, those deep belly sobs in front of most of my family; I've never had to beg for someone's forgiveness.

Don't get me wrong--I'm not saying those are the better way to be, but I know why I like this show.


At 2:06 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

We watched the first two seasons on DVD and liked it a lot. I think that simply allowing people to see death in multiple ways (rather than just in the one extreme situation when it happens to someone you love or yourself) is such a healthy thing.

And, of course, death gets a bad rap. ;)


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