We gave it an A
Until the Fishers came along, there was no particular reason to think that a series about a family of undertakers could be so messily, vibrantly alive — or so deeply, darkly funny. But ”Six Feet Under” has made itself must-see TV by chronicling the gloriously messed-up personal lives of prodigal son Nate (Peter Krause), uptight good son David (Michael C. Hall), teen rebel Claire (Lauren Ambrose), and repressed matriarch Ruth (Frances Conroy), who grapple with everything from coming out of the closet to possible terminal illness, all while giving professional comfort to a parade of grieving customers. The show confronts death — and, of course, life — with an artful mix of irony, gallows humor, and heartbreaking poignance.
The boxed set Six Feet Under: The Complete First Season includes some entertaining audio commentaries by series creator Alan Ball, but, really, the extras are window dressing: Everything vital is right there in those stunning first 13 episodes.