Six Feet Under: Season 5 (2005)
Genre: Comedy Drama Series
Starring: Peter Krause (We Don't Live Here Anymore; The Truman Show), Michael C. Hall (Paycheck)
Created By: Alan Ball
Overview: The continuing saga of the life and times of a family in the undertaking business. In this season, Nate deals with an unhappy marriage, David and Keith delve deep into the prospect of having children, and Ruth faces her own troubles with men.
Acting: I don't know if it's because there was more melo in their drama but many of the actors went a touch overboard, namely Ruth and Brenda. Billy, his mother and Olivier did too, but that's to be expected. Either way, the direction, casting and professionalism were all solid as always, except for the occasional overzealous scene.
Cinematography: Even after five seasons, I'm still impressed with the whole 'fade to white' thing. The finale was rich in its original content and use of artistic effect but as TV is wont to have, they can't push 'Art' too hard or they'll lose their less imaginative viewers, but it's still pretty to look at.
Script: More than anything the timing has a nice flow to it but I don't remember any great monologues or deep life lessons shared as there was in last season. The frequent use of Nathaniel Senior as moral conscience is a long pined-for expectation and finally this season they make true effective use of 'speaking to the dead' as you remembered fondly in the first season.
Plot: Nate considers spirituality and Rico continues to deal with marriage issues, but my favorite storyline was David and Keith's. It's their best season yet for character development. As for the finale, it's perfect, and I mean truly moving stuff. Deep really. If after five years all this rambling about a show you all know is one of HBO's prides and joys isn't going to convince you to give it a shot, then I won't either!
Mood: This season is a lot less hopeful than the last one. We see far more strife, far more peaks and valleys, far more realism frankly. As raw emotions go, the characters were honest with us and for once, Nate isn't all lovey-dovey. I mean any show where you literally kill the bluebird of happiness and apologize to it while you chuck it in the garbage...that's pretty witty.
Dealing with death everyday might make you turn into a Nate-like wet noodle...
Overall Rating: 84% (A Fond Final Service For Six Feet Under)
Aftertaste: That's it. No more. Only the truly hard-hearted will find the last fifteen minutes to be anything but emotionally overwhelming. To sum up an entire five years in just a few moments is usually very difficult but HBO does this show's 'final passing' splendidly, a true tribute to the days gone by. After all this time, I guess that a show about saying goodbyes would have to at least be able to pull that off perfectly wouldn't they?
HBO's Six Feet Under has raised the bar on the dramatic series and anyone who has never given this a chance need only watch the first episode of Season One to get an understanding of the entire series. From beginning to end, this show is more than compelling, it's important.