IMHO the finest thing ever to grace our TV screens. The first series introduced us to the wonderful world of the Fisher family. Each character was shown with a precision and plausibility that most other TV hasn't yet even begun to approach, drawing you into a their world through the simple measure of making the players both wholly believeable and gorgeously sympathetic. The acting throughout is close to flawless, especially in the case of the main players, Peter Krause (Nate), Michael Hall (David), Lauren Ambrose (Claire), Rachel Griffiths (Brenda) and Frances Conroy (Ruth).
The show's kaleidoscopic-psychedelic realism seems an unlikely way to draw you into a tangle of fundamental questions of life and death, love, loyalty and the search for identity, but the producers hit the button show after show. It's rare for me to watch an episode without coming away feeling I've both seen something breathtakingly beautiful, but also that I've been invited to think about something important to how I see myself, my life and those around me.
The second series sees the characters rounded out yet further; facing their trials, sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding, but never loosing our interest. Here the prodigal son, Nate, slowly emerges as the focus of the story (though this is done so gently that it takes some time to register.) The end of series finale is so wonderfully executed that it left me breathless. When it was all over I couldn't help but think that I'd just watched the smartest, most honest and direct TV I'd ever seen, addressing the big questions of life without for one moment being patronised. This show is, quite simply, magic.