i guess i've always been a little bit of a sucker for serialized drama on television. ever since i've been interested in human behavior and the complexity of relationships, i've enjoyed watching these very things unfold on television, starting as early as "beverly hills 90210" when i was in junior high, up to "my so-called life" in high school. obviously these shows weren't that deep or complicated, and most of the issues were usually pretty wrapped up by the end of the 42-minute episode. but at the time, i could relate to them, and they fed my burgeoning brain the things i think it needed.
lately in my life i've been completely obsessed with "sex and the city." though it definitely has its problems, and there are things about the show i don't care for, i think it's really smart, i like the characters, but more than anything else, i think it's fascinating to watch relationships grow and/or fall apart in more or less real time. having a TV show go on over a span of years enables the writers (if they're any good) to reveal characters slowly to you, to have them be very contradictory, or really surprise you in some way, just like people in real life do. it can reveal the little, minute things that people do or don't do over long periods of time that can make or break relationships. slights that people can hold, or the ways in which someone can harbor something internally for years and have it never reveal itself until one telling moment that it does. i think it's fascinating.
this past weekend i discovered and started watching "six feet under." i can certifiably say i think it's the smartest, most complicated, most painful show that's ever existed. or, at the very least, that i've ever seen. every character is deeply damaged in some way and they're all struggling to just connect with the people in their lives on some kind of true level. they may not know that's what they're doing, or they may fight it, but even more than being a show about death and grieving (which it is), it's a show about lonliness, isolation and pain. it's about trying to stop being afraid of your internal life, and your emotions, and learning to live your life in an open, honest, and fulfilling way. and it isn't easy for any of these characters, all of whom are great. admittedly, it's a bit over the top at times, but that's just kind of the nature of the beast.
and a friend of mine who also watches it told me yesterday that David, the gay brother, reminds her a lot of me, actually, which i guess i'll take as a compliment. he's 31, totally out of touch with himself, angry, lonely, sad, and resentful of the decisions that he's made, but he's also incredibly sweet, endearing, smart, sensitive, and desperately trying to figure out who he is after living his life for other people for 3 decades. and i'm only mid-way through the second season. my friend says he gets a lot more interesting and complicated and weird as time goes on. i'm so excited to see it!