Warning! This post contains Season Five spoilers... Whenever I need my fix of the late great HBO series Six Feet Under, I pop in a DVD from any given season to visit these great, witty and (most importantly) incredibly fucked-up characters for an episode or two. Of course, what inevitably ends up happening is that I end up watching the entire season (in one sitting) and then moving onto the next set to follow what happens (phht, as if I don't know what happens already). Yes, I've come to realize that I need the Fishers, Chenowiths and Diaz's in my life always; the show has become such a part of who I am (I'm as good as quoting this material as I am with The Simpsons). This past week, I watched all of Season Two and have now forced myself to hide Season Three before I start in on that too; after all, there are other shows to catch up on, such as Grey's Anatomy (for some reason, I didn't like this show when it first aired back in March, but now on DVD, it's actually proving to be a lot of fun. Anyways, anything with Sandra Oh is worth watching).
Six Feet Under recently aired in its fifth - and final - season (*SEASON FIVE SPOILERS FROM HERE*). For some viewers and critics, the farewell was more than welcome (if not overdue by two seasons or so), and for others, it was extremely hard to let go. I myself have my quibbles with the writers' choices over the last few years, I must admit - halfway through Season Three, the gloom and doom started to seriously overpower the humour, and Season Four overall was... well, not a disaster, but definitely disjointed and underwhelming. It's clear that Alan Ball and his writing team wrote themselves into a corner (granted, Lisa wasn't the most likable character, but the manner in which she was offed [and the reasoning behind it] was weak). Still, Season Five more than delivered; it may have been the best work the writers have done since the first batch of episodes. Not only did they have the balls to kill off Nate, but they did so 1) at his most unlikable moment; 2) when there were four more episodes left to air; and 3) when he's (arguably) the lead of the show. Risky! But more than that, the show refused to let us wallow in simple, expected conclusions - Brenda and Nate weren't meant to be together after all (damn!), Maya loses both her parents in her first few years of life, etc. It all affirmed for me why I respect the series so much - while people complained about the pessimism and bleakness of this world, it felt truthful to me. Death, depression, pain and hatred are not given superficial treatment here; Six Feet Under took us to those lows, refusing to let us off the hook easily. We experienced every horrible and heart-wrenching moment in its darkness; just watch the episode of Nate's funeral, and you'll know what I mean.
Which brings me to the point of this entry... although the series has come to an end, I don't have closure - not at all. It may seem immature to say so (and I know awards are popularity contests), but I won't be able to end on good terms with the show until the Emmy nominations are announced and trophies are handed out. Watching these episodes over and over again over the past few years, I've been completely blown away by the quality of the acting. Hard as it is to believe, Six Feet Under, aside from a prize for Patricia Clarkson as Aunt Sarah (Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series - 2002), has not won a single acting trophy. The first year the series premiered, it got nominations across the board for pretty much every prominent actor associated with the series (aside from Matthew St. Patrick and Justina Machado). But year after year, the nominations have subsided (understandable - the series wasn't getting a lot of love after Season Two), and although writing/directing snubs were justified, acting omissions were not. The acting has been stellar since the pilot, and every single performer has made a case for serious award-age. Three actors who definitely should have won an Emmy by now IMHO - Rachel Griffiths (Season One), Peter Krause (Season Three/Four), and especially Frances Conroy (pick any goddamn season! She's perfection in every single episode!!!).
Many of you are probably rolling your eyes and probably asking why the show needs validation from the ridiculous Emmys. Maybe so... but if Patricia Heaton can win Best Actress two years in a row for repeating her whiny, annoying "acting" in Everybody Loves Raymond, why can't Frances Conroy win one single prize for her Oscar-worthy work? It's like the same Hilary Swank argument all over again - why does she have two while Julianne Moore and Patty Clarkson have zero (note - I think Swank deserved her first Academy Award)?
The Golden Globes have been quick to embrace the show (it won Best Drama and Best Supporting Actress [Rachel Griffiths] in 2002, and Best Actress [Frances Conroy] in 2004). It's won two SAG Ensemble Cast prizes (two years in a row) and one Best Actress "Actor" statuette for Conroy. What's with the delay, Emmy voters? Thankfully, you have one more chance to get it right. Please (if this rant somehow reaches you by chance of miracle), please correct your past oversights and give awardage where awardage is due. I'm not asking for a Six Feet Under sweep - maybe just in the acting categories. At the very least, give Frances Conroy the Emmy she's deserved since Season One, Episode One (for her consistently brilliant work in every damn episode, even when the writing wasn't up to par).
Okay, I'm done. Ultimately, if Frances Conroy does not win Best Actress in a Drama this year, you are all warned that I will turn green and grow hundreds of feet and... HULK ANGRY! KILL EMMY VOTERS, SQUISH THEIR BRAINS MUSH THEIR FACES EFWATEW$IT^$3q6943yu ;h54wtwhky/w4ejoy32#@@###%%%%%%%
.... Just to let you know ahead of time.