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Calling that old friend and having a long, deep conversation.
Finding that quilt in the back of the closet that your grandmother made for you when you were born, and wrapping yourself up in it.
Going back to the house you were born in and walking through the front door, instantly being flooded by the sights, sounds, and smells of your childhood.
Nostalgia, a deep sense of being known, and love.
These are the emotions that come over me, since I have recently started watching Six Feet Under again. I have started at the beginning, and am watching every episode. They are familiar, and the characters are so well written and acted, that I feel like I have come home in watching them.
This series came along in some very formative years in my life. The show premiered when I was 21 and ended when I was 25. For me that spanned the last year of undergrad, into adulthood. Or at least what I thought was adulthood. As Nate proves to us, 25 can be FAR from being an adult, as he was 34 and would not quite fit the standard of what society calls a well functioning adult. However that is part of the shows beauty to me. Alan Ball created characters that questioned all of society and normative thinking. He raised questions that made us rethink Homosexuality, White Privilege, and what it means to be an adult.
For me as a young black gay man the show had a huge impact, as it was the first time I saw a gay couple onscreen that was, (for the most part) healthy both mentally and physically and gainfully employed.
David and Keith
One of them was not dying of AIDS and one of them actually LOOKED LIKE ME. Well not really, but you get the point. He was a brown brother ok? The fact Keith addressed the objectification of black men in white gay culture in the pilot also blew me away when I was 21.
I have blogged before about how important it is for your psyche to see yourself in media. Seeing a strong black male, be in a healthy gay relationship, and also have a strong sense of faith was really groundbreaking on television, and I think Alan Ball can take some of the credit for the changing attitudes regarding marriage equality in this country. These portrayals stick in our subconscious and can change hearts and minds. Media has power.That is why proper representation of LGBTQ POC is so imperative.
I do not know how I forgot how incredible and tightly written the show was. It is a joy to revisit, and I see new details with every moment. It is easy to forget how groundbreaking something was, when everything that follows tries to imitate it. This can happen so much, that going back to the original source can seem familiar sometimes. This is not the case with Six Feet Under. The show holds up extremely well. It goes places no show had gone before and few have since. It is often imitated but indeed has never been duplicated.
I am very happy to be six feet under again.