Six Feet Under is an multi-award winning HBO program about a family-run funeral home from 2001 - 2005.
Six Feet Under begins on Christmas eve of 2000, when Nathaniel Fisher Sr gets killed in an car accident when his hearse is hit by a bus as he tries to light a cigarette. The moral? Smoking kills quicker than you think. This has an adverse affect on the family as they all have to deal with possibly the most depressing Christmas day ever (not really seen on screen, but it probably sucked.)
The show follows the dysfunctional family over the course of approximately five years, where we see how they run the funeral home. The show has a recurring theme where the main characters are able to talk to the dead (whether they're ghosts or just their subconscious manifesting itself in the corpses form is up to you, most tend to go with the latter). It makes for some depressing talks when your best friends are dead.
The family goes through some seriously fucked up shit over the course of five years that would scar most people. And there are upwards of one-hundred on screen deaths throughout the series, which is kind of awesome for a drama and not a shoot-em-up action.
An accurate representation of the Fisher's outlook on life.
Black = sadness
The cast of the show may consists mostly of the Fishers, with a few others who do not share the last name.
Nate Fisher Jr.: An assistant manager of a Seattle food co-op. Comes back to L.A. for Christmas to a dead father and the burden of part ownership of the funeral home, the very thing he tried to escape. Claims to have had a threesome at some point in his life, which is two more vaginas than you or I will ever see. Portrayed by Peter Krause, who recently starred in the short-lived Dirty Sexy Money, with considerable less swearing on his part.
David Fisher: The younger son of Nathaniel who works at the Fisher and Sons funeral home prior to the beginning of the series. He's a closeted homosexual and has to fuck his boyfriend Keith in private... In fact, that's not too weird. Most people fuck in private. Currently playing Dexter Morgan in the popular Showtime series, uh Dexter. David is nothing like Dexter.
Incapable of Murder.
Ruth Fisher: Neurotic, depressing and horny mother of the Fisher family. Sleeps with more men throughout this series than Brenda (who you will read about). Portrayed by Frances Conroy.
Claire Fisher: The angsty, teenage high school girl. She does a lot of drugs (including but not limited to cocaine, pot, MDMA, mushrooms), and sleeps with / dates some of the worst guys in L.A. you could possibly fuck. She also goes through an experimental lesbian phase, and sleeps with a girl, meaning she's also seen more vagina than you or I have. She's played by Lauren Ambrose, who recently did voice work in Where the Wild Things Are.
Keith Charles: David's big-black-cop-boyfriend throughout the series. Despite having arms the size of treetrunks and the ability to destroy anyone in his path, he puts on quite a convincing gay man. He's played by Mathew St. Patrick.
Brenda Chenowith: One of the most psychologically disturbed characters without going all serial killer ever. She reportedly has an IQ of approximately eleventy-bajillion and is a sex addict. She meets Nate and has sex with him in the Los Angeles Airport about eighteen seconds after meeting him. This sparks a relationship, and is how every couple should meet. She's played by Rachel Griffiths, who currently stars in Brothers And Sisters. Oh and she's Australian in real life.
Federico Diaz: Is the sole employee of the Fishers, who works at the funeral home. He's a family man, but desperately wants to gain some sort of control over the home. He's got a pregnant wife (in the first season... pregnancies usually end in a child) and a child (who is never seen in the womb). He's portrayed by Freddy Rodriguez, and more recently starred in Grindhouse: Planet Terror and a couple episodes of Ugly Betty.
Each summary contains spoilers, so watch yoself.
This season begins on Christmas eve of 2000 as Nathaniel Fisher drives his hearse to meet Nate Jr at the airport, but is killed when a bus T-bones his car while he's lighting a cigarette. The moral? Don't smoke, it kills faster than you think. The season focuses on the family dealing with his death, as well as issues like David's closeted homosexuality and relationship issues resulting in him and Keith breaking up, Ruth's sleeping with a couple different guys, and Nate having to work at the funeral home. Brenda is revealed to have a fucked up family, including a brother named Billy who has pretty severe bipolar disorder. Claire deals with some relationship issues as well (it's a recurring theme) and Rico's worried about his unborn baby. Oh and the over-arching plot of Kroehner Death Care seriously trying to fuck up the Fishers' shit begins.
After Nate and Brenda get in a car accident, Nate discovers he has AVM (which is an abbreviation for a long scientifical term meaning "Brain Problem"). David's out of the closet and everyone pretty much accepts it, and he and Keith get back together. Claire sleeps with some new people and does new drugs, someone accidently takes acid with hilarious results, and Nate accidently knocks up an old friend named Lisa in Seattle while still dating Brenda. Brenda also does her own out-of-relationship-fucking (sex addict, remember?). They break up in one of the most realistic fight scenes ever (like, word fight, not fist fight, but it probably would have been equally awesome). And the season ends with Nate going in for brain surgery, and boarding a metaphorical bus (DEATH!?!... No he's ok). The funeral home ends up prevailing and Kroehner goes out of business (pwn'd).
Nate is revealed to have survived his AVM surgery, and married Lisa and had a daughter named Maya (yeah, there's quite a gap between season two and three). The family goes through some more shitty experiences and Lisa ends up going missing later in the season, and Brenda comes back into Nate's life. Claire begins college at an arts school and meets some other fucked up people, including her hilarious art professor Olivier (who sleeps with the most people, boys and girls!) Lisa turns up dead in the ocean at the end of the season, and Nate deals with this by going and getting the living shit beaten out of him before showing up at Brenda's door.
The family deals with Lisa's death, including the gut-wrenching burial scene (can't put it into words, you just gotta see this shit). David goes through some uber traumatic experience when he's kidnapped, beaten, forced to smoke crack, and covered in gasoline by some dude named Jake. It seriously fucks with David's head, and he goes through some post-traumatic-stress disorder (I don't know why, this seems to happen to me every second week). Nate eventually finds out their may have been some foul play involved in Lisa's death, and witnesses the possible foul-player blow his brains out all over the wall. This inspires him and Brenda to get married and have a baby.
As a Six Feet Under plot is wont to be, this season is pretty depressing. Brenda goes through a miscarriage, and the family goes through its most fucked up shit yet (someone close to them dies) making it the worst half-a-decade anyone's had since World War II. The series closes with a scene that even Charles Manson would deem tear-worthy.