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scola

As an aside -- watching that Nirvana scene, when Nate said something along the lines of that Kurt Cobain "was just too pure for this world," I snickered. A few seconds passed and then I thought "hey, maybe he's onto something." That, for me, was one thing that SFU meant -- letting down my guard enough to consider the madness and wonderfulness that is life. It was a rockin' good show.

tn

Not that you wrote this, but howcome everybody thinks that all TV shows get worse in the later seasons? I've heard that about 6 Feet, but I totally do not agree. That show was hard to get into at first (David's character was very annoying - just as annoying as the old mother was in Sopranos) but the show has just gone mental in the end. I loved it.

seamus

Great comments, and I couldn't agree more with your analysis of the show. Since you don't permit trackbacks, I posted comments here:
http://rangelife.typepad.com/rangelife/2005/08/six_feet_grunge.html

Michael Dietsch

It's a shame that the Salon site pass made me sit through an ad for the DVD collection of Six Feet Under before I could read an article about Six Feet Under.

uncle willy

Insightful and enjoyable comments. But . . . Alan. Not Allen.

Steve Portigal

How did you feel when MASH ended?

Erik Kastner

This is the first show that I really... felt for since the first season and a half of Twin Peaks (an aside: how do you think Twin Peaks would do in today's TV climate?)
I have an ambivalance towards Nate. I didn't hate him, didn't love him - there were flashes of both, but over all it was more... "I know that guy..." I think Claire and Ruth were the best and most complex by far.
I really like your fresh perspective on the points you touched on (post grunge, LA, etc). It has made me look at it in a new light.

I think another (semi) fresh thing that the show used was dead characters as a device to expose the livings' inner thoughts (ex cept for claire finding out that Lisa was dead before everyone else).

I wish there was a way to stay up long enough to watch them all in a row - The evolution was amazing.

Seppo

Stereogum.com posted a couple of MP3s of Sia's Breathe Me, the final song in the final montage that succeeds in turning on the waterworks more than any moment in TV history. Sia Furler hails from Adelaide, Ben Fold's Australian home, and the only place I've ever attended a foam party. Sia is also one of the vocalists contributing to the work of Zero 7, and has done stuff with a lot of the Bristol triphop aristocracy.

michael

this is the first show i've ever watched where i felt so involved in the characters. i've greived and felt happy for these people. their "lives" can greatly affect my mood in my real life for days. i will miss them as well. the thing that i felt made the show so special was the depth of the characters, all of them, even the side characters. they were multi-faceted individuals that i felt all had complex back-stories in the minds of the writers and while the writers did not always reveal the whole backstory of a character, they did not shy away from letting the complexities of the characters shine through in their actions.

Kirsten

I was sobbing when the show went through its final sequence to that beautiful, lilting, haunting music. I will miss these characters with all theri flaws and flights of fancy so much. I will miss the cinematography and circumstance, the sets and the scenarios.

jen

you bring up a fantastic point with the "grunge" factor - i was never into nirvana at all but you make a good point about nate and claire ... i always related to them the most and as being extremely like my friends and myself (persons born between... 77-82 or so?) - all of us trying to eek out a beter place in the world at least for ourselves and people we immediately impact.

6FU has been the only show i've ever watched from start to finish (i think i got hooked just a few episodes into the first season and caught up in those marathon re-runs HBO runs). many people i know cried at the last episode... people who are not known for crying [easily]. ruth finally coming to terms and accepting and offering help to brenda, ruth telling claire she HAS to go to new york (making ruth a much more central character than she ever seemed, i thought)...

bravo.
i must now read the salon article. :)

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I'm a father of three boys, husband of one wife, and author of nine books, host of one television series, and co-founder of three web sites. We split our time between Brooklyn, NY and Marin County, CA. Personal correspondence should go to sbeej68 at gmail dot com. If you're interested in having me speak at an event, drop a line to Wesley Neff at the Leigh Bureau (WesN at Leighbureau dot com.)

My Books

  • Steven Johnson: How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World

    Steven Johnson: How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World
    A history of innovation accompanied by a 6-part TV series on PBS and the BBC, this was the first of my books to crack the top 5 on the NY Times bestseller list. Appropriately for a book that celebrates diverse networks, this was the most collaborative of any of my books. (Available from IndieBound here.)

  • Steven Johnson: Future Perfect: The Case For Progress In A Networked Age

    Steven Johnson: Future Perfect: The Case For Progress In A Networked Age
    My first book-length attempt to organize my writings about emergence and networks into something resembling a political philosophy, which I called Peer Progressivism. (Available from IndieBound here.)

  • : Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

    Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation
    An exploration of environments that lead to breakthrough innovation, in science, technology, business, and the arts. I conceived it as the closing book in a trilogy on innovative thinking, after Ghost Map and Invention. But in a way, it completes an investigation that runs through all the books, and laid the groundwork for How We Got To Now. (Available from IndieBound here.)

  • : The Invention of Air

    The Invention of Air
    The story of the British radical chemist Joseph Priestley, who ended up having a Zelig-like role in the American Revolution. My version of a founding fathers book, and a reminder that most of the Enlightenment was driven by open source ideals. (Available from IndieBound here.)

  • : The Ghost Map

    The Ghost Map
    The story of a terrifying outbreak of cholera in 1854 London 1854 that ended up changing the world. An idea book wrapped around a page-turner. I like to think of it as a sequel to Emergence if Emergence had been a disease thriller. You can see a trailer for the book here. (Available from IndieBound here.)

  • : Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter

    Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter
    The title says it all. This one sparked a slightly insane international conversation about the state of pop culture -- and particularly games. There were more than a few dissenters, but the response was more positive than I had expected. And it got me on The Daily Show, which made it all worthwhile. (Available from IndieBound here.)

  • : Mind Wide Open : Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life

    Mind Wide Open : Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life
    My first best-seller, and the only book I've written in which I appear as a recurring character, subjecting myself to a battery of humiliating brain scans. The last chapter on Freud and the neuroscientific model of the mind is one of my personal favorites. (Available from IndieBound here.)

  • : Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software

    Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software
    The story of bottom-up intelligence, from slime mold to Slashdot. Most of my books sold more copies than this one, but Emergence has influenced the most eclectic mix of fields: political campaigns, web business models, urban planning, the war on terror. (Available from IndieBound here.)

  • : Interface Culture : How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate

    Interface Culture : How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate
    My first. The book I wrote instead of finishing my dissertation, predicting the growing cultural significance of interface and information design. Still relevant, I think. But I haven't read it in a while, so who knows what's in there! (Available from IndieBound here.)

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