The critically acclaimed HBO drama Six Feet Under is now streaming on Netflix, which is great news for fans who don’t subscribe to Max. The series is one of my all-time favorites, and it’s great that this new addition to the streaming service might mean a resurgence in popularity. Amid the actors’ strike, there won’t be a long list of new Netflix Originals coming out, so it’s fun to see which older shows the platform is now licensing.
Six Feet Under premiered in 2001 and follows the Fisher family, a dysfunctional group that owns a funeral home. After the patriarch Nathaniel dies, his two sons Nate and David decide to run the family business while navigating their own issues in life. If you haven’t seen the series, I highly recommend it. It’s super emotional, funny, and thought-provoking, plus the characters are so easy to root for.
How many seasons of Six Feet Under are there?
There are five total seasons of Six Feet Under, all of which are streaming on Netflix. That’s great news for those looking to binge the show because it’s all in one place! All five seasons are also streaming on Max. As a big fan of this show, I think five seasons is the perfect amount. It’s enough to tell a complete story while also not overstaying its welcome. The reason why the show ended with season 5 was revealed during an interview with The New York Times in 2021 in celebration of the series’ 20th anniversary:
"“By the fourth season of Six Feet Under, [creator Alan Ball] was feeling exhausted and burned out, and he told HBO he was ready to step away. The network reluctantly agreed to wrap up with just one more season.”"
So, it was Ball’s decision to end the show after five seasons. I would imagine writing on Six Feet Under would become emotionally taxing after a few years, and it seems like Ball was just ready to move on from the series. He took a short break from writing after that and in 2007, two years after the series ended, wrote and directed the movie Towelhead. He then created one of his other big hit shows, True Blood, which began in 2008.
With the choice to end Six Feet Under with the fifth season, the writers had the difficult job of getting the ending just right. And they definitely succeeded. The series finale is one of the best — if not the best — in television history, ranking with some of the greats like The Sopranos and Breaking Bad. Without giving away spoilers, it does something completely unexpected that’s bound to get tears flowing. It still makes me cry anytime I watch the episode!
While reflecting on the show’s end 10 years later, the cast and crew spoke to The Hollywood Reporter on the now-iconic series finale.
"“When I first read the final episode it felt like a giant mortality bomb to me, like we’d been emotionally and existentially strafing our first viewers for years and this was meant to be a final death blow with brutal aftershocks. And it was,” Peter Krause, who played Nate in all five seasons, shared."
Six Feet Under won nine Emmy Awards in its five-season run and is widely considered to be one of the best shows of the 21st century. The series finale brought in 3.9 million viewers the Sunday night it premiered, which was a big feat for HBO.