'Six Feet Under' Revisited: Remembering David & Keith's Groundbreaking Relationship
By Stacy Lambe
Despite its ups and downs, the relationship between David Fisher
(Michael C. Hall) and Keith Charles (Matthew St. Patrick) became one of the
touchstones of HBO’s powerful drama, Six
Created by Alan Ball (American
Beauty, True Blood), Six Feet Under explored the lives of the
Fisher family as they dealt with the loss of their patriarch. Over the course
of five seasons, David went from a third-generation funeral director conflicted
by his sexuality to a openly gay, loving father free of the burden of living up
to his father. David’s character wasn’t alone in his journey, often relying on
Keith -- an openly gay, black police offer -- to help him find acceptance and
strength to take over the family business.
Between the two, David and Keith helped break down
stereotypes about homosexuality and race, offering a realistic portrayal of two
men in love. While it wasn’t always pretty, the couple broke down barriers and
became one of the first gay families represented on TV.
“I didn’t want to continue the perpetuation of gay characters
that we’ve seen on television and in film,” St. Patrick says in ETonline’s
exclusive look back at their relationship. The interview reflects a time -- from
2001 to 2005 -- when diverse and layered gay characters existed on TV like they do
“I know about stereotypes. I’m a black man and I live that
life everyday. I just think -- it wasn’t something I wanted to participate in,”
St. Patrick adds.
In the years since the show went off the air, TV has seen an
explosion of gay characters -- from family-oriented shows (ABC Family’s The Fosters) and delicious soaps (Fox’s Empire) to love-lost tales (HBO’s Looking) and the Shonda Rhimes-produced ABC
dramas (Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, and Scandal).
The video from HBO is the final chapter in the network’s
celebration of Pride. Over the course of the month, it has recognized the
fearless storytelling of Dee Rees, writer and director of Bessie,
the strength of activists Janet Mock and Larry Kramer, and the determination of
the plaintiffs in The Case Against 8.
Six Feet Under can
be watched in full on HBO Now. Plus, ETonline has the best picks for what to stream in June andJuly.