Sunday, December 9, 2012

Six Feet Under Season Two

So wow. I liked this season sooo much more than I liked the first season. There were some times I felt actually like, jarred into remembering it was a TV show when stupid plots came up (like Lisa getting pregnant felt very soap operatic to me) but it definitely felt like a feast of characterization.

One of the things I appreciate about the show is that it draws very complicated characters and creates situations that feel very life like, but I never hate anyone? Like there are some other shows that have characters on full display in all their miserably yucky humanness and it feels like a chore to watch, but I don't know, I feel such a warmth in the writing towards these characters. They are real light and dark (ha ha), good and bad. They feel very human and complicated in a way that I feel invested in seeing what happens to them.

I don't love all of the characters. I still can't get along with Rico even though I appreciate his presence on the show. Like, I like that the show has a wide range of characters with different ways of thinking and feeling about things but he's so...I don't know angry or hard edged. I had similar issues with Keith this season, I was beginning to aggressively wish him off my screen because I could feel the tension in every scene he was in. And I get that he is probably suffering from PTSD of some sort but it was really uncomfortable to watch. And I don't always love Ruth, either, but I think she's a fabulously written character.

There's so much to sift through on this show, so hopefully I can remember some of the good stuff. Also I watched the beginning of the season a couple of weeks ago and then I couldn't watch for awhile so I kind of get what happened in S1 and S2 mixed up.

*Nate and Brenda are fascinating to watch. I mean throughout the entire season you can see all the problems in their relationship and how it's fraying at the edges and rotting in the center but they can't see it you know? And the fight at the end felt SO CATHARTIC. I was actually really angry with Brenda when Nate told her about Lisa but she didn't similarly disclose because as cliche as it sounds these things will always make themselves known and so it did on this show as well. And also because even though Nate was completely wrong to keep things from her and was in a position where his actions had led to more direct visible consequences he still risked her rejection by telling her. Of course I realize her issues are much deeper and the kinds of things she had been doing aren't the kind you can just come right out and talk about. She wasn't at the point where she was willing to admit she had a problem either, so. Like I get the whys of it.

*Brenda and Billy's relationship as the narcissist/masochist is depicted in all of its insane reality. And you know what I like about it on the show? It's not a romantic relationship although it feels uncomfortably romantic to people around them. Which means they got it right. I just like that it's fully shown as being dysfunctional and destructive and that you can see why both characters feel like they need that relationship but also how it harms them. I think these dynamics are depicted in romantic relationships on TV, (obviously I'm thinking of Gossip Girl but there are others) but dressed up with pretty bows and romanticized and they aren't. They just aren't. Yes there are deep feelings but they are so twisted and unhealthy they are not good for either party. So Billy cutting Brenda off was the EXACT RIGHT THING for him to do even though he didn't take as much responsibility for himself as he should have. But even though it was right, I still felt so sad because of course they are brother and sister.

*I like Claire but the actress has some mannerisms that I find distracting. Even so I love how real she felt as a teenage girl trying to find where she belonged. I love how she is both drawn to Billy but also wary of him, that she enjoys his flattery but is kind of scared of him. And I think watching her and Ruth is so interesting, Ruth wanting a storybook mother/daughter relationship and sometimes forgetting that what she has with Claire is actually really great in itself.

*ugh Nicolae, I hope he's gone forever.

*It grosses me out soooo much how they eat around the dead bodies and drink coffee and stuff. EW EW EW.

*As soon as Aaron was introduced, I knew he'd be the last death of the season. And it was the first time I felt like the show was super gritty about death. I mean a lot of the opening deaths are kind of humorous almost and they don't show too much, but this was all out there and awful. I liked Aaron's storyline, short as it was, because he asked a lot of questions that are hard like "what if my life is just a waste of time" These are hard uncomfortable questions but I think they are things a lot of people feel and wonder about.

*Which is one of the things I like best about the show. In the middle of all the drama, at its heart its about trying to live a meaningful life and what that means and trying to form connections with people that matter. Aaron wasn't the only person with no one, there was another death where the woman knew no one. Ruth is constantly trying to break out of her shell of loneliness. Nate and Brenda's whole story is about trying to share your life with someone when you'd often much rather just hide and go it alone.

*I cried a little during the season's finale. Specifically when Nate went into Claire's room just to..spend a little time with her before his surgery. That moment just felt so real to me, so simple and yet so natural.

Anyway! I've only watched through season two so don't spoil me on anything else. I mean it, okay?!?


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