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Reading Six Feet Under: TV to Die for (Reading Contemporary Television) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 24. Juni 2005

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'This is the essential appeal of the book - it manages to combine the serious with the comic and ironic, just as its subject series does.' - Media Education Journal

Über das Produkt

Praised for its unabashed portrait of the "death care" industry, HBO's Six Feet Under is less about the business of death than the art of living well. Created by the Oscar winner Alan Ball (American Beauty), this innovative, controversial show charts difficult territory--from death, dying and bereavement, to female and gay sexualities, to family obligation and relationships--laying bare in the process an American cultural consciousness. This book examines such predominant themes as the dead body, magic realism and the grotesque, American cultural politics, family relationships, homosexuality, motherhood and more. A complete episode guide to the first four seasons is included.

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The sequence to which 1 call attention at the outset of this examination of Six Feet Under's generic allegiances is as baffling as it is unclassifiable. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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26 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Speaking Fiercely from the 'I' 16. November 2005
Von S. Overfield - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
This book is wonderful if you're a literate SFU fan, and most of the show's fans are. This book has a variety of hard-core analyses of the different elements of SFU, and each one--except for a silly article that's more confessional than analysis--offers a very illuminating perspective on an aspect of the show. That SFU lends itself to such examination is hardly surprising if you are a fan. The real pleasure to be found in the book is seeing the show scrutinized by such intelligent people, which is not only a compliment to the show, but also underscores just how transcendant and perfect the show was. In essence, this book is a collection of writings by fans like you and me but who happen to have Phds and teach at universities. Reading about the Fishers in this way provides a new narrative of sorts in which the Fishers are again alive. Meaning, the show's over, which makes me want to kill myself, but here is a chance to read about their adventures in a fresh way that makes them alive that little bit longer. The only drawback to the book are the few extremely goofy poems and overly morbid photographs that unnecessarily interrupt the pages.

In short, this book is an extremely thoughful love letter from intellectuals, and the Fishers deserve nothing less. I still can't believe the show's over.
16 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Serving the living by caring for the dead 19. Juni 2006
Von Charles S. Houser - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Most of the contributors to this volume of essays on HBO's 5-season hit SIX FEET UNDER praise the series as groundbreaking, smart, well-written, honest, and deeply felt. I share their high opinion of SFU and find that I continue to find new things to delight in (if you can use that expression for a series that focuses on death and damaged human relations) each time I watch an episode.

If you're a fan of SFU or just someone who likes to watch television thoughtfully, you'll find this volume helpful. These are not newspaper style reviews; most are essays by academics focusing on one character or aspect of the show. There is academic jargon here to be sure (in some essays more than others), but I found I could navigate it fairly easily with a dictionary at my elbow (though I had to Google "diegesis" to understand Peter Kaye's article on the music of SFU). Special attention was given to gender issues. Part III is entitled "Post-Patriarchal Dilemmas: Making Visible the Female Subject" and contains essays on Ruth Fisher (the mother whose unexpected and premature widowhood launches season 1), Claire (her only daughter), and Brenda (a complicated outsider who becomes increasingly involved with the family over the course of the series). I found Erin's MacLeod's "Desperately Seeking Brenda: Writing the Self in Six Feet Under" especially engaging--in part, because I found this character more baffling and frustrating than any other in the show. As with many of the essays in this volume, I suspect MacLeod wrote her essay at some point during season 3 or 4, but certainly well before Brenda's full trajectory was known. She seemed to have missed the opportunity to comment on Brenda's personal post-patriarchal experience (the death of her own father, Bernard Chenowith). I think the volume would have been greatly enhanced if contributors were given an opportunity to attach Afterwords to their essays based on having seen the entire series, including the amazing final episode in which viewers are shown exactly how each of the main characters faces her/his own death.

Gender is also the key theme in "Part IV: Post-Patriarchal Dilemmas: Masculinities Reconsidered," with Queer Theory playing an important role in Brian Singleton's "Queering the Church," which focuses on the way David Fisher deals with his homosexuality, and Samuel A. Chambers's "Revisiting the Closet," which focuses on the experiences Russell Corwin, an art school classmate of Claire's, a relatively minor character in the series. Again, it would have been interesting to know what these authors thought upon seeing the last episode of season 5.

My favorite essay in the whole volume, however, was "Playing in the Deep End of the Pool" by Thomas Lynch, who is a funeral director (from a family of funeral directors) in addition to being a skilled writer. Besides providing useful insights into SFU's portrayal of his profession, he gives the first critical perspective I've read on Jessica Mitford's classic 1963 expose of the death care industry, THE AMERICAN WAY OF DEATH, that makes sense without seeming defensive.

The book includes an Episode Guide (through the end of season 4); a Film and TV Guide (baffling for what it includes--The King and I?--as well as for what it omits--where are Rachel, Rachel; Four Weddings and a Funeral; Longtime Companion; The Passion of the Christ, to name a few?); a Bibliography that doesn't include every work sited by the authors; and an Index.
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A great start for all the researchers. 21. August 2005
Von N. Wong - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
I am glad that a book on Six Feet Under has been published. The book contains a number of useful essays, regarding the notion of death, American culture, homosexuality, feminism, music and other aspects in the excellent TV drama.

The essays are grouped neatly and are very well-organized. Readers will absolutely find something insightful under each section. Interestingly most, before each section begins, there is a poem, regarding the theme of that particular section. So, the book is not entirely academic and research work, but also some creative writing.

The most useful part of the book, I think, is not just the selected essay, but the detailed bibliography provided at the back.

One thing I don't like about the book is that some essays are quite narrow in discussing the content of the drama. For example, a few essays merely talk about the plot in several episodes in the first two seasons. Yet, the season 4 of the drama has been out, so it'd be more extensive and convincing if the essay could cover all four seasons.

I wish after the finale season of the drama, a more detailed and in-depth anthrology would be published. Six Feet Under is not just a TV drama, it's literature, it's a classic. It deserves more written records.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
SFU fun for the English Major in you 16. Mai 2007
Von S. Wong - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Obviously only for the Six Feet Under enthusiast, Reading SFU does a good job of canvassing a number of interesting approaches to the show (examining specific characters, specific themes, etc.) and the essays are on a whole well-written and quite insightful.

A few small caveats - the essays were written at varying times and none were written after the series' final season. Given the rather significant plot points of the final season, I did often find myself wishing that the essays could have been re-visited, to address their points with the perspective of the series taken as a whole. Similarly, while the collection of essay approach allows the book to handle a number of different themes, I longed for a more cohesive view, and I think there still exists a potential for a volume written by one author to explore the show.

Finally, the book is very much composed of academic essays - things you would be writing as an English PHD student. As that implies, there's plenty of pretension and obscure points, but the good news is that it's well worth sorting through the vernacular and the show is substantive enough to support such an approach. If you don't enjoy reading that type of work, however, the book is certainly not for you.

Given the general lack of SFU literature out there, this book is the closest I've seen to engaging the series on the level it deserves.
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
a must have 28. April 2006
Von Harriet Jameson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
For fans of Six Feet Under, this is a must have. It is true that some of the more personal stuff, like the poems, are a bit weak, but most of the essays are strong and insightful.

Fans might also want to check out the collection Considering Alan Ball. I just picked this up, and it has great essays about Six Feet Under, American Beauty, and some of Ball's early plays as well.
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