Six Feet Under is among my favorite shows. (Another is The Wire, my new all-time-favorite cop/criminal-justice system show–which I really must review sometime soon.) I found Radley Balko’s review today on NRO accurate and insightful, both on the show in general and specifically its treatment of abortion. But I take issue with his claim that its seemingly disapproving attitude towards abortion is a new deviation from normal Hollywood
TV treatments of the subject. For sometime now, years actually, I have noticed a trend on TV so consistent that I can predict the plot of TV shows 98% of the time. A woman gets pregnant, contemplates an abortion, her right to abort is somehow affirmed, and she ultimately decided to keep the child or give it up for adoption and feels good about her choice. The current moral line seems to be, abortion is the woman’s choice, but the right choice is not to abort (or at minimum that it is an option not to be exercised lightly). Six Feet Under’s treatment of abortion is consistent with this not-so-recent trend, albeit, without the affirmation of the right to chose. (Though the statement of the aborted girl that she would be prochoice if she lived might be such an affirmation.) I am not sure exactly why Hollywood has changed (trying to please both factions in its audience most likely) but it should instruct us that moral movements need not get their views enshrined in law to influence the culture in a big way. Good review. Good program.