Six Feet Under

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot

6
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jun 03, 2001 on HBO
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (15)

9.1
out of 10
Average
319 votes
  • 1.01: My first time watching Six Feet Under...

    8.0
    I borrowed the Six Feet Under DVDs from my best friend a while ago and I have only recently began watching Season One. The only clues I had was the fact it was about funerals, but other than that I had no idea.

    I had had no experience with Six Feet Under and I hoped it would become a completely new televisual experience for me. I was completely correct.

    The first episode of this great show of misery and satirical humour lived up to my expectations. At time of writing, I have only watched up to Episode 3, so I don't really have any ideas of the characters beyond this.

    I thought the episode was incredibly well written and the seperate storylines and lives of the 4 or 5 main characters is brilliant. I loved how they all come together, yet still lead completely seperate lives.

    I'll start with Ruth, the wife of Nathanial Sr and the mother of David, Claire and Nate. In the pilot, she struck me as the insecure Housewife. I was annoyed by her and although I had sympathy that her husband had died, she irritated me just a bit. My favourite scene was when she was in the kitchen and she said to Nate or it might have been David, "Your father has just died, and the pot roast is ruined." Classic.

    Next up is David, the brother who is having a secret homosexual relationship with the local Policeman, Keith. At the funeral of his father, his brother Claire noticed that Keith and him were getting along more than friends, and I don't know.. it just struck me, if they were meant to be keeping it secret, they wouldn't be playing around like that... especially at the Wake of his own father.

    Nate's character was a bit more withdrawn. We didn't really find out too much about his character. We do know that he goes with random strangers at airports, which you have to admit, was a bit strange. I am looking forward to finding much more about Nate.

    Finally, I come to the last Fisher, Claire. In this episode, I think she outdid herself with her acting. She was on drugs right the way through the episode and I thought it was brilliant. Not that she was on drugs, but you know what I mean. She played the part very well, and like Nate.. I'm interested to get to know Claire a little better.

    Overall, I thought Six Feet Under was very good and I have scored it an 8. I would have scored it lower, but the program makes me want to get to know the characters SO much more. I want to find out what happens with them. Bring on the next episode!
  • Funereal Nathaniel Fisher, Sr. 1943-2000 Written and Directed by Alan Ball

    10
    "When other kids my age were going to frat parties I was draining corpses and refashioning severed ears out of wax."-David

    Wow, when Six Feet Under debuted in 2001, I just have to say it was amazing. The first hour brilliantly written and directed by Alan Ball is an absolute masterpiece. It is truly a fine pilot episode compared to others of the genres.

    The main storyline in the episode stays focused on Nathaniel's passing and how his death impacts the entire family. From the runaway son, Nate who is pulled back to L.A. by his mother and having sex with a stranger in an airport before even knowing her name. To high school misfit Claire who is heavily into sex, drugs and bad relationships. To David, the closeted homosexual funeral director who sticked around after his brother left.

    Others in "Pilot" include the widow Ruth who admits she had an affair with a hairdresser while her husband was still alive and mortician Federico, a very skilled and talented embalmer. (We'll see his pregnant wife in Episode 2).

    Also...
    -Loved the "Death Care Industry" commercials, they were so elegantly done.
    -The Nate/David cemetery scene was well done.

    Wonderful episode and it continues throughout the five years of the series.
  • When "Six Feet Under" was also a comedy.

    9.1
    Don't get me wrong -- even the fourth season (and don't kill me, but probably my favorite) has had it's share of wonderful comedic moments. In fact, the series never once lost it's slightly absurd comical center, even at it's most depressing and dark.

    But the "Pilot" episode now almost seems like a TV version of "American Beauty" with a different plot: funny, twisted, sometimes slightly and sometimes completely serious, surreal, etc.

    I just watched it for probably the third time last night, and it struck me how different it was compared to, say, "Everyone's Waiting," the series finale. But not in a bad way or anything.

    Before I get into the plot, let me just say that the funeral product commercials -- blah. Funny the first time, but after that, no, not really. It kind of disrupts the episode for me. I know that season one purists think it's a good thing, as in "that was a really depressing scene... maybe there should be something funny IMMEDIATELY afterwards to offset the mood," but I like the flow of the show from episode two on a lot more.

    One thing I won't deny is the magic quality of the first season. While funny a lot of the time, it was never goofy or stupid, and it had a sharp wit like no other show. Even if I think my favorite era of "Six Feet Under" just ended, season one by far had the best mixture of comedy and drama.

    "Pilot" begins on a sunny, apparently warm Christmas Eve in Los Angeles. Nathaniel Fisher Sr. is driving a new hearse he bought for his family's funeral home business (which is aptly titled "Fisher and Sons Funeral Home"). In a rather funny -- not depressing, but actually funny moment -- Ruth, his wife, tells him that smoking will kill him while they talk via his cell phone. "I'm quittin' right now," Nathaniel smugly says, throwing his cigarette out the window. After hanging up with a spunky Ruth, he has a moment of peace with himself, smiling. And then he does the inevitable.

    Noticing his pack of cigarettes on the passenger seat, he reaches down for one. Doing so cost him his life, as his lack of judgement while driving had a bus run full speed into the side of his newly bought hearse. Nicely directed scene there.

    Meanwhile, his daughter Claire is with her new boyfriend Gabe (whom we don't know much about yet). Sitting in a room full of druggies, she smokes some crystal meth. It's not crack, Gabe assures her, it's crystal! Which means it's fine!

    His son Nate arrives at an airport ready to be picked up by his dad. He's only planning to stay a few days for Christmas.

    We see him just after he's befriended a woman he has yet to learn to the name of. She's beautiful, slightly feminist, slightly sexual, and seemingly very independant. Apparently a big turn on for Nate.

    They talked about some pretentious psycho-babble on the plane, and he thanks her for the time. After noticing that his father is nowhere around, he sullenly says that he needs a ride.

    "I'll give you a ride," his new friend says. Yeah, you know which kind.

    His other son, David, a closeted homosexual, has stayed with the family business. He conceals his emotions of anger and guilt -- anger because his brother Nate left him alone with the business, and guilt because he's gay -- nearly all the time.

    Side note: the thing that pulled me in about the series in the first place was David. He's brilliantly played by Michael C. Hall, and I could emphasize with him because I was in the same position too. Oh, not that I have to overtake a funeral business or anything. No. But I was also in the closet. The pain and humiliation and heartache and everything he goes through is surprisingly real -- surprising because every other show that wants to tackle the "issue" has a way of treating it like tabloid trash or something. "Queer as Folk" is good in this respect, too, but "Six Feet Under" always treated it with more class, and did it much better than anything else out there (even film).

    David is sitting in the kitchen as Ruth makes her pot roast, reading a newspaper and being calm and bottled up like he thinks he should be.

    Ruth recieves the call very shortly, but reacts in a slightly humourous way. In fact, I never knew whether to laugh or feel bad in this scene:

    After hearing the news over the phone and shouting a very Ruth-esque (yes, that's my own made up lingo) "WHAT?!" , she throws down the phone and begins tearing apart the kitchen while shouting on top of her lungs. Repeated short screams accompany pots and pans bouncing off the floor, and she even throws her pot roast too.

    Somewhat embarrassing is the fact that there's a viewing going on at the same time, and everyone hears the ruckus. David is noticably embarrassed, and asks if he may leave for a second.

    "There's been an accident," Ruth tells David, while sitting on the floor, hair a mess. "Your father's dead."

    David obviously does not know what to say.

    "Your father's dead and my pot roast is ruined."

    ---

    One by one, the other Fisher siblings find out that he's dead. With Nate, it's after he's done screwing his new acquantince in an airport lobby closet.

    With Claire, it's just after she smoked some cra-- er, crystal.

    And the way Alan Ball brings them together is at once funny and real. In fact, the one thing that struck me the most in this episode was how REAL it was. It reminded me of my family, albeit no dead dad and no smoking of crystal. Er, and no screwing women in airport lobby closets. And no funeral home. Yeah.

    It's just the way they talk -- very normal, very real, relaxed, what have you. And always interesting, which makes for a good television show.

    Nate eventually finds out his new girlfriend's name. It's Brenda. She also has a messed up family and is always willing to talk about it, much to Nate's chagrin.

    We see our first glimpse of Billy, Brenda's brother, in an amusing way -- sobbing like a sissy while looking for something to eat in their nice looking kitchen. He just walks around, looking through the fridge, sobbing. Brenda doesn't react, she just asks if he wants an olive. He looks at the olive on her hand and instead takes the whole package of them from her other.

    Keith also makes a nice entrance. We begin with David and Keith already a couple, but since he's in the closet they can't really "be together" publically.

    One of my favorite moments in the episode occurs when a somewhat sobered up Claire notices David trying to act "straight" around Keith, after pulling his arm away from his face. It's so cute, and her facial expression is at once caring and amused. I love her character.

    Claire also has a notable number of funny scenes in this episode, most of them when she's high "on crystal!" than when she's sober.

    For example, Nate takes her to the grocery so they can leave the house for a moment. After having a millisecond of peace to himself, Claire wants to go.

    We see one of the first of MANY Nate shouting-complaint-things, and to show her frustration both at his reaction and the whole damn situation, she picks up a grapefruit and throws it to the floor, making a wimpy thud.

    She then proceeds to hug Nate, which is a very sincere and tender moment. Of course, though, all such things come to an end, and in this case really soon -- a grocery worker walks up to her and says "You're going to have to pay for that."

    BAM! Claire reacts suddenly and viciously with a "why don't you just f*** off?!" Heh.

    We also meet Rico, who even utters a "wuzzup!" to Nate after seeing him for the first time in awhile. Funny.

    Even though all of his scenes in the pilot are great, one of note is when he talks about a wonderful restoration he did on this couple who had gun wounds in their heads. He shows the before and after pictures to Nate, and it looks like he did a really good job.

    After excitedely explaining everything to him, his face is sudddenly stricken with anger.

    "And then we cremated them. What a f****** waste."

    At the funeral of the Nathaniel, Ruth lets her two sons know of a terrible secret she's been hiding. "I'm not fine, I'm a whore!" She met a hairdresser named Hiram and has been sleeping with him for awhile. And now "he knows" -- Nathaniel knows that she cheated on him, and she feels tremendous guilt over it.

    Nate has been hinting that funerals are too clean, too "business," which is true. To show his grief over his dead dad, he'd rather take his bare hands and throw dirt on the coffin, not use some "stupid salt shaker" (snicker snicker). Ruth follows suit, and gets on her hands and her knees and begins violently sobbing. She picks up dirt with her hands and throws it on the coffin several times, her hat falling off and everything. It's a very beautiful scene.

    David's uptight assumptions of what a funeral should be clash with Nate's, and he eventually reveals his anger at how Nate left him behind with a business he obviously does not want to be part of.

    Later, David goes to Keith's apartment and they share a moment together finally.

    "Pilot" is great Six Feet Under, well written and consistently entertaining. I don't think it's the best episode ever, but a lot of other people do. I can understand why. It's continous wit and cleverness is absorbing.

    However, the best is only yet to come. There are a few first season episodes that are better than this one, in my opinion. Even still, "Pilot" is a fine way to start off a near-perfect series, and stands as one of the best pilot episodes ever.
  • Funeral Blues Written And Directed by Alan Ball

    9.0
    Over the course of the 2001-2002 US TV season we've had a slew of impressive new shows equally as eager to make an impact with UK viewers as they have within the US. We've had not one, but two espionage series with gadgetry and stunts more impressive than your average Bond which this is where 24 and Alias would appear. A prequel to Star Trek and another re-imagining of the Superman mythology ensued, as did the hilarious Scrubs. And the likes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Sex And The City and The Sopranos were literally compulsive viewing, but the best series of the bunch is hands down Six Feet Under, the critically acclaimed funeral home drama from American Beauty scribe Alan Ball and the purveyors of increasingly daring and innovative television - HBO.

    The pilot kicks off in Los Angeles, Christmas Eve with Nathaniel Fisher SR, owner of ailing funeral home, Fisher and Sons being killed when a bus collides with his hearse. Incidentally enough, it was he who was to pick up eldest son, Nate (who works for an organic food co-op in Seattle) from the airport. Not that Nate has trouble getting home as after a steamy sex session with masseuse Brenda in one of the airport's closets she offers him a lift home.

    News of Nate SR’s death spreads quickly with each and every member of the Fisher clan reacting in a variety of unpredictable ways. Both sons Nate and David (a closeted gay man, seeing a black policeman named Keith) are constantly sparring - prior to (when they first meet at the hospital to identify their father's body), during as well as after their father's funeral. Youngest child and daughter Claire learns of her dad's death whilst after taking Crystal Meth with her boyfriend, Gabe and has difficulties distinguishing her sudden anguish as either grief for her dad or a side effect of the drug she took.

    She also puts both warring brothers in their place and has a funnily intimate conversation with her deceased father (during the funeral- it seems that just because Nate SR is dead, doesn't mean he won't be popping up from time to time) while matriarch Ruth pretty much destroys the Christmas dinner she was preparing and lets her guilt get the better of her and reveals to her children her two year affair with a hairdresser named Hiram. Didn't see that one coming.

    On the non- Fisher front we are introduced to Federico, Fishers and Sons talented mortician (married to a nurse named Vanessa who is expecting their second child), Keith, who so far all we know is dating David and is clearly not happy about his boyfriend being so closeted (unaware to them Claire actually knows of their relationship). Last but definitely not least there is Brenda - who on sight pretty much presents a challenge to Nate in the sense she tells him that she won't succumb him as quickly as he has managed to get other women to. She also has a manic depressed brother, and although we don't see them on screen nightmare parents to boot (who funnily enough happen to be therapists).

    There is also a rival home – Kroehner Service Corporation who seem to pose a real threat to Fisher and Sons and are determined to tear the ailing funeral home down, now that they appear to be at vulnerability.

    Also in "Six Feet Under"

    We had a hilarious opening funeral where the husband told David he hoped his wife was shovelling shit in hell. Then there was also that weird funeral fanatic Tracy Montrose Blair.

    Loved the promos for the funeral products, including the GAP piss take with the saltshakers.

    David: "What the hell?"
    Ruth: "There's been an accident. The new hearse is totaled. Your father is dead. Your father is dead and my pot roast is ruined".

    Strange they didn't have Nathaniel's death credits.

    Nate:" Yeah, you know. You are so fucking hot"
    Brenda: "Oh, you're so sweet".

    Ick moment of the episode besides the obvious death/blood related sequences included those flies on the pizza in that crack -house.

    Claire: "No I’m not kidding, this is actually happening. And now I’m high on crack"
    Gabe: "Crystal"
    Claire: “Whatever! So I guess this whole hellish experience i'm about to go through is just gonna burn a little brighter now. Great. Thank you. Fuck".

    Claire (to Nate and David):"Jesus. Just pull out your dicks and measure them and let's get this over with".

    David isn't the only gay character related to Ruth. It turns out her cousin's husband is too. David is though out to Keith's parents though.

    Store Attendant: “You’re gonna have to pay for that”
    Claire: “Will you just fuck off?”

    David (to Nate):"You wanna get your hands dirty? You sanctimonious prick. Talk to me when you've had to shove formaldehyde soaked cotton up your father's ass so he doesn't leak".

    Chronology was December 2000, though the series premiered six months later on HBO.

    Nate (to Brenda): "My Dad's dead, my mother's a whore, my brother wants to kill me and my sister's smoking crack. I think I win".

    Standout songs included Peggy Lee's "I Love Being Here With You" and The Devlins' "Waiting". The score piece during the flashbacks of Nate and David's childhood was also beautiful.

    Yes, once again those lovely people at HBO have got it right, putting their finances into a show as intelligent and invigorating as this. In terms of series openers, this has to be one of the best I have seen in a long time with all the main players each making an impact with viewers on first inspection. It may be a little early in the game to choose favourites but Brenda and David are definitely the ones that I'm most interested in seeing develop throughout Season One. The Fishers are definitely a screwed up bunch and seem to be the most authentic dysfunctional family seen in recent television. Praise the Lord, Six Feet Under has come to remove the "touchy-feely" nauseating crap that drivel such as 7th Heaven and Touched By An Angel has inflicted on us mere mortals for years and is set to give us a more obscure and introspective look at what happens when we meet our maker and how death affects everyone around. Praise indeed. This show is a breath of fresh air.



  • Drama at the morgue

    10
    This is easily one of the best pilot’s (if not the best) that I have ever seen.

    The whole episode was fantastically well written and filled with superb performances from all the great castings.

    The episode is mainly about a man that dies, his whole family falls apart and goes into a screwed up place where they cannot get out.

    One of them is a redhead called Claire, she’s a young girl that seems to be depressed and hates life. She also uses drugs for the first time and completely screws her up.

    David is her older brother, he is a closeted homosexual that has an affair with a cop behind his family’s back. He’s also a control freak and he wants to be the one that doesn’t fall apart but he ends up crying in his lover’s arms.

    The mother of them is called Ruth, she was having an affair with another man and now thinks she’s a wh*re. This woman gives fantastic performances and does a great job throughout.

    And then we have the older brother called Nate, he meets a woman at the airport and they have sex. After that she keeps calling him and seems to like him. Her family is filled with lunatics with a depressed brother.

    The whole episode was so well done, the hilarious commercials and the dramatic acting.
    Also the father watching upon them gives it a creep factor.

    All I can say is that it’s one of the best pilot’s, it went precisely into all the characters and showed where they stood for.
    There was nothing negative about this episode, well maybe those overly-dramatic outbursts here and there but they give the episode sort of an extra punch.

  • The Fishers own and run a funeral home, but how will they cope with a death of their own when the father Nathaniel Fisher is killed...?

    10
    This show didn't grab me instantly the first time I watched it, taking a while into the first series before I grew to love it. But watching this episode again, I'm surprised it didn't suck me in sooner. Pure and simple, it's the finest pilot for a show I've ever watched, brilliantly setting up the characters I came to know and love with great acting and some killer lines of dialogue. The mini adverts for funeral products (which wouldn't carry on to the rest of the series) are a real treat, and of course there's the bizarre flights into the characters' imaginations which we've come to know, love, expect, but always be surprised by.

    Great stuff.
  • Pilot episode

    10
    Of course now that the show has gone off the air, I finally get on the bandwagon. I've caught the fever of going to Blockbuster to catch up on TV shows now on DVD, and this week, I've picked Six Feet Under. So now I can go and read the reviews of each episode as I make it through this dismal drama about a family of undertakers, and I must admit, the pilot did grab me, now I'm on to Episode 2, and may just keep my Blockbuster habit going with this show, as I've got five seasons to blast through. My only disappointment with the show so far is finding out that the funeral home supply commercials ended after the pilot. I thought they added a hilarious spin to the otherwise dreary subject matter, and was sad to not see them in Episode 2 and evidently never to see them again. So okay, they were just a feature of the pilot, I must move on, it's not going to make me stop watching the show. But if the producers had asked my opinion six years ago or whenever the show began, I woulda said to stick with the commercials. I liked them.
  • Great Pilot!

    8.7
    From this pilot episode, Six feet under seems to be a really amazing show. The weird family we meet let you think that a lot of funny and great things will happen in the future. Characters are outlined in a very interesting way, and the idea you immediately have about them is that they will disclose secrets and interesting facts about their life. The hilarious thing, that I'm sure will lead to big laughs, is the family company, funeral business. What comes out from it is a sort of dark humour that may confuse you in the fisrt place because you don't still know what the show talks really about. Eventually you will love this darkness!
  • Unusual family business...

    8.5
    2 years ago, I decided that I need to start watching this show. But something always stopped me from doing it. However, a few months ago, a good tv.com friend of mine, cavanagh15 made the last final push by recommending me this show.

    So I blindly bought the complete series box set(which by the way is amazing) and gave the pilot a go.

    I'm satisfied. I like the looks of the show, and while the pilot didn't make me as enthusiastic as some other show's pilots, it definitely confirmed it to me that i'm going to love this show.

    I didn't really know much about the show, but still, I totally predicted what would be the plot of the pilot episode. Still, it was surprising, and well executed. The pilot episode is structured in a very regular, traditional way, which may be why it doesn't earn a superb score. But no way was the quality traditional; just the structure.

    Lot of pilot episodes fail because they are too dry... mostly because most shows start with character development, even before we even care about the characters.

    SFU pretty much does the same but the very unique, bizarre atmosphere, and truly interesting characters make it nothing but "dry".

    The two best assets of the show are, obviously, the Fisher "boys", Nate and David. I have hard time deciding who I liked better in this episode, they both proved to be amazing, but I'll go with David for now as I think he has a bit more depth.

    Another great thing is the atmoshpere, as I mentioned it earlier. The fact that the whole show is dealing with death is just really creepy. And the way it does it -- even creepier. While I know this is mainly a drama, even the pilot episode had some laughable moments, and I'm sure there's even more in store for later episodes. Not so much funny, but bizarre. I think that's the right word.

    Other than the episode having the traditional structure I thought there were some minor issues too.

    I don't like Brenda's character at all, she just seems awfully forced... this could change quick, but in the pilot, she seemed like an plot device to make Nate's character a bit more complex, as all she did was make absolutely silly comments about him. I also think Claire was a little overdone in the episode. I know the point was to show grief and really, just a huge range of emotions, but it just felt as if her screentime stole other's screentime. Other, better character's. Though, the fact that she was high when she heard the bad news was a great dramatic device. All considered, this is definitely a show that is true to the HBO standards. Really slow paced, really deep, and has high quality written all over it.

    The acting was superb, especially by Michael C. Hall and Peter Krause. Alan Ball did an impressive job directing, and the writing was good too. 8.5
  • We put the 'fun' back in funeral!

    7.0
    After hearing a lot about this show, I really have to say that this Pilot episode was...dissapointing.

    This was all just a little *too* weird for me. With the the sex on the airport, the very, very strenge reactions from everyone to the death of their dad/husband, the gay-David, the high-Claire, and what more. This episode was stuffed with great writing, but it just didn't really hit me. I could see that it was good ( I mean, who can come up with this? ) but just not interesting enough for me.

    I thought that Claire was very funny :):) Hihi, she was just weird, and her reactions to the drug was just great :P The body-cutter (forgot his naem ) was just brilliant too, with his little son :P Oh yeah, and he's cute ;)

    I kinda liked al the other characters too, but once again they didn't really interest me. Nathan ids cute with Brenda, but his whole story and the reaction to his father's dead was kinda boring. Sorry, but it was for me. Same with the mother. And David is a little too uptight. He's obviously supposed to be just that, but it bothered me a bit.

    It's not like I hated this episode, I really didn't. It's just that my expectations were really high, and this pilot didnt live up to it. It was funny, and well-written and it has some good characters, but it didn't really came out this time. Guess I'll have to see, if it comes out later ;)
  • Pilot

    10
    Every show needs to have a strong pilot episode and Six Feet Under certainly had that when this show debuted for the very first time on H B O. The entire episode was just filled with so much grief and hardship and thats something that reall set Six Feet Under apart from the rest of the shows on Tv. The death of Nate Fisher sends the Fisher family into emotional shock. The oldest son, Nate Jr comes home from seattle to a greiving family whos father has just passed away. The scene at the graveyard is one of the most memorable scences in the entire series. The only thing I could possibly say bad about the episode is that Ruths crying was a little too much to handle at times. It was okay some of the times, but at times it seemed very fake to me. I likes the character introduction and hope they are expanded on in future episode (which I know they will be). The only other thing about the episode was the random commercial style things, but that technique was just a fun thing used for the pilot episode.
  • Pilot episode.

    10
    A superb start to the HBO series, "Six Feet Under." This was one of the best pilots I have ever seen. We got a great feel from all the characters and we got to delve in to the lives of the unusual Fischer family who run a mortuary business.

    We've got some great acting, intriguing characters, and a hell of a premise. Not to mention the brilliant writing. An unusual premise with promise. HBO and other premium channels like Showtime never fail to impress viewers with intriguing and original shows like "Big Love", "United States of Tara", and critically acclaimed: "The Wire"

    This show is no different with this amazing pilot. A lot of dark humor here, which I found myself laughing through, all throughout the episode. A great balance of comedy & drama, as how we can have a mental breakdown from a character, to some funny remark or reference.

    The characters, all of them, I instantly fell in love with, brilliant acting from Michael C. Hall & Lauren Ambrose, it's not a shocker that these actors and this show in general got so many awards. Will tune in for the next episode, we've got something really good here.
  • The pilot episode

    9.0
    When you think of a list of the most dysfunctional families in the history of television and cinema, Alan Ball has made sure that we will not forget the Fisher family. I just got done writing some reviews for Arrested Development, and while these two shows are completely different from each other, they are both shows that establish the traits and quirks of their characters very well in the first episode. By the end of the first hour of "Six Feet Under," I feel like every member of the Fisher family has a well-explored background, one that leaves plenty of room for growing. Even the father who dies in the opening minutes has plenty of scenes!

    Perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself. The show itself seems to focus on the Fisher family, a family that owns and runs a funeral parlor. The story begins when the father, in the opening scene shortly after he buys a new hearse for the company, is rund own by a bus and killed. Him and his wife (the two characters are played by Richard Jenkins and Frances Conroy respectively) have three kids: Nate (Peter Krause, isolated from the family), David (Michael C. Hall in his first big pre-Dexter role) and Claire (Lauren Ambrose). The pilot episode is all about the family preparing to say goodbye to their father/husband and learn how to move on.

    Death circles the entire episode and the show itself, and Alan Ball does a great job of tying it into the writing. And I have to say, Alan Ball does a good job here in creating a voice for each character. It's nice when you can watch a show and have the character's interactions with each other seem fresh and familiar, even if we've never seen them to talk with each other before. And the acting? Superb. Every actor does a great job here, and despite me not being well-versed in the show, I can already tell we're going to get some great scenes from these actors. I mean, whether it's Peter Krause freaking out at his father's funeral, Michael C. Hall trying to hide from everyone that he's gay Frances Conroy's Ruth admitting her infidelities or Claire Fisher freaking out in a grocery store, it seems like each and every one of these characters is well-written, as if Alan Ball knows exactly where he wants these people to go from Point A to Point B.

    Much like "American Beauty," the pilot episode does a great job of luring us into a difficult situation and using dark humor, good writing and good acting to keep us lured in.
  • A fantastic opening to a new series. Funny, dramatic and raw.

    8.6
    When I first saw this episode, I was suprised by how great it was. It was a fantastic mixture of humour and drama - and each Fishers' different reaction to Nathaniel's death was brilliantly handled by all characters.

    The acting was some of the best I have ever seen on TV. I love how the episode didn't make you comfortable, but you actually felt like you were there. I found the mother Fisher, Ruth, freakishly weird. It was amusing and disturbing at the same time. A character that particularly got under my skin, and still does 6 episodes later, was David. Something about him irritates me. I'm still a little undecided about Nate. But my favourite character would probably have to be Claire. I thought she was hilarious, and I can probably relate to her the most out of all of them, being a teenager and the youngest in my family.

    Anyway, a fantastic show opener. Well worth checking out if you are into dark comedys. =)
  • Not bad

    8.0
    Despite all the hype I've heard about this show the pilot didn't blow me away. It was good, establishing the characters, the tone of the family, etc. but nothing stood out to me too much. I got a feel for all of the characters' personalities which I guess what is most important. Hoping it will pick up and amaze me as much as the last show I watched did!
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