Six Feet Under is set in a fictitional mortuary in Los Angeles called Fisher & Sons Funeral Home, and centres around the lives of the dysfunctional, depressing family that runs it, the Fishers.
Using death as a constant theme and springboard for plot developments, the characters struggle with family, relationships, each other and life. The morbid background of the funeral home gives an overall atmosphere of fatalistic depression, which is backed up by the show's tagline, "Every Day Above Ground Is A Good One".
Two brothers - Nate and David Fisher - are unexpectedly asked by their mother Ruth to come back home and run the mortuary after her husband (their father) was knocked over by a bus and killed.
They do so and are forced to confront the reality of death on a daily basis, while confronting the "death" of certain parts of themselves in the process (eg. religion, sexuality and beliefs).
Their mother Ruth is on a constant quest to understand not only her own children, but herself and her own life as well. Her daughter Claire is a tortured artist with personal problems exacerbated by her own refreshingly honest, if morbid, outlook on life.
The show was originally aired on HBO in 2001 and ran for five seasons until 21 August, 2005.