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Doux Top Twenty! Number 10: Six Feet Under

Six Feet Under is number 10 in our Doux Top Twenty hitting shows.

(I borrowed some of this text from a piece I wrote awhile back, because it says what I want to say.)

I didn't discover Six Feet Under (2001-2005) until it was nearly over, and wrote retro reviews after the fact. Although when I was watching it for the first time, I knew immediately I'd have to review it, so I took notes about my reactions to every episode.

Six Feet Under was difficult to review for one big reason: it's about death. And not just the mechanics of dealing with dead bodies, although that was certainly a memorable aspect of the series (it's about a family that runs a funeral home). Six Feet Under explored death as a concept, about how people deal with the inevitability of death, about the utter devastation of grief. The show was also exceptionally funny, witty and sexy; there's never been another show quite like it. It also had what I consider to be the best series finale ever ("Everyone's Waiting.")

Like another show that is even higher on the top twenty (I’ll tell you later what that is), SFU has always been a sleeper here on the site, getting a good-sized number of pageviews every month while only getting comments sporadically, so people don’t notice the traffic.

And now we’re in the top ten!

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. So, funny story.

    My partner Roy and I discovered Six Feet Under toward the end of its first season when we were channel flipping and came across John Billingsly getting beaten to death with a frying pan while the credits announced 'produced by Kathy Bates'.

    I mean, how do you not watch that?

    HBO used to air new episodes on Sunday evenings. At the time, my mother and step father had a cabin up north (it's a Minnesota thing) that they would go up to on weekends. Our house was on the way home, so they would often stop by and visit on their way back from the cabin.

    Also, HBO being HBO, Six Feet Under was often prone to moments of, 'we're HBO, so we can show you THIS!'

    The end result of which was that EVERY single time my mother walked into my living room, the tv screen would be a huge close up of a pierced cadaver wang or some such thing. And if have to hurriedly say 'it's a really good show! I swear we're not watching porn!'

    We still laugh about it. Great show.

  2. Mikey, that is a great story. SFU is absolutely R-rated, or what I remember an R-rating to be back in the olden days. :)

    I remember a story about SFU. When they were casting Dexter, the producers weren't willing to go for Michael C. Hall because they were seeing him as a gay funeral director, not as a brilliant serial killer. Fortunately, someone decided that to go with Hall, anyway. I can't imagine Dexter with another lead.

  3. This show is one of the greatest TV experiences I've had. Can't say I remember it all now, but I agree, this has the best series finale ever. I remember that after the last episode I was sitting quietly sobbing for 30 minutes, collecting my thoughts. That has never happened... before or after SFU.

  4. One of my all-time favorite shows that I'm actually pretty sure I discovered through this site (at least as far as I remember, it's been more than 15 years when I started watching it for the first time after all - but I don't know how else I would have taken interest in it back then, as it is definitely NOT a well-known show over here).

    It's certainly not the type of show I could or would recommend to just about anybody and even personally, I have to be in the right state of mind (i.e. in the mood for some emotional catharsis) to watch and enjoy it. But man, such a unique, quirky, heartfelt show with amazing acting all around.

  5. There are few shows that have had the lifelong impact of SFU. The thing I do not hear much about is the emphasis on meaning, and living a quality life. In that way, it was a show about being present, communicating meaning to others and maybe even seeing people for the first time that you have lived your whole life thinking that you knew.

    I'll only share one phrase from one show that has been added to my family's life: "the good-good china". Use the good-good china when it's a big event and forget about saving it for later. It's a bigger concept in how to live than just about china.

    Loved the show.


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