• Publication date: June 1, 2010

Birth, Death, and Rebirth Every Day Above Ground Is A Good One

One of TV's most acclaimed drama series, the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning Six Feet Under is created and executive produced by the Oscar-winning writer of American Beauty, Alan Ball (also an Emmy-winner for this show), Six Feet Under continues to focus on the cathartic journey of the extended Fisher family, whose personal trials and tribulations are played out against the solemn backdrop of an independent funeral home in LA.

One of TV's most acclaimed drama series, the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning Six Feet Under is created and executive produced by the Oscar-winning writer of American Beauty, Alan Ball (also an Emmy-winner for this show), Six Feet Under continues to focus on the cathartic journey of the extended Fisher family, whose personal trials and tribulations are played out against the solemn backdrop of an independent funeral home in LA.

It premiered on the premium cable network HBO in the United States on June 3, 2001 and ended its original run of five seasons and 63 episodes on August 21, 2005. The show was produced by Actual Size Films and The Greenblatt/Janollari Studio and was shot on location in Los Angeles and in Hollywood studios. The series is noted for its exploration of mortality and death in western society. It won numerous awards, including three Golden Globes and nine Emmys.

The darkly comic drama series begins by introducing us to the dysfunctional Fisher family who run their independent funeral home in LA. Their prodigal son Nate returns home for Christmas to receive shattering news of his father�s death. Nate has to stick around as he and his brother, David, are willed the family business of helping outsider�s grieve while they must deal with the death of one of their own.

Each episode begins with a death � anything from drowning or heart attack to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome � and that death usually sets the tone for each episode, allowing the characters to reflect on their current fortunes and misfortunes in a way that is illuminated by the death and its aftermath. While it unblinkingly focuses on the theme of death, it also brings to light how this family lives and goes through infidelity, religion, and relationships.

It stars Peter Krause as Nate Jr. who co-operates Fisher & Diaz funeral home with his brother David Fisher, played by Michael C. Hall; Frances Conroy plays Ruth Fisher, matriarch of the Fisher family; Lauren Ambrose plays the artist of the family and the younger sibling Claire Fisher; Freddy Rodriguez plays Federico Diaz, embalmer and business partner of Fisher & Diaz; Mathew St. Patrick is Keith Charles who has an on and off relationship with David; Rachel Griffiths plays Nate�s on and off girlfriend; Jeremy Sisto is Billy Chenowith, Brenda�s younger brother with bipolar disorder; Justina Machado is Vanessa Diaz, registered nurse and Federico�s high school sweetheart; James Cromwell as George Sibley a Geologist/Professor.

A recurring plot device consists of a character having an imaginary conversation with the deceased; for example, Nate, David, and Federico sometimes "converse" with the person who died at the beginning of the episode, while they are being embalmed or planning or during the funeral. Sometimes, the conversation is with other recurring deceased characters, most notably Nathaniel Fisher Sr.