August 8, 2005

"I don't want to take the edge off."

Brenda said on last night's "Six Feet Under." She was refusing the vodka her mother offered. She also rejected the funeral poetry as "maudlin." Virginia Heffernan has an interesting (spoiler filled) piece assessing the series, which showed its third-to-last episode Sunday night. Heffernan contrasts "sincerity" and "authenticity":
[T]he ideal of sincerity has long ago been devalued, rendered commercial or quaint. Today, for example, it is associated with Coldplay, mewling God-and-country Republicans and weepie cable-television dramas like "Six Feet Under" that appeal mostly to women and gay men.

Authenticity, on the other hand, is regarded as rougher stuff, a man's job. Authenticity is gin to sincerity's chardonnay. (Look for it on "The Sopranos" and "Deadwood.") It suggests, as Trilling puts it, "a more strenuous moral experience" than does sincerity, as well as "a less acceptant and genial view of the social circumstances of life." Authenticity, in other words, is a confrontation not with the self, which its practitioners regard as elusive and false, but with death, horror, being, nothingness.
But "Six Feet Under," it is a woman, Brenda, who contrasts with all the mewlers on the show. I don't want to do spoilers, so read Heffernan's article if you want the details. She's got some good ones!


Rick Lee said...

I've been thinking of Nate as being a real turd because of his typical response to being married (typical for him... great guy up to the vows part and then he loses interest and strays). But last night when he appeared to Brenda in the car, he appeared to get in some real zingers, based on her reaction, but honestly, I wasn't following it. I have no idea what he was saying to her. Do you recall what he said that affected her so?

Last night's episode was really powerful. It's a show about death... death, death, death for years... and now they do Nate's death and they still have enough in reserve to get me all emotional.


I'm too cheap to pay monthly for HBO, but watch most of the shows when they come to DVD using the Blockbuster movie pass. I've only seen the first season of "SFU" and have been avoiding the "spoiler-filled" posts here so as not to ruin the viewing experience whenever I get around to it.

Turning to the Times Arts page today, however, completely gave away certainly one of the biggest spoilers of the entire series. I didn't even click the article and yet found out that Nate dies in the episode. Especially with shows on HBO, one would think they'd be a little considerate in giving away plot twists.

Chuck said...
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Ann Althouse said...

Okay, I deleted Boy's post because it had a spoiler to another series and I deleted Portsider's post because it repeated the spoiler. Sorry, Portsider. Repost without the spoiler if you want. Boy, you can repost too, but don't throw in spoilers to other shows. People know by coming in here that there will be SFU spoilers, but don't do "Sopranos" spoilers.

Some people wait for the DVDs. There's nothing wrong with doing that.