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"Six Feet Under" - ratings down this year

Old 05-30-03, 10:21 AM
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"Six Feet Under" - ratings down this year

Just read a small article on "SFU" in the USAToday. And in it, it says viewership has slipped this season. Ratings are down 18%. From 5.7 millions last year to 4.7 this year. It also said "Of course it's a concern, but HBO is committed. You can't peg it to anyone's specific reaction to what was happening on the show".

I found this interesting because up until now, I thought it had held it's audience. Everyone I know (friends and co-workers) watches this show. Same as last year. Meaning, no one stopped watching it at any point this year. The finale on Sunday will probably draw big numbers. But I hope to see this show rebound in the ratings.
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Old 05-30-03, 10:49 AM
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From what I read they lost some viewers early in the season due ot slow pacing. There was an article in the Boston Globe written by an obvious fan of the show praising it for being so different and unafraid to develop people into three dimensions.

Be intersting to see how they do in the award shows as two seasons will compete due to air dates etc.... I'm not afraid of them not coming back, too good a show, if HBO aired Airless for as many years as they did, SFU should be safe even if all they did was sit around and smoke crack. season, 'Six Feet' dug deep
By Matthew Gilbert, Globe Staff, 5/29/2003
Unlike the courtroom, hospital, and precinct settings of most TV shows, ''Six Feet Under'' takes place in a funeral home. It is, on one level, a show obsessed with death, with the final stages of physical existence, with the cold, bloodless bodies rolled onto metal gurneys in the Fisher family basement.

But in its excellent third season, which ends Sunday night at 9, the HBO series has become even more fixated on emotional death, on the numbing forces that threaten to keep love and anger buried 6 feet under. In addition to offering weekly tales of literal death, ''Six Feet Under'' has grown into a portrait of family members in a daily fight to keep their feelings alive, to unearth their true selves, to do whatever brings them deeper into the reality of their lives, as Father Jack recently advised David Fisher.
Fade to white.
This season has been controversial with ''Six Feet Under'' fans, many of whom found its early episodes painfully slow and redundant. The writers -- they vary from episode to episode -- dwelled on the situations trapping the Fisher children, particularly Peter Krause's Nate, stuck in a loveless marriage with Lili Taylor's Lisa. Living in the home of an oppressive Hollywood agent, they were locked in their own domestic struggle as Lisa controlled Nate and Nate retreated into cigarette smoking, fantasies, and defensiveness. Played with all-too-convincing maternal intensity by Taylor, Lisa pushed Nate into having uncomfortable Oedipal feelings about her. And Nate, in recovery from the high drama of Rachel Griffiths's Brenda, treated Lisa more like his big chance at stability than a person. Their marital tension added a strong sense of claustrophobia to the show, and some viewers defected.
This boxed-in quality was heightened by the prolonged absence of Brenda, the show's most independent character. Indeed, the first half of this season was defined as much by the lack of the almost primal chemistry between Nate and Brenda as by the presence of Lisa. And add to that the recurring troubles of Nate's siblings, as Michael C. Hall's David continued to serve as a doormat to Mathew St. Patrick's Keith, and Lauren Ambrose's Claire continued to fall for unavailable men. All these characters seemed to be under the influence of Twilight, the sedation Claire chose for her abortion later on in the season: ''You're not really gone, but you're not really here,'' her nurse said, describing the drug.
But all the season's early gridlock was a deliberate choice, in my opinion, and not just the writers spiraling down into dull plotting. Unlike the show's first two seasons, which sometimes lurched randomly from episode to episode, this season appears to have been given a predetermined shape by creator Alan Ball. Like its characters, it has gradually developed from bound-up to free-falling. By recycling the mundanities of unhappy relationships early in the season, Ball was effectively putting us inside their prisons, making us feel as bottled-up as they did. That way, when the relationships erupted later in the season, it was a powerful release for viewers as well. When Claire finally tells off her teacher, Olivier, or her confused boyfriend, Russell, and when David finally screams, ''I want you on my side'' before walking out on Keith, the liberation is more potent for the enslavement that preceded it. The conflict scenes in recent weeks have been some of the show's most satisfying moments ever, with barbs flying back and forth with pent-up intensity.
This careful building to a climax has made the third season of ''Six Feet Under'' the show's most unified and sure-handed yet. Certainly the writers have made a few false starts, most notably the abandoned plot in which Ruth appeared to be falling in love with Kathy Bates's Bettina. Like ''The Sopranos,'' ''Six Feet Under'' will sometimes throw in non sequiturs, never connecting them to ongoing plots. Ruth's flirtation with Arthur, the intern, was a wonderfully original connection, one that defied description as actors Frances Conroy and Rainn Wilson seemed to click in a mysterious way. Their rapport was otherworldly. But so far it has had no place in the overall scheme, except, perhaps, to show Ruth's growing impatience with her own doormat issues. With Arthur, she played out the assertiveness she had learned from Bettina.
Sunday night's finale promises to be eventful because the temperature has been rising so steadily for each member of the Fisher family. It will undoubtedly offer plenty in the plot department, particularly if we learn the fate of Lisa, who has been missing. But ''Six Feet Under'' is never just plot. It is black comedy, with Ambrose getting the best drolly ironic lines anywhere on TV, and it is an audacious psychodrama that includes themes of severe depression, sexual dysfunction, and guilt. The show certainly offers elements of soap opera, but if it is an R-rated ''Knots Landing,'' with all its melodramatic twists and turns, then it is an R-rated ''Knots Landing'' by way of Ingmar Bergman.
Matthew Gilbert can be reached at [email protected].
This story ran on page D1 of the Boston Globe on 5/29/2003.
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Old 05-30-03, 02:46 PM
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Actually I believe only the season finale of SFU season 2 is going to be eligible for the emmys. I think it was the only episode aired in June, just like this year. I'm pretty sure 1 or 2 episodes from season 2 were nominated last year.
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Old 05-30-03, 03:39 PM
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I think nny is correct.
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Old 05-30-03, 05:38 PM
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Wasn't there less Brenda this year?
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Old 05-30-03, 05:42 PM
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Yes. Less Brenda...and even though the show isn't up to par with the last two seasons it is still some of the best television on right now.
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Old 05-30-03, 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by conscience
Yes. Less Brenda...and even though the show isn't up to par with the last two seasons it is still some of the best television on right now.
I haven't seen this season because I don't have cable, but I agree with your statement. I've been watching my Season 1 boxset over and over. I put it on while doing things around the house and a friend of mine hadn't seen them so we're watching them together. It still blows me away even after repeated viewings.
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Old 05-30-03, 07:34 PM
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I believe it - this season is the worst so far, IMO.
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Old 05-30-03, 10:43 PM
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Is there going to be another season shown anytime soon?
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Old 05-31-03, 12:22 AM
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Deleted due to the fact that I was wrong.

Last edited by Ginwen; 06-02-03 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 05-31-03, 10:51 PM
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Last year is started in March just like this year a full six months before the Sopranos.
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Old 06-01-03, 09:33 PM
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I thought This season of Six Feet Under was great as opposed to the most recent Sopranos season which in all honestly was a disaster.....
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Old 06-01-03, 09:41 PM
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Two viewers not lost here
Season 3 was bold in many respects, airily comedic at times and downright black at others. This whole season has had trouble living up to the first 15 minutes of this seasons first episode, which in my opinion was the highwater mark for the series.
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Old 06-01-03, 10:05 PM
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My gf and I stopped watching after about the 4th or 5th episode this year. Just wasn't interested in it as much. We both loved the first season, thought the second was decent but not as good as the first, and the 3rd we didn't really like much at all, so we stopped.
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Old 06-02-03, 12:50 PM
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I thought the 2nd season was the best, but thats just my opinion. Season 3 really didn't get interesting until Brenda was on for more than one scene. Unfortunately Season 4 wont premier until June of 2004. BTW does anyone know when the 2nd season of 6FU will be released?
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Old 06-02-03, 12:59 PM
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I saw Regis & Kelly the other day and Peter Krause was on and he said the next season will not begin filming until November and it will not air until JUNE 04, so we have an entire year to wait!
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Old 06-02-03, 01:22 PM
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I don't know if I can wait that long. They should start doing half seasons with 6 episodes in September and 6 a few months later....

Well at least we know it will be worth waiting for....
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