Oh, Viriginia Heffernan. Why can't we all be as smart as you?
Then maybe we'd have some idea what the hell you're talking about in the last graf of your Six Feet Under review:
But that precious ratio — which recalls the balance of silliness and beauty in Trollope and some of Hardy — has always been the show's strong suit, a 19th-century tone ingeniously invented and confidently maintained over five seasons. It's rare that a sensibility remains so unified and so unshy on a fancy soap opera; melodramatists too often get scared of being called hysterics and betray their genre, blowing it off for dumb stunts or trying, in some 11th hour, to sober up and turn manly. But the producers of "Six Feet Under" never cared about impressing the "Wire" or "Deadwood" audiences. They had their ratio, and they saw it through. "Six Feet Under" was a beautiful series, and its finale will suffice.
All we know is that for the last ten minutes or so, we were simultaneously sobbing and hating ourselves for it. If that's a precious ratio reminiscent of Trollope and some Hardy (but not all Hardy, of course), then, yeah, OK.