I have a Favorite TV Show of All Time. What I mean by this is that when asked to name my favorite show, ever, I can respond immediately. No reflection is required. As surely as I know that my favorite ice cream flavor is Mint Chocolate Chip, or that my favorite super hero is Spider-Man, I can tell you my favorite TV show: Six Feet Under.
I saw every episode of every season, in order, as they were broadcast, beginning in the summer of 2001.
Almost. I missed the pilot episode. I did not see it rebroadcast. I did not buy the DVDs, did not ask if friends had it, did not even Netflix it. From time to time I’d wonder why not, but there it was.
Tonight at about 7:58 PM, while browsing the programming guide, I noticed that HBO Signature would be showing an old Six Feet Under episode at 8 PM. Yes: the pilot.
For me, the final episode of Six Feet Under also happens to be the Best Series Finale of All Time. When one considers the conclusion of M*A*S*H* and Newhart, that’s saying something — even more so because the first two-thirds was good, but not great. By the end, though, I was crying.
And the pilot? A tour de force. I’m no John Boehner, but damned if I didn’t cry again. To be fair, the ground was well prepared: I was intimately familiar with the show’s characters before they were introduced. Still, most of the shows I have come to enjoy failed to hit on all cylinders until midway through the first season, and sometimes later. Mixed metaphors not withstanding, Six Feet Under hit the ground running. All the elements were there, the themes introduced, the seeds planted, in place from the outset. Alan Ball clearly had a vision.
Happy New Year.Posted by cradle at January 3, 2011 9:23 PM