Six Feet Under - The Complete Fourth Season
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Six Feet Under: The Complete Fourth Season (DVD)
There's a new pecking order at the Fisher & Diaz funeral home, but Nate, Ruth, David and Claire still try to make every day above ground a good one. Death and dysfunction are par for the course in The Complete Fourth Season of Six Feet Under.]]>
This penultimate season of Six Feet Under continues further down the darkly disturbing path so evident in the third season. To be sure, the signature--and ultimately undefinable--blend of tragic mishap with tripped-out comic eccentricity that has stamped the series from its debut remains pervasive. It's the concentration of the mix that has changed. Leavening moments seem less organic, much as the bizarre death sequences that open each episode often turn out to be rather contrived preludes to the ensuing thematic obsessions. Which isn't to say season 4 lacks the delightfully memorable quirkiness fans have grown to expect. Recurring incidents of fecal revenge bring tensions to the surface between Ruth (Frances Conroy) and her new husband George (James Cromwell), in turn leading to young intern Arthur's resignation (Rainn Wilson's spot-on characterization is so enjoyable that his self-imposed exile from the Fisher nest early in the season is a real loss). Ruth meanwhile hooks up again briefly with the irrepressible Bettina (Kathy Bates) for an excursion south of the border.
But brooding glimpses into chaos beneath the surface provide the emotional momentum of this season, right from the opening scene, as Nate (Peter Krause) inevitably gravitates back toward Brenda (Rachel Griffiths) in the aftermath of his wife's death. As usual, writers and directors vary for each episode, but the dark eccentricities of creator Alan Ball's original characters have become more sharply focused and sustained. We seem to spend even more time viewing the world through individual points of view: Nate's roiling anger and grief or Claire's (Lauren Ambrose) newfound sexual and artistic experimentation as she learns about "grinding the corn" and attains respect as a photographer. The toxicity of relationships continues to be a preoccupation. We get the Ruth-George meltdown as well as the painful unraveling of Rico's (Freddy Rodriguez) marriage to Vanessa (Justina Machado). But the most harrowing episode follows David (Michael C. Hall) through an increasingly perilous carjacking. This nightmarish fugue, midway through, ripples out into the rest of the season, posing another threat to his tenuous relationship with Keith (Matthew St. Patrick). It sets a course for further apocalyptic imagery of environmental collapse and fallout shelters. There's little to gentle the downward slide and exposure of vulnerability, save taking refuge in the quirkiness that seems to be the Fishers' birthright. But that, as they say, is to die for. --Thomas May
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Top Customer Reviews
Saw it offered on Amazon, and needed a TV show for 'me' time while exercising. Wow! Was I pleasantly surprised by the acting and writing.
Sex scenes in my opinion go too far, I'm not into watching other people. As married woman with three kids, I get it. The show should start with kissing, grabbing, and fade away, jeez who really needs to see the whole thing? That's a different genre.