A queer undertaking: anxiety and reparation in the HBO television drama series 'Six Feet Under'

Munt, Sally R (2006) A queer undertaking: anxiety and reparation in the HBO television drama series 'Six Feet Under'. Feminist Media Studies, 6 (3). pp. 263-279. ISSN 1468-0777

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Abstract

The USA television drama Six Feet Under ended after five successful seasons, in 2005. Created by Alan Ball, who also wrote and directed many of the subsequent episodes, the aesthetic of Six Feet Under manages to combine camp, dark humour with a contrasting tragic seriousness concerned with negotiating an ethics of love and death. This humour is manifested through the surreal content, for example in the bizarre and witty modes of death in the opening scene of each episode; the mischievously gothic representation of corpses and body parts; sentimentalism; musical and hallucinatory cameos; talking ghosts and sixpenny crooners; gruesome satire around death and the death industry; and an affectionately ironic melodrama. Six Feet Under has inscribed a gay aesthetic; this has much to do with its production context, with the programmes writers, producers, and directors. It is infused with the American experience of AIDS and death upon the gay aesthetic in the late twentieth century. Six Feet Under also deals with class in a complicated fashion—one might risk saying it has an uncanny, or queer rendition of class positions and relations.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Depositing User: Sally Munt
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:38
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2012 11:54
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/21611
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