A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Despite the dark tone of the series, the value of self discovery and the importance of family through thick and thin permeate each episode. Themes include empathy and gratitude.
Positive Role Models
Overall the characters are good, flawed people who go through many ups and downs. Characters often make poor decisions as they learn more about themselves, but each main character has a strong moral center. Realistic gay and biracial relationship. Strong female characters. The complex, sometimes dysfunctional relationships among the characters have led to adultery.
Violence & Scariness
A death opens each episode -- usually of a character outside of the main storyline. These deaths sometimes include blood or violence, but are brief. Rare intense, very scary violence. The practices of preparing a body for burial are sometimes discussed and shown.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Graphic sexual content, nudity, though no genitalia. Non-mainstream sexual practices discussed and shown.
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Swearing (including "f--k" and "s--t") occurs regularly, though not gratuitously.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some alcohol and tobacco use by main characters. Main characters use drugs fairly frequently for recreational purposes. Negative repercussions sometimes occur. Some characters are heavily medicated.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Six Feet Under is a well-executed drama that deals with mature subjects like sex, intimacy, abortion, death, drugs, and violence. Each episode begins with a death, sometimes violently depicted, and later we often see the corpse being prepared for the funeral. Both adult and older teen characters have sex in and out of healthy and/or committed relationships, and though we don't see genitals, scenes are sometimes explicit. Drug use is common and only sometimes portrayed negatively.
Is It Any Good?
Created by Alan Ball, who won an Oscar for writing American Beauty, the show features a stellar group of actors, writers, and directors. Out of this talent pool emerges a series dearly loved by its fans for the depth of its characters, its complex plots, and its impeccable writing.
Though Six Feet Under is of exceptionally high quality, its mature themes make it inappropriate for younger viewers. Older teens may enjoy the series, though parents may want to preview episodes before deciding if they feel comfortable with the content. What's refreshing about the adult elements -- sex, drug use, etc. -- is the lack of the glamour and gloss that accompany these subjects in so many other TV shows and films. It all seems very real and very human, for better or worse.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.