Monday, May 19, 2003

If you would like to discuss last night's 6 Feet Under, please do so - and note, I didn't say, if you want to discuss whether 6 Feet Under should exist or whether anyone should watch it. We covered that last week.

And yes, sadly, the pregnant character did have an abortion, but if you think that a presentation of abortion not accompanied by speeches explicitly declaring its immorality is a "promotion" of abortion, then consider this episode:

*This program always starts with a death. (It's about a family-owned mortuary business, and the death always figures thematically in the rest of the episode) The death this week was of a serial killer, executed in Texas, his body brought back to SoCal for burial by his (it becomes apparent) whacked-out daughter.

*Unbeknownst to her family, the 20-year old daughter in the mortuary family gets pregnant and has an abortion, but not before a scene in which, having been asked to watch her baby niece, the camera focuses on her, deliberately and intensely staring in the distance, her back to the baby. The abortion clinic seen is eerily distant, giving the clear impression of an indifferent assembly line. Four names called to go into the procedure rooms, women lined up in recovery, attached to machines, mostly unattended, four more names dispassionately called out when that batch is through.

*And in the end, when the character with the missing, presumed dead wife (and the father of aforementioned baby) has a vision of meeting her on the beach, he expresses sorrow that she has disappeared just when he was starting to get it, to really commit. He says something like, "You were a chance for me to get it together...." And she responds..."I'm not a chance. I'm a person."

End of episode.

So...for me, at least, the connection was darkly transparent, even if it was unintentional...serial killer storyline juxtaposed with an assembly-line abortuary scene...a missing, presumed dead figure not appreciated by her husband until she was gone telling him, "I'm not a chance, I'm a person."

Dehumanization every where you look. Phew.