August 13, 2004

“Six Feet Under,” Observed

"Controversial" book critic Dale Peck has an absolutely dynamite piece in the New York Observer about Alan Ball, who both wrote “American Beauty” and created “Six Feet Under.” In it, Peck enumerates the flaws in the watchable-but-questionable film, and discusses how the HBO show has started to take on many of them. Then there’s this great observation:

“The project that followed ‘American Beauty,’ the HBO series ‘Six Feet Under,’ is essentially a character-by-character recreation of the movie’s key players. Its family is composed of figures culled from the three households in ‘American Beauty’: Allison Janney’s automaton housewife reappears in Frances Conroy’s Ruth Fisher; Kevin Spacey’s selfishly distant father shows up in Richard Jenkin’s Nathaniel Fisher; Wes Bentley’s drifter ’n’ dreamer has grown up to become Peter Krause’s Nate Fisher Jr.; Thora Birch’s ironic-but-wants-to-be-earnest teenager is the mirror image of Lauren Ambrose’s Claire Fisher; and the two Jims have moved into the main house in the form of Michael C. Hall’s David Fisher. Mr. Ball’s beloved plastic bag is back, too, this time filled by an endless series of corpses.”

Exactly. Peck is generally known for his savagely mean book reviews in the Observer and elsewhere, but this is pure genius.

Posted by Stephen Silver at August 13, 2004 12:06 AM
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