series (apart from Ally .WcBm/l haye hecame renowned: sharp dialogue (utilising cynicism. wit and a full to bursting sw‘earhox). strong characterisation (eased along by a barrage ol neuroses and paranoia). surprising and daring plotlines (some sex. a hit ol‘ drugs and general social dysfunction).

Some may disagree (gays. psychologists. Russian llorists or post-grunge teenage girls). but Nate liisher is the heart ol’ Six l-i'vt I’m/m“. the son who escaped the coop as soon as he legally cottld. he‘s coming home for Christmas. llis hit from the airport -~ dad Nathaniel - neyer arriyes (you could say he catches a bus) and so the prodigal seeks temporary solace in a janitor's cupboard with the possibly unhalanced Brenda. the daughter of two hehayioural analysts.

While Nate lled. the other son Dayid stayed behind to help dad with the burial husiness. David is gay. hut with nary a toe cttrling out lt‘ottt the closet. and dating a cop whose impatience with his loyer's l‘ear of~ honesty threatens to split them. Then there‘s prim mum Ruth who has been haying an altar with a hairdresser to alleyiate the years of neglect lrom her husband.

And finally. we haye lo-year—old (‘laire. a snappy ginger whose ability to attract had men leads her to plant a stolen loot from the mortuary in a guy’s locker. She may. or may not. haye a drug problem. ()h. and we hayen't seen the last of Brenda. whose family of lireaks makes the liishers seem perl‘ectly leyel-minded.

Despite the roaring success the show has experienced with its llB() audience (following in the ltmlsleps ol~ hip hits The .S'o/n'tmos'. U: and Say and the (fly). Sit l-kw I'm/('1' has already been on the end ol‘ a British hacklash. eyen before the airing ol' episode one. On .\'('u'snig/il RUl'lt’ll' a couple ol~ weeks hack. \liranda Sawyers main problem with the series appeared to he that all the characters had their templates lodged in ."HH’I‘I't'UH lieu/Hy.

Yes. there‘s a middle—aged woman and control l‘reak who‘s haying a secret al'lair. there‘s a teenage girl with hang—ups and there's a closet gay. But. apparently. there was also a man with a midlile crisis: Miranda clearly conltlses 'midlilc crisis' with ‘actually dcad'. Nathaniel's hiin point of the day is spooking chosen memhers ol~ his l‘amily l'rom heyond the graye rather than

The morgue the merrier: closet homosexuality, casual airport sex, teenage drug taking and midlife adultery are only the start of the latest fabulous US drama series

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