Five Moments of Honesty in Television – Number Three: Brenda and Nate in Six Feet Under
We are currently experiencing a Golden Age of American Television, and this wonderful era was ushered in by shows like Six Feet Under. Created by Alan Ball, the HBO series focuses on Fisher & Sons Funeral Home. While philosophical and religious themes prevail throughout the family-centered drama, each episode opens with a death, which provides a modest dose of dark humor and surrealism as well. The series exposes character flaws with an unflinching degree of honesty, accentuating every blemish with both comedy and catastrophe. Raw emotional sincerity prevails, providing a gritty realness that was unprecedented in American television.
A tumultuous relationship that permeates throughout the series is Brenda and Nate, who meet in the very first episode. Their rollercoaster trajectory presents scenes of tranquility and tragedy.
At one moment in the series, Brenda and Nate are happily engaged. Brenda is focusing on her fiction writing and unbeknownst to Nate, she's using current sexual encounters to fuel artistic stimulation. Brenda's inspiration by way of infidelity is eventually discovered by Nate, who confronts her in this untethered scene.
At the height of their argument, Nate reaches to take off his engagement ring. Disgusted, Brenda says, “Don’t you throw that ring at me. That is such a fucking cliché. I’ll fucking barf.”
Tossing it, Nate replies, “There, barf.”
Their raw emotional honesty is gut-wrenching; a moving example of superb acting.
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