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Buyer beware ... its a totally different season
on October 30, 2012
I wish I had read the reviews here before we bought season 3.
If, like us, you have come late to the Six Feet Under party then this may help you save some time and money. The series really does change with season 3. It pretty well abandons the technique of having the episodes relate closely to the person who dies at the beginning of a show and becomes much more (if not entirely) serial. The show is now pretty well totally about the character story arcs; indeed, there are episodes where the death at the beginning of the show plays little or no part. It is no longer a meditation on life and death (something the show and its excellent writing were famed for.)
Now, if you are big fan, you might enjoy this. But we found the writing weak and the characters less appealing than in seasons 1 and 2. Unfortunately, Lili Taylor, a well acted presence in season 2, is much less so in season 3. It wasn't until episode 8 that we really enjoyed the show again (along with the finale it was the best of a mediocre bunch.) I'm giving it a 2 rating because the final few episodes do build up the suspense, ending with a very good finale.
Well, we soldiered thru. I guess this should be expected, tho it is a shame. I remember how we were really impressed (nay, blown away) by season 1. My supervisor (Ian, a Table Officer at the Canadian House of Commons) turned me on to the show. While not as good as the standard set with the first year, we also very much enjoyed season 2.
Well, I've read the season 4 reviews and will be saving my time and money.
Heck, if you are curious, just Google the last 10 minutes of the last episode of season 5. It will tell you everything!