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Guest ranster627

FROM TV GUIDE: The Water Cooler

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Six Feet Under

Six Feet Under

OK, let's play "Guess the Dead One." I say the therapist. No, the patient. No, the therapist.... Damn, wrong again. But what the hell's the message here, that trying to face your demons and change your life for the better is foolhardy because you might end up being shoved onto a log holder and take an iron spike through the eye? Memo to self: Continue the self-improvement away from pointy things. Memo to Nate: Unless they're passed out and facing up, don't offer to help a vomiting person until after he/she is done. Memo to Rico: If you're going to be heartless enough to break up with someone via IM, be a good-enough guy to come up with a charitable lie. Memo to Claire and Billy: Moving in together only means you're opening the door to all kinds of drama. Which is the point, since this is a drama. Duh.

Now let's put our bets down on the relationship derby. My latest handicapping, based on this episode, has David and Keith ahead by a length or two. Nate and Brenda? Maybe, maybe not. They seem to be dealing OK with the miscarriage, but much as I hate to agree with that catty dead Lisa, one of them will find a way to screw things up.

Since this is the last season, by the way, wanna take bets now on which Fisher (or member of their orbit) ends up on the table at the end of the series finale? My money's on Nate. Or Ruth. Or Claire? Nah, not Claire. Rico. Never mind. I'll wimp out and keep guessing as the season progresses. But if it is Nate, I'll pretend I was confident in my first guess all along and link back to this column. And if it's David or Keith, I'm gonna be bummed. They're the only two people I truly like on this show.

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Guest ranster627

FROM TV GUIDE: The Water Cooler

Six Feet Under

Samuel Wayne Hoviak, 1965-2004. I don't know about this one. Most guys too lazy to get out of the SUV to grab their morning paper wouldn't die doing it. They'd have already sent the wife, kid or dog out to get it, and would choke on their Krispy Kreme at a stoplight. But what the hell is Keith thinking, wanting Claire to donate an egg for the child he wants to have with David? As my co-worker would say, "Dude (everyone here says dude)

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Guest ranster627

FROM TV GUIDE: Roush Review

Under and Out

Last rites for a show in need of Prozac

Die already.

I know that sounds harsh, but honestly. We're four weeks into the

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Guest ranster627

FROM TV GUIDE: The Water Cooler

Six Feet Under

Loretta Smith Sibley, 1908-1953. "It's a stinkin' life," young George's mom tells him in flashback while washing pills down with booze. "You try your hardest; you wear high heels and a girdle; you go to work every day and things just get worse. That's the way it is." Poor George. At last we find out at least part of what's behind his problems, and it only makes me more annoyed at Ruth for being such a harridan. Speaking of pills, though, Billy tells Claire he's a new man because of her, but doesn't tell her he's stopped taking his own meds. That's almost as big a sin as those black briefs he's sporting. Meanwhile, Freddy heads to the funeral directors' conference and... good lord

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HBO reverses course, returns 'Six Feet' to Sunday

By Andrew Wallenstein

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - HBO has beat a hasty retreat on its new Monday programming strategy, moving "Six Feet Under" back to Sundays beginning July 10.

The premium channel decided to open a second night of original programming for the fifth and final season of "Six Feet Under," which premiered June 6. But HBO has seen underwhelming ratings on both Monday and Sunday, where hopes are that the 9-10 p.m. pairing of showbiz-themed comedies "Entourage" and "The Comeback" will perk up by moving to 10-11 p.m. -- with "Six Feet Under" as their lead-in at 9.

An HBO spokesman indicated that the schedule shift was motivated by research findings.

"Though 'Six Feet Under' did triple the audience Monday night, we have learned through our research that only 1% of our subscribers were aware of our Monday night premiere," the spokesman said. "Therefore, we're moving it to Sundays, where our subscribers are accustomed to finding it."

"Six Feet Under" had been averaging 2.2 million viewers Monday night, with a cumulative audience of 4.6 million, including all of its replays for the week. "Entourage" has averaged 1.4 million on Sundays, with a cumulative audience of 4.4 million. Lisa Kudrow's "Comeback" has been slumping from the start, drawing just 1.1 million viewers on Sunday, with a cumulative audience of 3.4 million.

Although HBO typically sees better ratings by launching series after the traditional broadcast fall season, its primetime performance likely is being impacted by more summer fare than usual. Other cable channels also are proving competitive; HBO's own sister channel, Time Warner-owned TNT, launched new drama "The Closer" on Monday with outstanding results, averaging more than 6 million over the first two episodes.

All three HBO series will replay on Mondays in a reversal of the Sunday schedule, with "Entourage" at 9 p.m., "Comeback" at 9:30 p.m. and "Six Feet" at 10 p.m.

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I'm glad for the change in nights. I was watching Entourage and it said that it will be moving to 10:00 I didn't understand why nothing was said that Six Feet Under would be on at 9:00. I'm not used to it being on on Monday's and I don't always find the time to watch it I find myself recording it and watching it later in the week. So Six Feet Under and Entourage on in the same night makes me a happy camper :D

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Guest ranster627

FROM TV GUIDE: The Water Cooler

Six Feet Under

Lila Simonds Cooledge: 1909-2005. OK, check me on this. Lila's friend tells Rico and Nate she would've been 94 this year. Now I came up in the '70s on that crazy "new math," so I have it as 96. Did I hear her wrong? Anyway, it doesn't really matter since Lila, who lived a good, long life either way, gets dropped from this episode tout de suite. "I suppose I'll be gone soon, too," she says before disappearing from the hour altogether. "That's OK. It happens." Good attitude, and one birthday-boy Nate should adopt. By the way, happy 40th birthday, Nate. I just did it myself, so here's a tip: Stop staring in the mirror so long; just assume you look better than you think you do because everyone does, and you're just gonna drive yourself nuts otherwise.

"I swear, sometimes you're like Eeyore," Jackie tells Brenda. Oh, like that's so crazy on this show? But speaking of Eeyore, is dead Nathaniel a downer or what? Why are all the deceased such buzz-kills? He tells Nate the next 40 years fly by even faster because you're so busy pretending to be happy. How would you know, Captain Killjoy? You only made it through about half those. Later, Nate comes home to a surprise party, weathers Billy's bike-wreck story (eggs, huh?), blows the news about Brenda's pregnancy, tells Brenda to "shut the f--- up" and then to "f--- off," nearly hooks up with Maggie and then kills the bird that keeps flying into the house. That's pretending to be happy? Claire hooks up with a party guest, and David nearly does with the salon guy. Jeez, between that and Ruth's shrieking, you might almost think the Fishers aren't very good marriage material. And let me amend my death derby to make it a dual contest. Not only will I periodically guess who'll wake up dead by season's end, I'll also throw in who should. My guess as to who will this week: Nate. Who should? Oh, there are too many names to type in this time around.

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Guest ranster627

FROM TV GUIDE: The Water Cooler

Six Feet Under

Daniel Holzenchenko: 1939-2005. So Uncle Danny had to have the Cling peaches that bad, huh? Well, they may have killed him, but who am I to say they weren't worth it? They did look wondrously Cling-y. Anyway, I'll briefly slap Nate down for inviting Maggie over for dinner. Why do so many unfaithful men have to do it right in front of their spouses, if not involve them directly? (No, he hasn't cheated yet, but you know he's gonna.) That said, though, I hate to agree with him on much, but he's right about Brenda being out of line. It's his call as to when to tell Maya about Lisa. And speaking of being out of line, it seems to be epidemic this week, what with Rico telling Vanessa's private business to Julio's principal and Margaret using herself as bait to ambush Claire.

And that's all the slack I'm cutting Claire, whom I continue to hate. She's full of self-pity because Ruth insists she actually go out and get a job? As my own mother would say: Pooooor baby. Looks like it'll have to be a gig where she'll be needing skills other than the ones she's currently honing

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Guest ranster627

FROM TV GUIDE: The Water Cooler

Six Feet Under

Fiona Lenore Kleinschmidt: 1952-2005. Listen, who can say dying while hiking is a tragedy if it's your time to go? When it's my moment to check out, I can think of worse places to do it than on the trail. Nonetheless, not everyone's having so easy a time with her death. "Your Aunt Sarah needs our help," Ruth tells Claire after it becomes clear Sarah blames herself for Fiona's death, since she's the one who dragged her on the hike. What? She's swigging merlot directly from the bottle and asking if she's the Antichrist. I mean, ya think?

"Bet you never thought you'd ever see her naked again," David says to Nate in a moment of uncharacteristic insensitivity as Nate looks down at the dead woman in question laid out on the slab. (Seems it was Fiona who deflowered Nate when he was but a lad.) No, he didn't. Not dead, anyway, with a giant, Y-shaped incision up her entire front. But speaking of sharp objects, it's nice to see Ruth and Claire bury the hatchet

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Guest ranster627

FROM TV GUIDE: Ask Matt

Question: What is up with all the misery of my former favorite family on Six Feet Under? I am so disappointed with this last season. They should all be put out of their misery... at least 6 feet under!

Matt: Bless you. I've gotten slammed so much for my mega-negative review of this dreary final season that I felt compelled to share a like-minded rant. That said, the latest episode with Patricia Clarkson and Kathy Bates was such an improvement on the recent state of affairs that it's hard even now to make such a blanket condemnation of a show like this. (I liked the sad, quiet dissolution of Ruth and George's relationship, but I could have done without Claire's fantasies in her boring new workplace, and David and Keith's parenting woes are a drag. So I guess even a good episode drives me mostly nuts.)

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Guest ranster627

FROM TV GUIDE: The Water Cooler

Six Feet Under

Peter Thomas Burns: 1948-2005. "Why do people invite anybody to anything?" asks the doomed Peter. "I have no idea," says his wife. OK, so now I know I'm not alone in how I feel about certain weddings and bar mitzvahs, even if I'm only commiserating with a guy who's got about a minute or two left on this earth. And hey, Maggie's a Quaker? I knew I liked her. But is there anything more annoying than Claire? Well, yeah

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest ranster627

FROM TV GUIDE: The Water Cooler

Six Feet Under

Pilar Sandoval: 1970-2005. Roller-blading with three dogs, no helmet, on the cell phone, coming down a big hill. Let's face it... some people need to die. Now Rico wants to know why Nate tried to handle the intake with the grieving parents when he doesn't speak Spanish. Good question. Then Nate mocks Latinos' approach to burials. I sense a schmuck-Nate episode coming. (And here's Brenda to tell him the baby's developing normally, no irregularities. What, on this show? Don't hold your breath.) Then Nate stands up in the Quaker service to say how much he feels at peace being there, which would be a nice gesture if it weren't aimed at buttering up Maggie. Yup, schmuck-Nate time. Of course, Brenda matches him by referring to Maggie as a "sappy little ferret," but I suppose I should give her a pass since she knows exactly what her husband is up to. I'll say this for Nate, though

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Guest ranster627

FROM TV GUIDE: The Water Cooler

Six Feet Under

Laurence Hall Matheson: 1971-2005. Certainly one of the quickest opening death scenes ever. After less than 30 seconds, a dude is mauled by a cougar and I'm the one scared to death. Nice fade into a close-up of Nate being taken away on a stretcher. I loved how David, being the smart brother, chose not to tell Brenda that Nate was with Maggie when he collapsed. Awkward moment No. 1: Brenda showing up at the hospital and seeing Maggie there. Claire to David: "Why is she here?" David (whispering): "Later." Such a perfect brother/sister scene. Meanwhile back at the campfire, Ruth is about to have sex with Ed Begley Jr., I mean, Hiram. Awkward moment No. 2: Brenda's conversation with Maggie at the hospital after the neurosurgeon (played by Michele Greene from L.A. Law, don't ya know) gave the Nate update. But back to Ruth. The comic highlight of the episode was, of course, the shootout dream sequence with Ruth taking down all her former amours with a rifle. Too funny. This scene was followed by two truly happy moments

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Guest ranster627

FROM TV GUIDE: Ask Matt

Question: Your opinions on Six Feet Under are a matter of public record. However, I simply must know your thoughts on the death of Nate Fisher. To me, Season 5 of 6FU has simply been growing stronger and stronger. An intriguing if somewhat old-hat beginning has been building exquisitely to this, a surprise both bone-deep shocking and hauntingly inevitable. How uncompromising, to have Nate not only die, but indulge in his most narcissistic, selfish and downright cruel impulses before kicking the bucket? There was much to savor in last Sunday's episode (Ruth blowing away her troublesome former flames; Rico and Vanessa's tender and awkward road to reconciliation; Brenda grilling a beside-herself Maggie; the Fisher clan's reunion in the hospital), but nothing tops seeing Nate shuffle off this mortal coil, not through his own fantasies (which were masturbatory at best), but through long-suffering brother David's. No matter what happens these next three weeks, is it safe to say there isn't a drama on television taking the risks Six Feet Under is willing to take?

Matt Roush: The real risk would have been forcing Nate to live with himself and the consequences of his cringingly selfish actions, not killing him off after months, maybe entire seasons, of clumsy foreshadowing. (For me, the bird intruding on his 40th birthday party was the last straw, as I said in my last official review of the show.) The most powerful ending I could imagine for this show would be for Nate to be the last Fisher standing, haunted and tormented by everyone else's ghosts.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest ranster627

FROM TV GUIDE: The Water Cooler

Six Feet Under

We were a few minutes in before I realized that this episode started without a death

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We need to Talk about the Final Episode!!!!!

OMG!!!!!! IVe never seen a TV show end the way it did, and it was amazing. I was afraid they were gonna leave me pissed off, as i am with every show i watch that ends, but i cant get over it, it was brilliant. You always wonder what happens to your characters lives, and these guys summed it up. It was awesome, brought tears to my eyes, and go Claire, out live em all!!!!!

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Guest ranster627

FROM TV GUIDE: The Water Cooler

Six Feet Under

While I'm asking people for hands up, how many of you thought we might see either Brenda or the baby listed in the epitaph after the opening scene? OK, so maybe I'm more pessimistic than most. But jeez, did the doctor have to bury poor Brenda in discussions of the baby's potential cranial bleeding right off the bat? They really need to teach bedside manner in med school. And

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest ranster627

FROM TV GUIDE: Ask The Televisionary

Question: Hey, you wonderful Televisionary, you. By any chance, would you be able to tell me what song it is that was used during the epilogue sequence of the Six Feet Under finale? I thought it was a great sequence and a fantastic song, and haven't been able to figure out what it was. Thanks!

Televisionary: Sure, you wonderful Kevin, you. Pretty, ain't it? That was former Zero 7 singer Sia's "Breathe Me," and you can find it on either Six Feet Under Volume 2: Everything Ends (Astralwerks) or her import disc Colour the Small One (Universal International).

And speaking of Six Feet Under, have you seen what that idiot Peck had to say about the finale? Talk about not getting it; I sometimes wonder if he even watches what he writes about!

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  • 1 month later...

'Six Feet Under' is laid to rest in a satisfying series finale

By FRAZIER MOORE AP Television Writer

sixfeetunder_season5.jpg

Freddy Rodriguez HBO's Six Feet Under

NEW YORK (AP) - Befitting any drama about a family that owns a funeral home, "Six Feet Under" gives itself a graceful send-off to end its five-season run.

And befitting "Six Feet Under," this finale is not without tears, histrionics, four-letter words, dark humor and (naturally) death. The Fishers wouldn't have it any other way.

At the start of the episode (9 p.m. EDT Sunday on HBO), everyone seems to be going nuts. Small wonder. Life has been awfully punishing of late.

Nate Fisher, the conflicted man-boy, died three episodes ago from a brain hemorrhage. Now his younger brother David, sister Claire and mother Ruth, as well as his estranged wife Brenda (who gives birth prematurely to their child) sink further into gloom.

Meanwhile, Nate (Peter Krause) continues his post-mortem haunts, in this episode initially berating Brenda (Rachel Griffiths) for causing their infant daughter's possible brain damage.

Rebellious artist Claire (Lauren Ambrose) is panicked about moving from Los Angeles and launching her career. Ruth (Frances Conroy), whose husband died in the series' debut, has now buried her first-born and faces losing her daughter.

And what about David (Michael C. Hall), the dutiful son who ran the funeral home and served as the moral center of the series? During its run, he has confronted his homosexuality, formed a lasting relationship and adopted two boys. But now, grief-stricken, he has hit a wall.

To some extent, this is all par for the "Six Feet Under" course, as the series retrospective (8 p.m. Sunday) should bear out. For five rocky seasons, the Fishers and everyone who shared their orbit have taken it on the chin. They have waged war with themselves, one another and an unforgiving universe.

Smart, self-absorbed, unsettled, all too human _ to us, these people were fascinating and often relatable. But not always easy to deal with. They could really try our patience. They were overdue for fixing.

Good news: By the end of the 75-minute finale, we can leave them secure in knowing their recovery has begun. And thanks to the wondrously fitting postscript, we will know a great deal more.

Even at the end, "Six Feet Under" doesn't go soft. But it takes its leave with its affairs in order. It can rest, at last, in peace.

A groundbreaking series (in more ways than one) when it premiered in June 2001, "Six Feet Under" dared to whistle past the graveyard with its fancifully discomfiting look at life and death. It fulfilled a promise by creator Alan Ball (who wrote and directed the finale) to be "a show about life in the presence of death."

Death was always dropping in. At the start of each episode (nearly every one, that is, except the finale), someone met his or her demise in a fashion that might be heartbreaking (claimed by sudden infant death syndrome), grotesque (cut in half by an elevator) or morbidly funny (hit by a car while witnessing the Rapture). Each slice of life (or, more aptly, slice of death) was meant to demonstrate the randomness and ineluctability of our common fate. "Six Feet Under" thought a lot about death, and about death's impact on the survivors. After all, it viewed death through the eyes of a family that runs a funeral home _ assisting at the cusp of the hereafter, while struggling with the here and now.

In its premiere four years ago, its tone was quickly established: The patriarch, Nathaniel Fisher, was killed while fiddling with his cigarette when a bus smacked into the hearse he was driving.

But he never went away. Played by Richard Jenkins, he engaged in an active afterlife throughout the series' run.

Now, on the finale, he reappears to bully his son David into saving himself. Later in the episode, he and son Nate jointly offer Brenda a much-needed blessing.

On "Six Feet Under," ghostly presences are skilled at saying what needs to be said, as when Nate gives Claire a pep talk about moving to New York to pursue her photography. "You want to know a secret?" he counsels. "I spent my whole life being scared: of not being ready, of not being right, of not being who I should be. And where did it get me?"

Then, in the show's closing minutes, as Claire gathers the people she loves most for a farewell photo before she drives away, Nate, looking on, says a curious thing. "You can't take a picture of this," he tells her. "It's already gone."

In this richly satisfying finish to a series like none other, we understand what he means. We see these characters as we have never seen them before. But as we realize how much we cared for them, we understand they're not there. "Six Feet Under" will be over. So the pictures that count will reside inside us. Long after it has gone.

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  • 5 months later...

Courtesy of: ZAP2IT

New Life for 'Six Feet Under'

Bravo grabs rerun rights to HBO series

March 10 2006

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The cast of 'Six Feet Under'

Those still in mourning over the Fisher family of HBO's "Six Feet Under" can take heart. The show is getting an afterlife elsewhere on cable.

Bravo has picked up rerun rights to the Emmy-winning series and will begin airing it later this year. The network's deal allows it exclusive rights to "Six Feet Under" for the rest of the decade.

"'Six Feet Under' represents the artistic, creative and critically acclaimed series that defines Bravo's programming," Bravo President Lauren Zalaznick says. "The phenomenon that hooked so many HBO viewers will be brought back to life on our air."

At its peak, "Six Feet Under" drew better than 5 million viewers per week on HBO. Ratings tailed off in its last couple of seasons, but it was still pulling in around 2 million people per week in its final season -- numbers Bravo would be more than happy to have.

The show stars Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy, Lauren Ambrose, Freddy Rodriguez, Mathew St. Patrick and Rachel Griffiths and revolves around the Fisher family and its mortuary business. It has won seven Emmys and will be eligible one last time this year. Alan Ball ("American Beauty") created the show.

Bravo has a history with picking up HBO series, having aired repeats of "The Larry Sanders Show" in the past and mounting a third season of "Project Greenlight" after HBO passed on it. "Six Feet Under" joins two other recent HBO hits in getting wider exposure: Repeats of "The Sopranos" will begin airing on A&E next year, and "Sex and the City" can be found on TBS and in syndication.

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Bravo has a history with picking up HBO series...

"Six Feet Under" is a great series. I hope Bravo keeps it intact. I'd hate to see it watered down by the censors. And A&E running "The Sopranos?" What will that sound like, Feech La Manna: "Take your darn 'sorrys' and stick 'em in your ear." ???

Buy the DVDs.

-M

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  • 5 months later...

Courtesy of: TV GUIDE, ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Short Cuts: Six Feet Under, Wrasslin' and More!

Six Feet Under makes its off-HBO debut Oct. 2 on Bravo, which will air back-to-back episodes in their entirety in Monday 2-1/2 hour blocks.... Sci Fi Channel has renewed Extreme Championship Wrestling through 2007.... Saturday Night Live alumna Ana Gasteyer, who originated Elphaba in the Chicago production of Wicked, will join the Broadway cast starting Oct. 10.

Posted by Matt Mitovich 09/1/2006 9:52 AM

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