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August 30, 2015

You're not welcome, Matt

by Russell Shaw, posted Jun 26th 2005 11:53PM
George SibleyI've just read "Under and Out," TV Guide critic Matt Roush's blast at Six Feet Under. Apparently, he doesn't like the show, largely because there's too much "depression, mental illness and domestic angst."

I've always had great respect for Matt as a critic. Even worked with him more eons ago than I care to reveal. But I think he's got this one wrong.

I think the fascination of the show has much to do with the fact that they can take such subjects as "depression" "mental illness" and "domestic angst," and exaggerate it to the point of view of guerilla theater absurdity.

Dunno about you, but I have seen families where depression, alcoholism, drug use, and suicidal tendencies span multiple generatios. Like, the Sibleys. And the fact that Rush married George Sibley without a clue to the inconstant that raged in his genes - I have seen that close up. Not first hand, but second-hand enough times to know that this stuff happens.

Substance abuse? I know a brilliant, educated woman - a fan of Six Feet Under, incidentally, who has been in and out of detox, jails, and treatment centers for years. And who I haven't heard from in months and who may be back in the clink.

Depression? Yea. Not me, but I once loved a woman for whom Prozac didn't work. She worked her ya-ya's out with fine wine, a series of misbegotten sexual affairs, occasional giggle weed. Kind of like Brenda, ya know?

Domestic angst? Seen it closer than second-hand.

So, when you see these tendencies reflected in story arcs, maybe you don't go "oh, that's depressing." Maybe you go, "ouch, I knew someone who was going through the same exact thing.."

Or, look and the mirror and remember...


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