"Six Feet Under may have won an outrageous 23 Emmy nominations, but it's really just Ally McBeal in mortality drag: dream sequences, romanticized narcissism, fake-o self-conscious dialogue, meaning-of-life montages and all. The characters may be grown-ups, but the show isn't about death and mortality at all; it's about adolescence—and not real, morally complex adolescence (the rich subject of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, perpetually snubbed at the Emmys) but creative adolescence, art that only pretends to take risks. Six Feet Under doesn't wrestle with the moral issues it purports to raise; it just gropes them for a thrill."
I've only recently (and without much concentration) watched the first episode of Six Feet Under, and it didn't grab me at all. Can't judge a series on its pilot, but it felt like Party of Five in the Morgue, the dialogue too soapy and the characters not very likable. Compare this to my first ever exposure to Buffy, which felt like something akin to lust at first sight. (My first epi was The Pack).
Any SFU afficionados around?
Warning: that Slate article may serve you the most obnoxious page covering advertisement in the short history of the commercial web.