Six Feet Under

Six Feet Under was a critically acclaimed and popular television drama produced by HBO. It first aired on June 3, 2001 and concluded its fifth and final season run in the USA on August 21, 2005.

Overview

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

The show, created by Alan Ball, stars Peter Krause as Nathaniel ("Nate") Fisher, Jr., the son of a funeral director who reluctantly becomes a partner in the family funeral business with his brother David, played by Michael C. Hall. The Fisher clan also includes mother Ruth (Frances Conroy) and sister Claire (Lauren Ambrose). Other regulars include mortician and family friend Federico Diaz (Freddy Rodriguez), Nate's longtime girlfriend and eventual wife Brenda Chenowith (Rachel Griffiths), and David's boyfriend and eventual husband Keith Charles (Mathew St. Patrick).

The show revolves around the world of Fisher & Diaz Funeral Home, a fictitious mortuary set in present day Los Angeles, California (2000–2005).

On one level, the show is a conventional family drama, dealing with such issues as relationships, infidelity, homosexuality, and religion. At the same time, it is a show that is distinguished by its unblinking focus on the topic of death, which it explores on multiple levels (personal, religious, and philosophical), rather than treating it as a convenient impetus for the solution of a murder. Each episode begins with a death—anything from drowning or heart attack to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome—and that death usually sets the tone for each episode, allowing the characters to reflect on their current fortunes and misfortunes in a way that is illuminated by the death and its aftermath. In Season 5, the episode All Alone was the first ever to open without a death, focusing instead on a death revealed at the end of the previous episode. The only other episode that did not feature an opening death scene was the series finale, Everyone's Waiting, which instead began with a birth, and ended with the future death scenes of all of the main characters.

A recurring plot device consists in a character having an imaginary conversation with the person who died at the beginning of the episode. Sometimes, the conversation is with other recurring dead characters, notably Nathaniel Fisher Sr., and, more recently, Nate's late wife Lisa. They represent the living character's internal dialogue by exposing it as an external conversation. In the later seasons, another device is also used where a real conversation between two living characters slips into the imaginary and becomes unrealistic. The shift cannot be clearly distinguished from the normal flow of the scene until an abrupt cut brings us slightly back in time and reveals the imaginary nature of the past moment.

The Fisher family in an earlier season.

In November 2004, series creator and executive producer Alan Ball announced that the fifth season would be the show's last. The producers and writers felt that after 63 episodes they had told their "story". The series concluded after five seasons, with the finale airing on August 21, 2005.

Setting

The Fisher & Sons Funeral Home in 2001.

Six Feet Under, being a show about death, is also a show about time; each episode is set in a particular month in a "contemporary universe" that spans the period from 2000–2005. Nathaniel Fisher, Sr. (played by Richard Jenkins) dies in the pilot, which begins on December 24, 2000. The next episode is set on January 8, 2001 [1]. Some of the deaths in the series have occurred in other periods, such as the 1970s and the 1950s; in these cases, the story is brought up to date so that the plot revolves around the ramifications of the death, rather than the death itself.

The show devotes considerable attention to continuity. Sometimes six months passes between each episode; on other occasions, a day. In all cases, the story carries on from where it left off in the previous episode.

Cast & Characters

List of episodes

  • List of Six Feet Under episodes

Guest Starring roles

Six Feet Under has had several guest star appearances by Hollywood actors either portraying themselves or playing a character on the series.

Celebrity cameos

  • Leeza Gibbons (Episode 22, Someone Else's Eyes)
  • Ellen DeGeneres (Episode 42, Parallel Play)
  • Nicole Richie (Episode 51, Untitled)
  • Chris Harrison (Episode 52, A Coat of White Primer)
  • Susie Bright (Episode 57, The Rainbow of Her Reasons)

Recurring cast

  • Brenna and Bronwyn Tosh - Maya Fisher (37 episodes)
  • Jeremy Sisto - Billy Chenowith (29 episodes)
  • Lili Taylor - Lisa Kimmel Fisher (23 episodes)
  • Ben Foster - Russell Corwin (22 episodes)
  • Joanna Cassidy - Margaret Chenowith (20 episodes)
  • Richard Jenkins - Nathaniel Fisher (20 episodes)
  • Ed O'Ross - Nikolai (18 episodes)
  • Peter Macdissi - Olivier Castro-Staal (15 episodes)
  • Rainn Wilson - Arthur Martin (13 episodes)
  • Tina Holmes - Maggie Sibley (13 episodes)
  • Sprague Grayden - Anita Miller (12 episodes)
  • Kathy Bates - Bettina (10 episodes)
  • Peter Facinelli - Jimmy (9 episodes)
  • Garrison Hershberger - Matthew Gilardi (8 episodes)
  • Melissa Marsala - Angelica Suarez (8 episodes)
  • Justin Theroux - Joe (8 episodes)
  • Idalis DeLeon - Sophia Morales (8 episodes)
  • Ed Begley, Jr. - Hiram Gunderson (8 episodes)
  • Mena Suvari - Edie (7 episodes)
  • Robert Foxworth - Dr. Bernard Chenowith (6 episodes)
  • Julie Dretzin - Barb Woodworth (6 episodes)
  • Jeff Yagher - Hoyt Woodworth (6 episodes)
  • Kellie Waymire - Melissa (6 episodes)
  • Patricia Clarkson - Sarah O'Connor (6 episodes)
  • Anne Ramsay - Jackie Feldman (6 episodes)
  • Chris Messina - Ted Fairwell (6 episodes)
  • Matt Malloy - Roger Pasquese (6 episodes)
  • Steffani Brass - Michaela Woodworth (5 episodes)
  • Catherine O'Hara - Carol Ward (4 episodes)
  • Ricardo Antonio Chavira - Ramon Diaz (4 episodes)
  • Michelle Trachtenberg - Celeste (4 episodes)
  • Julie White- Mitzi Dalton-Huntley (4 episodes)
  • Janice Lynde - Woman In Turquoise/Mrs. Loretta Sibley (3 episodes)
  • Bobby Cannavale - Javier (3 episodes)
  • Jenna Fischer - Sharon Kinney (2 episodes)
  • Illeana Douglas - Angela (2 episodes)
  • Lee Garlington - Fiona Kleinschmidt (2 episodes)
  • Harriet Sansom Harris - Catherine Collins (2 episodes)
  • Molly Parker - Rabbi Ari Hoffman (2 episodes)

Promotionals

Promotional for the 2005 season, which features Claire driving her trademark lime green hearse into the sunset.

As Six Feet Under gradually became a topic in pop culture after Season 1, HBO came up with very stylish promotional ads to promote the anticipation of upcoming seasons. The promos often depicted the mood that may have occurred in previous episodes or foretold future scenarios. Music, according to creator Alan Ball, plays an integral role in the life of Six Feet Under, as it depicts the mood of the Fishers.

The following songs were played during the teaser trailers for the seasons following Season 1:

  • Season 2: Heaven by Lamb [2]
  • Season 3: A Rush of Blood to the Head by Coldplay [3]
  • Season 4: Feeling Good by Nina Simone [4]
  • Season 5: Breathe Me by Sia Furler [5]

Episode Recaps

  • Trailers for upcoming episodes feature the Six Feet Under theme. Seasons 1 & 5 feature the original version of the song while Seasons 2, 3, 4 feature the Rae & Christian remix.
  • The song played during each episode recap is a 1995 single titled: Nothing Lies Still Long by Pell Mell.

Soundtracks

Two soundtrack albums, featuring music that had appeared in the series, were released:

  • Six Feet Under, 2002
  • Six Feet Under, Vol. 2: Everything Ends, 2005

Scheduling Changes

In March 2005, HBO announced that the final season of Six Feet Under would be moved to Monday evenings starting June 6. The reason being to add an additional night of programming to the HBO lineup for their upcoming summer season which included Entourage and The Comeback. Much to the chagrin of loyal viewers since every episode prior had aired on a Sunday, it would be foolish to move the series during its final season. The Monday night experiment ultimately failed due to decreased ratings and complaints. Six Feet Under returned to its old timeslot on July 10, 2005 after having been in the new timeslot for only five episodes.

Timeframe

The following is a timeframe which features the year the particular episode is set in. Not to be confused with the actual year the episode originally aired.

  • Season 1: 2000 (pilot), 2001 (12 episodes)
  • Season 2: 2001 (8 episodes), 2002 (5 episodes)
  • Season 3: 2002 (1 episode), 2003 (12 episodes)
  • Season 4: 2003,(4 episodes), 2004 (8 episodes)
  • Season 5: 2004 (2 episodes), 2005 (10 episodes)

Trivia

  • Alan Ball conceived the premise to create the show after the death of his sister and father. HBO entertainment president, Carolyn Strauss proposed the idea to Ball.
  • The Fisher & Diaz Funeral Home is located at 2302 West 25th St. in the West Adams section of Los Angeles, the actual location of The Filipino Federation of America.
  • Alan Ball considers Los Angeles the world capital of the denial of death.
  • Rachel Griffiths (Brenda Chenowith Fisher) has a strong Australian accent in real life.
  • The pilot episode features several spoof commercials for funeral homes and products. This was intended to be a recurring feature throughout the series but was dropped after the first episode.
  • Peter Krause (Nate Fisher), Michael C. Hall (David Fisher), Frances Conroy (Ruth Fisher) and Lauren Ambrose (Claire Fisher) appeared in all 63 of the series' episodes.
    • Rachel Griffiths (Brenda Chenowith Fisher) did not appear in four episodes of Season 3 due to her 2002 pregnancy.
    • Mathew St. Patrick (Keith Charles) did not appear in three episodes of the series due to his Season 1 story arc.
    • Freddy Rodriguez (Federico Diaz) appeared in 62 episodes, missing one episode 1.09 "Life's Too Short" due to Federico's storyline.
  • Alan Ball had 13 days to shoot the pilot.
  • HBO renewed the series for a second season a week after the pilot aired.
  • Kathy Bates who was a director during the first three seasons went on to pursue a recurring role on the series as Ruth's friend, Bettina.
  • Freddy Rodriguez (Federico Diaz) had a recurring role on Alan Ball's ABC series, Oh, Grow Up! which aired in 1999, two years prior to Six Feet Under. The show was cancelled after 11 episodes.
  • Rachel Griffiths' (Brenda Chenowith Fisher) second pregnancy in 2004 was written into the show.
  • Caskets for the show are made by ABC Caskets in Los Angeles.
  • Each Fisher sibling has lived in the Fisher coach house during the duration of the series. David in the first two seasons. Nate and Lisa during the third season and Claire in the fourth and fifth seasons.
  • Frances Conroy (Ruth Fisher) is only 12 years older than Peter Krause (Nate Fisher), despite playing his mother.
  • Only two episodes of the series have been co-written: Episode 30, Nobody Sleeps and Episode 49, The Black Forest, which is very odd for a series since many writers on other shows are paired up into writing teams.
  • The series converted to HDTV (16:9 widescreen) during the third season (2003).
  • Justina Machado (Vanessa Diaz) became a series regular in 2005 after being in a guest starring role since Episode 2 of the series.
  • Tina Holmes (Maggie Sibley) originally auditioned for the minor role of "Marci", Bettina's daughter in The Black Forest. Holmes did not get the job but was called back to read for George's daughter, Maggie.
  • Every episode written by writer and cartoonist, Bruce Eric Kaplan begins with the word "The" in the episode's title, e.g. The Foot, The Dare.
  • Freddy Rodriguez (Federico Diaz), Lauren Ambrose (Claire Fisher), Peter Facinelli (Jimmy) and Eric Balfour (Gabriel Dimas) were all in the 1998 movie, Can't Hardly Wait.
  • Amy Spanger who played Holly Duncan, (the death of the week's sister) in Static is the wife of Michael C. Hall (David Fisher) in real life.
  • The series finale, Everyone's Waiting is the longest episode of the series clocking in at 75 minutes.

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Not to be confused with the actual year the episode originally aired. This is comparable to the Old English poem The Dream of the Rood. The following is a timeframe which features the year the particular episode is set in. Some churches use the same stripped Christmas tree as a Christian cross at Easter. Six Feet Under returned to its old timeslot on July 10, 2005 after having been in the new timeslot for only five episodes. Such individuals and Christian denominations are unlikely to celebrate Christmas at all, for the same reason, such as the United Church of God. The Monday night experiment ultimately failed due to decreased ratings and complaints. Some Christians, again a minority, feel that since "Christmas Trees" are not biblically ordained, they should not be used.

Much to the chagrin of loyal viewers since every episode prior had aired on a Sunday, it would be foolish to move the series during its final season. The only consistancies with Christmas tree customs seem to be that both are made of wood and both are decorated. The reason being to add an additional night of programming to the HBO lineup for their upcoming summer season which included Entourage and The Comeback. They would also carry it from place to place as an object to be feared and worshipped. In March 2005, HBO announced that the final season of Six Feet Under would be moved to Monday evenings starting June 6. A full study of the passage shows that the people would cut down a tree and work it with a chisel to engrave an image in it. Two soundtrack albums, featuring music that had appeared in the series, were released:. In other English translations of the Bible the verses more explicitly refer to the practice of making idols to be worshipped:.

The following songs were played during the teaser trailers for the seasons following Season 1:. Interpreting those verses as a ban on Christmas trees may be more common among individuals and Christian denominations that are part of the King-James-Only Movement. Music, according to creator Alan Ball, plays an integral role in the life of Six Feet Under, as it depicts the mood of the Fishers. Some Christians, albeit a minority, feel that the practice of having "Christmas Trees" is prohibited by the Book of Jeremiah 10:1-5 which says,. The promos often depicted the mood that may have occurred in previous episodes or foretold future scenarios. A recent campaign spearheaded by conservative Fox News Channel contributors Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity has resulted in a backlash from some Christian groups and individuals who feel the designation "holiday tree" is part of an alleged war on Christmas. As Six Feet Under gradually became a topic in pop culture after Season 1, HBO came up with very stylish promotional ads to promote the anticipation of upcoming seasons. The term holiday tree has, since at least 1990 (and perhaps before), been used by some in the United States, Canada and the UK to reflect the winter holiday season instead of any specific religious holiday.

Six Feet Under has had several guest star appearances by Hollywood actors either portraying themselves or playing a character on the series. The term comes from the appearance of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree in the TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas. In all cases, the story carries on from where it left off in the previous episode. Some tree buyers intentionally adopt such trees, feeling sympathetic to their plights. Sometimes six months passes between each episode; on other occasions, a day. The term Charlie Brown Christmas tree can be used to described any sad-looking, malformed little tree. The show devotes considerable attention to continuity. President Jimmy Carter only lit the crowning star atop the Tree in 1979 in honor of the Americans being held hostage in Iran; in 1980, the tree was only fully lit for 417 seconds, one second for each day the hostages had been in captivity.

Some of the deaths in the series have occurred in other periods, such as the 1970s and the 1950s; in these cases, the story is brought up to date so that the plot revolves around the ramifications of the death, rather than the death itself. Today, the lighting of the National Tree is part of what has become a major holiday event at the White House. The next episode is set on January 8, 2001 [1]. The United States' National Christmas Tree is lit each year south of the White House in Washington, D.C. (played by Richard Jenkins) dies in the pilot, which begins on December 24, 2000. In some cases the trees represent special commemorative gifts, such as in Trafalgar Square in London where the City of Oslo presents a tree to the people of London as a token of appreciation for the British support of Norwegian resistance during the Second World War and in Newcastle upon Tyne, where the 15 m tall main civic Christmas tree is an annual gift from the city of Bergen, Norway in thanks for the part played by soldiers from Newcastle in liberating Bergen from Nazi occupation. Nathaniel Fisher, Sr. In some cities festivals are organised around the decoration and display of multiple trees as charity events.

Six Feet Under, being a show about death, is also a show about time; each episode is set in a particular month in a "contemporary universe" that spans the period from 2000–2005. Many cities, towns, and department stores put up public Christmas trees outdoors for everyone to enjoy, such as the Rich's Great Tree in Atlanta, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City and the large Christmas tree at Victoria Square in Adelaide. The series concluded after five seasons, with the finale airing on August 21, 2005. The "First Christmas Tree in America" is also claimed by Easton, Pennsylvania, where German settlers purportedly erected a Christmas tree in 1816. The producers and writers felt that after 63 episodes they had told their "story". Windsor Locks, Connecticut claims that a Hessian soldier put up a Christmas tree in 1777 while imprisoned at the Noden-Reed House, thus making it the home of the first Christmas tree in New England. In November 2004, series creator and executive producer Alan Ball announced that the fifth season would be the show's last. There are several cities in the United States which lay claim to that country's first Christmas tree.

The shift cannot be clearly distinguished from the normal flow of the scene until an abrupt cut brings us slightly back in time and reveals the imaginary nature of the past moment. Such patriotic prints of the British royal family at Christmas celebrations helped popularise the Christmas tree in Britain and among the anglophile American upper class. In the later seasons, another device is also used where a real conversation between two living characters slips into the imaginary and becomes unrealistic. Images of the royal family with their Christmas tree at Osborne House were illustrated in English magazines, initially as a woodcut in the Illustrated London News of December 1848, and copied in the United States at Christmas 1850 (illustration, left). They represent the living character's internal dialogue by exposing it as an external conversation. The generous Prince Albert also presented large numbers of trees to schools and army barracks at Christmas. Sometimes, the conversation is with other recurring dead characters, notably Nathaniel Fisher Sr., and, more recently, Nate's late wife Lisa. In 1847, Prince Albert wrote: "I must now seek in the children an echo of what Ernest [his brother] and I were in the old time, of what we felt and thought; and their delight in the Christmas-trees is not less than ours used to be".

A recurring plot device consists in a character having an imaginary conversation with the person who died at the beginning of the episode. After her marriage to her German cousin, Prince Albert, the custom became even more widespread. The only other episode that did not feature an opening death scene was the series finale, Everyone's Waiting, which instead began with a birth, and ended with the future death scenes of all of the main characters. All the presents being placed round the trees...". In Season 5, the episode All Alone was the first ever to open without a death, focusing instead on a death revealed at the end of the previous episode. Queen Victoria as a child was familiar with the custom, in her journal for Christmas Eve 1832, the delighted 13-year-old Princess wrote: "After dinner...we then went into the drawing-room near the dining-room...There were two large round tables on which were placed two trees hung with lights and sugar ornaments. Each episode begins with a death—anything from drowning or heart attack to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome—and that death usually sets the tone for each episode, allowing the characters to reflect on their current fortunes and misfortunes in a way that is illuminated by the death and its aftermath. In Britain, the Christmas tree was introduced by King George III's German Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, but did not spread much beyond the royal family.

At the same time, it is a show that is distinguished by its unblinking focus on the topic of death, which it explores on multiple levels (personal, religious, and philosophical), rather than treating it as a convenient impetus for the solution of a murder. In France, the first Christmas tree was introduced in 1840 by the duchess of Orleans. On one level, the show is a conventional family drama, dealing with such issues as relationships, infidelity, homosexuality, and religion. Princess Henrietta von Nassau-Weilburg introduced the Christmas tree to Vienna in 1816, and the custom spread across Austria in the following years. The show revolves around the world of Fisher & Diaz Funeral Home, a fictitious mortuary set in present day Los Angeles, California (2000–2005). In the early 19th century, the custom became popular among the nobility and spread to royal courts as far as Russia. Patrick). It was regarded as a Protestant custom by the Catholic majority along the lower Rhine, and was spread there only by Prussian officials who were moved there in the wake of the Congress of Vienna in 1815.

Other regulars include mortician and family friend Federico Diaz (Freddy Rodriguez), Nate's longtime girlfriend and eventual wife Brenda Chenowith (Rachel Griffiths), and David's boyfriend and eventual husband Keith Charles (Mathew St. The Christmas tree remained confined to the upper Rhineland for a relatively long time. The Fisher clan also includes mother Ruth (Frances Conroy) and sister Claire (Lauren Ambrose). Wax candles are attested from the late 18th century. Hall. By the early 18th century, the custom had become common in towns of the upper Rhineland, but it had not yet spread to rural areas. The show, created by Alan Ball, stars Peter Krause as Nathaniel ("Nate") Fisher, Jr., the son of a funeral director who reluctantly becomes a partner in the family funeral business with his brother David, played by Michael C. One Strasbourg priest, Johann Konrad Dannerhauer, complains about the custom as distracting from the word of God.

. During the 17th century, the custom entered family homes. It first aired on June 3, 2001 and concluded its fifth and final season run in the USA on August 21, 2005. The city of Riga, Latvia claims to be home of the first holiday tree, an octagonal plaque in the town square reads "The First New Years Tree in Riga in 1510", in eight different languages. Six Feet Under was a critically acclaimed and popular television drama produced by HBO. Another early reference is from Basel, where the taylor apprentices carried around town a tree decorated with apples and cheese in 1597. The series finale, Everyone's Waiting is the longest episode of the series clocking in at 75 minutes. It can be traced to 16th century Germany; Ingeborg Weber-Keller (Marburg professor of European ethnology) identified as the earliest reference a Bremen guild chronicle of 1570 which reports how a small fir was decorated with apples, nuts, dates, pretzels and paper flowers, and erected in the guild-house, for the benefit of the guild members' children, who collected the dainties on Christmas day.

Hall (David Fisher) in real life. The modern custom, however, although likely related, cannot be proven to be directly descended from pagan tradition. Amy Spanger who played Holly Duncan, (the death of the week's sister) in Static is the wife of Michael C. According to one legend, Saint Boniface attempted to introduce the idea of trinity to the pagan tribes using the cone-shaped evergreen trees because of their triangular appearance. Freddy Rodriguez (Federico Diaz), Lauren Ambrose (Claire Fisher), Peter Facinelli (Jimmy) and Eric Balfour (Gabriel Dimas) were all in the 1998 movie, Can't Hardly Wait. According to Adam of Bremen, in Scandinavia the pagan kings sacrificed nine males of each species at the sacred groves every ninth year. The Foot, The Dare. Among early Germanic tribes the Yule tradition was celebrated by sacrificing male animals and slaves by suspending them on the branches of trees.

Every episode written by writer and cartoonist, Bruce Eric Kaplan begins with the word "The" in the episode's title, e.g. Patron trees (for example, the Irminsul, Thor's Oak and the figurative Yggdrasil) held special significance for the ancient Germanic tribes, appearing throughout historic accounts as sacred symbols and objects. Holmes did not get the job but was called back to read for George's daughter, Maggie. A branch of flowering Glastonbury thorn is still sent annually for the Queen's Christmas table in the United Kingdom. Tina Holmes (Maggie Sibley) originally auditioned for the minor role of "Marci", Bettina's daughter in The Black Forest. Medieval legends, nevertheless, tended to concentrate more on the miraculous "flowering" of trees at Christmas time. Justina Machado (Vanessa Diaz) became a series regular in 2005 after being in a guest starring role since Episode 2 of the series. In Roman mosaics from what is today Tunisia, showing the mythic triumphant return from India of the Greek god of wine and male fertility, Dionysus (dubbed by some modern scholars as a life-death-rebirth deity), the god carries a tapering coniferous tree.

The series converted to HDTV (16:9 widescreen) during the third season (2003). The Christmas tree is often explained as a Christianization of the ancient pagan idea that the evergreen tree represents a celebration of the renewal of life. Only two episodes of the series have been co-written: Episode 30, Nobody Sleeps and Episode 49, The Black Forest, which is very odd for a series since many writers on other shows are paired up into writing teams. After the holidays, dead trees can be put to other uses:. Frances Conroy (Ruth Fisher) is only 12 years older than Peter Krause (Nate Fisher), despite playing his mother. These tips will ensure the tree will stay fresh for several weeks. Nate and Lisa during the third season and Claire in the fourth and fifth seasons. This tradition seems to be limited mostly to the United States.

David in the first two seasons. Flocking can be done with a professional sprayer at a tree lot (or the manufacturer if it is artificial), or at home from a spray can, and either can be rather messy. Each Fisher sibling has lived in the Fisher coach house during the duration of the series. Typically it would be sprayed all over the tree from the sides, which produced a look different from real snow, which settles in clumps atop branches. Caskets for the show are made by ABC Caskets in Los Angeles. In the 1980s some trees were sprayed with fluffy white flocking to simulate snow. Rachel Griffiths' (Brenda Chenowith Fisher) second pregnancy in 2004 was written into the show. A plain mat of fabric or plastic may also be placed under the stand and skirt to protect the floor from scratches or water.

The show was cancelled after 11 episodes. Generally, the difference between a mat and skirt is simply that a mat is placed under the tree stand, while a skirt is placed over it, having a hole in the middle for the trunk, with a slot cut to the outside edge so that it can be placed around the tree (beneath the branches) easily. Freddy Rodriguez (Federico Diaz) had a recurring role on Alan Ball's ABC series, Oh, Grow Up! which aired in 1999, two years prior to Six Feet Under. As Christmas presents arrive, they are generally placed underneath the tree on the tree skirt (depending on tradition, all Christmas gifts, or those too large to be hung on the tree, as in "presents on the tree" of the song "White Christmas"). Kathy Bates who was a director during the first three seasons went on to pursue a recurring role on the series as Ruth's friend, Bettina. A nativity scene, model train, or Christmas village may be placed on the mat or skirt. HBO renewed the series for a second season a week after the pilot aired. What began as ordinary cloth has now often become much more ornate, some having embroidery or being put together like a quilt.

Alan Ball had 13 days to shoot the pilot. Even when dripless candles, electric lights and artificial trees have been used, a skirt is still usually used as a decorative feature: among other things, it hides the tree stand, which may be unsightly but which is an important safety feature of home trees. Freddy Rodriguez (Federico Diaz) appeared in 62 episodes, missing one episode 1.09 "Life's Too Short" due to Federico's storyline. Since candles were used to light trees until electric bulbs came about, a mat (UK) or "skirt" (US) was often placed on the floor below the tree to protect it by catching the dripping candle wax, and also to collect any needles that fall. Patrick (Keith Charles) did not appear in three episodes of the series due to his Season 1 story arc. Many people also decorate outdoor trees with food that birds and other wildlife will enjoy, such as garlands made from unsalted popcorn or cranberries, orange halves, and seed-covered suet cakes. Mathew St. Conversely, trees decorated by professional designers for department stores and other institutions will usually have a "theme"; a set of predominant colours, multiple instances of each type of ornament, and larger decorations that may be more complicated to set up correctly.

Rachel Griffiths (Brenda Chenowith Fisher) did not appear in four episodes of Season 3 due to her 2002 pregnancy. Individuals' decorations vary wildly, typically being an eclectic mix of family traditions and personal tastes; even a small unattractive ornament, if passed down from a parent or grandparent, may come to carry considerable emotional value and be given pride of place on the tree. Hall (David Fisher), Frances Conroy (Ruth Fisher) and Lauren Ambrose (Claire Fisher) appeared in all 63 of the series' episodes.

    . Baubles are another extremely common decoration, and usually consist of a fairly small hollow glass or plastic sphere coated with a thin metallic layer to make them reflective, and then with a further coating of a thin pigmented polymer in order to provide colouration. Peter Krause (Nate Fisher), Michael C. Strands of tinsel may be hung in groups from longer branches to simulate icicles, though this trend has gradually fallen off since the late 1970s. This was intended to be a recurring feature throughout the series but was dropped after the first episode. Lighting with candles or electric lights (fairy lights) is commonly done, and a tree topper completes the ensemble.

    The pilot episode features several spoof commercials for funeral homes and products. Delicate mould-blown and painted coloured glass Christmas ornaments were a specialty of Czech glass factories from the late 19th century, and have since become a large industry, complete with famous-name designers. Rachel Griffiths (Brenda Chenowith Fisher) has a strong Australian accent in real life. Tinsel and several types of garland or ribbon are commonly used to decorate a Christmas tree. Alan Ball considers Los Angeles the world capital of the denial of death. Organically grown Christmas trees are available in some markets, and as with many other crops, are widely held to be better for the environment. in the West Adams section of Los Angeles, the actual location of The Filipino Federation of America. In some cases management of Christmas tree crops can result in poor habitat since it involves heavy input of pesticides and herbicides.

    The Fisher & Diaz Funeral Home is located at 2302 West 25th St. Live trees are typically grown as a crop and replanted in rotation after cutting, often providing suitable habitat for wildlife. HBO entertainment president, Carolyn Strauss proposed the idea to Ball. Real trees also help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere while growing. Alan Ball conceived the premise to create the show after the death of his sister and father. Real trees are used only for a short time, but can be recycled and used as mulch or used to prevent erosion [2]. Season 5: 2004 (2 episodes), 2005 (10 episodes). Artificial trees can be used for many years, but are usually non-recyclable, ending up in landfills.

    Season 4: 2003,(4 episodes), 2004 (8 episodes). Polyethylene trees are less toxic, though more expensive, than PVC trees [1]. Season 3: 2002 (1 episode), 2003 (12 episodes). For instance, the bark of a real tree can be used to surface an artificial trunk. Season 2: 2001 (8 episodes), 2002 (5 episodes). A small amount of real-tree material is used in some artificial trees. Season 1: 2000 (pilot), 2001 (12 episodes). Some trees have a warning that dust or leaves from the tree should not be eaten or inhaled.

    2: Everything Ends, 2005. Artificial trees are usually made out of PVC, a toxic material which is often stabilised with lead. Six Feet Under, Vol. There is some debate as to whether artificial or real trees are better for the environment. Six Feet Under, 2002. Real potted ones are often sold like this, and artificial ones often come with a "root ball" but only sometimes with decorations. The song played during each episode recap is a 1995 single titled: Nothing Lies Still Long by Pell Mell. A long-standing and simple gimmick is conifer seedlings sold with cheap decorations attached by soft pipe cleaners.

    Seasons 1 & 5 feature the original version of the song while Seasons 2, 3, 4 feature the Rae & Christian remix. Past gimmicks include small talking or singing trees, and trees which blow "snow" (actually small styrofoam beads) over themselves, collecting them in a decorative cardboard bin at the bottom and blowing them back up to the top through a tube hidden next to the trunk. Trailers for upcoming episodes feature the Six Feet Under theme. Retailers also claimed that the trees were popular because they allowed larger presents to be placed beneath the trees. Season 5: Breathe Me by Sia Furler [5]. Customers then wanted to replicate the inverted tree. Season 4: Feeling Good by Nina Simone [4]. They were originally sold as decorations for merchants that allowed customers to get closer to ornaments being sold.

    Season 3: A Rush of Blood to the Head by Coldplay [3]. In 2005 inverted trees became popular. Season 2: Heaven by Lamb [2]. Some are instead lit partly or completely by fibre optics, with the light in the base, and a rotating colour wheel causing various colours to shimmer across the tree. Molly Parker - Rabbi Ari Hoffman (2 episodes). Since the late 1990s, many indoor artificial trees come pre-strung with lights. Harriet Sansom Harris - Catherine Collins (2 episodes). Some skyscrapers will tell certain offices to leave their lights on (and others off) at night during December, creating a Christmas tree pattern.

    Lee Garlington - Fiona Kleinschmidt (2 episodes). A few hotels and other buildings, both public and private, will string lights up from the roof to the top of a small tower on top of the building, so that at night it appears as a lit Christmas tree, often using green or other coloured lights. Illeana Douglas - Angela (2 episodes). These lights are usually white, but often are green, red, red/green, blue/white, blue, or multicoloured, and sometimes with a small controller to fade colours back and forth. Jenna Fischer - Sharon Kinney (2 episodes). lawns in the 2000s, along with 1990s spiral ones that hang from a central pole, both styles being lighted with standard miniature lights. Bobby Cannavale - Javier (3 episodes). Outdoor branched trees made out of heavy white-enameled steel wires have become more popular on U.S.

    Loretta Sibley (3 episodes). Other artificial trees which look nothing like a conifer except for the triangular or conical shape, are also used as tabletop decorations, such as a stack of ornaments. Janice Lynde - Woman In Turquoise/Mrs. More recent tinsel trees can be used fairly safely with lights. Julie White- Mitzi Dalton-Huntley (4 episodes). They were instead lit by a spotlight or floodlight, often with a motorised rotating color wheel in front of it. Michelle Trachtenberg - Celeste (4 episodes). They were aluminium-coated paper, meaning that they also posed a great fire hazard if lights were put directly on them (warnings to this effect are still issued with most christmas tree lights).

    Ricardo Antonio Chavira - Ramon Diaz (4 episodes). The first trees which were not green were the metallic trees of the 1950s and 1960s. Catherine O'Hara - Carol Ward (4 episodes). Around 2003, some trees with molded-plastic branches started selling in the U.S.. Steffani Brass - Michaela Woodworth (5 episodes). Better trees also have more branch tips, the number usually listed on the box. Matt Malloy - Roger Pasquese (6 episodes). Most of the better trees have branches hinged to the pole, though the less-expensive ones generally still come separately.

    Chris Messina - Ted Fairwell (6 episodes). Many trees now come in "slim" versions, to fit in smaller spaces. Anne Ramsay - Jackie Feldman (6 episodes). These trees have become a little more realistic every year, with a few deluxe trees containing multiple branch styles. Patricia Clarkson - Sarah O'Connor (6 episodes). Many also have very short brown "needles" wound in with the longer green ones, to imitate the branch itself or the bases that each group of pine (but not other conifer) needles grows from. Kellie Waymire - Melissa (6 episodes). Those first trees looked like long-needled pine trees, but later trees use flat PVC sheets to make the needles.

    Jeff Yagher - Hoyt Woodworth (6 episodes). Each row of branches is a different size, colour coded at the base with paint or stickers for ease of assembly. Julie Dretzin - Barb Woodworth (6 episodes). The bases of the branches were then twisted together to form a large branch, which was then inserted by the user into a wooden pole (now metal with plastic rings) for a trunk. Bernard Chenowith (6 episodes). They were made the same way, using animal hair (mainly pig bristles) and later plastic bristles, dyed pine-green colour, inserted between twisted wires that form the branches. Robert Foxworth - Dr. The first modern artificial Christmas trees were produced by companies which made brushes.

    Mena Suvari - Edie (7 episodes). in 1913, in the Sears, Roebuck and Company catalog. - Hiram Gunderson (8 episodes). The first feather trees came to the U.S. Ed Begley, Jr. Originating in Germany in the 19th century to prevent further deforestation, these "minimalist" trees show off small ornaments very well. Idalis DeLeon - Sophia Morales (8 episodes). The first artificial trees were tabletop feather trees, made from green-dyed goose feathers wound onto sticks drilled into a larger one, like the branches on a tree.

    Justin Theroux - Joe (8 episodes). They may also be necessary for people who have an allergy to conifers, and are increasingly popular in office settings. Melissa Marsala - Angelica Suarez (8 episodes). Artificial trees are sometimes even a necessity in some rented homes (especially apartment flats), due to the potential fire danger from a dried-out real tree, leading to their prohibition by some landlords. Garrison Hershberger - Matthew Gilardi (8 episodes). In the U.S., about 70% of trees are now artificial. Peter Facinelli - Jimmy (9 episodes). At the end of the Christmas season artificial trees can be diassembled and stored compactly, but some artificial-tree owners simply store the whole decorated tree covered in a large bag, ready for the next year.

    Kathy Bates - Bettina (10 episodes). Trees come in a number of colours and "species", and some come pre-decorated with coloured lights. Sprague Grayden - Anita Miller (12 episodes). Artificial trees are very popular, particularly in the U.S., where despite their lack of realism (both in looks and scent), they are considered more convenient and (if used for several years) less expensive than real trees. Tina Holmes - Maggie Sibley (13 episodes). In the UK, The British Christmas Tree Growers Association represents the interests of all those who grow Christmas trees in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Rainn Wilson - Arthur Martin (13 episodes). In the past, Christmas trees were often harvested from wild forests, but now almost all are commercially grown on tree farms.

    Peter Macdissi - Olivier Castro-Staal (15 episodes). The shearing also damages the highly attractive natural symmetry of unsheared trees. Ed O'Ross - Nikolai (18 episodes). European tradition prefers the open aspect of naturally-grown, unsheared trees, while in North America (outside much of the Rockies) there is a preference for close-sheared trees with denser foliage, but less space to hang decorations. Richard Jenkins - Nathaniel Fisher (20 episodes). Others are produced in a container and sometimes as topiary for a porch or patio. Joanna Cassidy - Margaret Chenowith (20 episodes). These trees must be kept inside only for a few days, as the warmth will bring them out of dormancy, leaving them little protection when put back outside into the midwinter cold in most areas.

    Ben Foster - Russell Corwin (22 episodes). However, the combination of root loss on digging, and the indoor environment of high temperature and low humidity is very detrimental to the tree's health, and the survival rate of these trees is low. Lili Taylor - Lisa Kimmel Fisher (23 episodes). Some trees are sold live with roots and soil, often from a nursery, to be planted later outdoors and enjoyed (and often decorated) for years or decades. Jeremy Sisto - Billy Chenowith (29 episodes). Norfolk Island pine is sometimes used, particularly in the Oceania region, and in Australia some species of the genera Casuarina and Allocasuarina are also occasionally used as Christmas trees. Brenna and Bronwyn Tosh - Maya Fisher (37 episodes). The long-needled Eastern White Pine is also used there.

    Susie Bright (Episode 57, The Rainbow of Her Reasons). Virginia Pine is still available on some tree farms in the southeastern United States, however it has poor winter colour and sharp needles. Chris Harrison (Episode 52, A Coat of White Primer). Less-traditional conifers are sometimes used, such as Giant Sequoia, Leyland Cypress and Eastern Juniper. Nicole Richie (Episode 51, Untitled). Several other species are used to a lesser extent. Ellen DeGeneres (Episode 42, Parallel Play). and in North America:.

    Leeza Gibbons (Episode 22, Someone Else's Eyes). Commonly used species in northern Europe (including the UK) are:. List of Six Feet Under episodes. The best species for use are species of fir (Abies), which have the major benefit of not shedding the needles when they dry out, as well as good foliage colour and scent; but species in other genera are also used. Both natural and artificial trees are used as Christmas trees. In Germany, the Catholic people takes their Christmas trees down by the 2nd of February.

    In Europe, private Christmas trees are not usually put up until at least the middle of December and are usually taken down by the 6th of January. In more northern climates and into Canada, the tree (if not too dry) and other decorations are left up well into January. homes is to put the tree up right after Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November) and to take it down right after the New Year. The most common tradition in U.S.

    Modern commercialisation of Christmas has however resulted in trees being put up much earlier; in shops often as early as late October. Traditionally, Christmas trees were not brought in and decorated until Christmas Eve (24 December), and then removed the day after twelfth night (i.e., 6 January); to have a tree up before or after these dates was even considered bad luck. . It is normally an evergreen coniferous tree that is brought into a home or used in the open, and is decorated with Christmas lights and colourful ornaments during the days around Christmas.

    A Christmas tree is one of the most popular traditions associated with the celebration of Christmas. In coastal areas, trees can be used to protect sand dunes from erosion. Trees can be cut into small pieces and use for mulch or composted; some cities offer this service to their residents. Use the tree as a bean or pea support pole.

    Use needles in a sachet. Use your tree as a bird feeder, hanging suet balls or other food from the branches. Place your tree away from heat sources, including radiators and windows that get a lot of direct sunlight. Only use plain water; research shows that additives such as sugar, cola and aspirin do more harm than good.

    Check it daily. Make sure your tree has a sturdy Christmas tree stand that holds 4-6 litres of water. This allows the tree to continue taking up water, by removing the resin-soaked wood at the original cut. Just before placing it in the stand, cut 2-3 centimeters off the trunk.

    Before taking your tree inside, gently bang the tree on its stump several times to dislodge any loose needles. If possible, the night before decorating, bring the tree into a partially heated area to allow it to adjust gradually to temperature changes. If decoration is not planned immediately, store the tree in a cool environment protected from the sun and wind. When transporting the tree, protect it from wind and road salts by covering it with plastic.

    Stone Pine Pinus pinea (as small table-top trees). Scots Pine Pinus sylvestris. Douglas-fir Pseudotsuga menziesii. Red Fir Abies magnifica.

    Noble Fir Abies procera. Fraser Fir Abies fraseri. Balsam Fir Abies balsamea. Scots Pine Pinus sylvestris.

    Serbian Spruce Picea omorika. Norway Spruce Picea abies (generally the cheapest). Noble Fir Abies procera. Nordmann Fir Abies nordmanniana (as in the photo).

    Silver Fir Abies alba (the original species).

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