Friday, July 3, 2009

Totally Behind the Curve ;)


My favorite series ever, Six Feet Under, started and ended while I was living abroad. Initially, I had to download it via IRC. However, I stopped doing that when I quit work to go back to school. I couldn't afford to take a risk I'd ruin my computer when it was necessary for school. I had it in the back of my head that one day I'd get the videos and finish watching the series where I'd left off.

The characters putting Nate into the ground (a green burial).

I discovered that the second half of SFU's last season is on Verizon's FIOS, so I watched them back to back. They killed off my oh-so-troubled Nate by having him finally succumb to his AVM after cheating on his wife. (Wow, really?) I bawled like a newborn baby because, troubled or not, I grew to love the character. His death was sudden and shocking. Having been through two sudden and shocking losses in my own life, I could relate maybe a bit too easily to the story arc.

The final episode I've watched many times over. It's the end of the story and massively therapeutic for me. Claire, played by Lauren Ambrose, is a young woman trying to decide whether to move to NYC to pursue her dream of being a photographer. Of course, I relate as I'm doing something quite similar now. My calling is with something else, but I've been fighting this pull to Manhattan for years. The "can I do this?" questions and anxiety that a big change brings up I can completely relate to.

I'll quote a comment I left on the award-winning LGBT blog, Towleroad. The show covered it all in terms of subject matter, and, rightly so, featured a gay couple prominently in its story line.
"The draw of SFU for me was always the realness I felt. My parents died within five weeks of each other years ago. My mom first, right after Thanksgiving, which made that Christmas hard to take for me and my father. Then five weeks later, my father died. I should have known something was looming when I woke up to the jolt of an earthquake that morning. Later that day my father died. So, when it comes to death and loss, I've been a bit cynical but also very sensitive.

It was great seeing a show based around death. So often people are just uncomfortable with it. However, for me, it's a real part of life. I'm not morbid. I'm not depressed. But I liked the realism of having both the light and dark of life portrayed in a TV show."
Also, the artistry of the show was gripping. The opening sequence and song are incredible.



Not only that, I commend the series for what felt like an accurate portrayal of the diversity of my hometown, Los Angeles. You have black characters, Latino characters, and representatives of many ethnicities and religions in the various episodes. With it being based around a funeral home, it's easy to work diverse characters in. The thoughtfulness of not being ignored was great. Also, now that I think about it, having the show based in L.A. probably was another reason I connected so well to it. I really did see part of my home when I watched.

What I've had to deal with, of course, shades my perspective now. With the recent high profiles deaths of Farrah and Michael Jackson, last week forced the topic of death to the forefront. Along with the media circus going on, people started talking about their feelings and emotions surrounding these deaths. Farrah, unfortunately, we knew had been suffering with cancer for awhile. In fact, Barbara Walters was plugging an ABC special she'd done on The View the day Farrah and Michael died.

Michael's death was shocking and sudden. I had many people tell me they couldn't believe it. I, however, could believe it. Believing it doesn't diminish the scale of the tragedy, especially, when you consider how traumatic his personal life was. Like everyone else, I didn't want to believe it, but I know that death sometimes comes when you're just not expecting it. I've had deep losses before. Experience with it doesn't make loss easier to handle, and it certainly doesn't make me expect it. It's just that when it occurs I tend to shun hysterics and irritating theories on death. I simply lean towards being as real as I can. That means, I allow myself to initially deny it, accept it, get angry, get sad, get numb and get on with life. There is just this feeling that comes with loss. When someone you love and are connected to dies, a bit of you goes with them.

So with that said, here is the final 10 or so minutes from my favorite TV series ever. It ended in 2005, so I'm almost 4 years behind the curve. No worries. I gave up on the quest of being hip years ago. I much prefer content, confident and happy.

If you've not seen the show, you'll probably miss out on the significance of this segment. Maybe read up on the characters and storyline. However, for me, the final episode is cheap therapy: reflective, thoughtful and cathartic. It was that way for most of the episodes I saw (not all, but most).




Even though the makeup was a big dodgy in some cases, the ending is a perfect wrap: The character's obituaries.

Plus, it ends with Sia's Breathe Me.  Sia and that song are great.

Sphere: Related Content