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121 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 6FU, RIP, February 20, 2006
This review is from: Six Feet Under - The Complete Fifth Season (DVD)
WARNING: If you haven't watched Season 5 yet, be VERY CAREFUL - some of your fellow Amazonians have peppered their reviews with spoilers, such as the (otherwise excellent) review by Lawrance M. Bernabo. I will avoid spoilers here.

The 5th and final season of 6FU lets us spend 12 more hours with our friends Nate, David, Ruth, Claire, Brenda, and Keith. Season 5 includes more of the great drama, great acting, and dark, off-beat humor that 6FU fans love so much.

Season 5 begins where Season 4 left off: Nate and Brenda have decided to get married and have a baby. As any 6FU fan could guess, neither of these events will go smoothly, nor will the decision to marry make their relationship suddenly problem-free.

Keith and David want children and are exploring adoption as well as hiring a surrogate. One way or another, they will become successful in this endeavor, but will find that a child does not solve all their problems, but rather poses new challenges to each of them and their relationship with each other (just as in real life).

Toward the end of Season 4, Claire was starting to realize but not really accept that she might never be a great artist, and we saw her go down a spiral into depression and excessive drug use. In Season 5, she starts to get a grip. Having dropped out of art school, she gets a common office job through a temp agency, where she is totally out of her element - her coworkers vote Republican, use Splenda in their Mochaccinos, and hang out at chain restaurants like Chilis and Olive Garden. This storyline results in interesting experiences and personal growth for Claire, and maybe a new relationship with someone she never would have expected to fall in love with.

Ruth's storylines mainly involve George. You'll recall from Seasons 3 & 4, these two lovebirds rushed into marriage after a very brief but intense infatuation. Then Ruth soon found out all kinds of nasty surprises about George - his many ex-wives, his lousy relationship with his children, and most of all, his extreme mental health problems which put a huge strain on his and Ruth's fledgling marriage. In Season 5, Ruth and George go through more changes and eventually resolve the question of whether they will stay together.

Something BIG happens in the 8th or 9th episode, which sets up storylines and conflicts for the last 3 episodes. If you care about these characters, it will affect you.

The final episode resolves each main character's central issue or conflict. There is a final gathering at the dinner table and a memorial of sorts, and then the episode leaves you with a very bittersweet feeling as we say goodbye to each of our friends forever.

I do not believe Season 5 is the best season of this excellent show. I'm not sure that the writing is as consistently excellent as in past seasons. A few of the characters' plot arcs from previous seasons are recycled in Season 5. For example, how many times do we have to watch Billy go off his meds and become annoying and dangerous to the people who love him? Don't worry, I'm not giving anything away here - you'll see it coming a mile away. Other multi-episode story arcs bring old demons back to haunt Nate and David, when we'd thought they had dealt with and resolved these issues in previous seasons.

But these are relatively minor quibbles. Mostly, Season 5 is very, very good, and a fine finish to an outstanding series. After the last episode, you'll feel sad that this show is over, and you'll miss these characters.

Finally, I think the price is way too high for a mere 12 episodes. HBO is very greedy for charging so much. Other networks typically charge 40-50 bucks for a season with almost twice as many episodes. At the high prices HBO charges for shows like 6FU and Sopranos, many viewers will opt to rent from Netflix rather than buy, and greedy HBO ends up being worse off in the end.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 27, 2006 7:01:14 AM PST
When I wrote this review, Amazon and other retailers were charging $75 or so for this set, which is why I concluded my review complaining about greedy HBO.

I see now that Amazon is offering this set for only $52, which is the best price I've seen for a season of an HBO show. I still think it's high ($52 for only 12 episodes of SFU, compared to $40-45 for 22-24 episodes of shows like Lost, CSI, and 24), but this is HBO's fault, not Amazon's. And to the collector, this is probably the best retail price you'll find for a new season set of an HBO show.

If you have not yet purchased any seasons of 6FU, let me suggest a better option: Amazon is selling a wonderful new box set containing all 5 seasons of 6FU, plus the two 6FU soundtrack CDs that HBO had previously released. Amazon's price for this set has fluctuated between $180 and $230, but even at the high end of that range, you're getting a terrific value compared to buying the 5 seasons individually. Plus, the set contains a bit of extra bonus material not found in the individual season sets.
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