• A group of friends who went to Havard together are followed through their entangled lives. The fact is that this group hasn't drifted apart as most would over the twenty years since leaving college, instead they have become so close-knit that others from outside can feel excluded.

    We mostly follow Ethan, a writer who starts out with accolades, but not so many readers, his long-suffering agent, Max, his childless wife Lisa, and his long-term, on-off mistress, Samantha (Sam). All these are from the college group, together with womanising Nick and hippy Marianne. The characters are well-drawn and well acted, with quirks and flaws. A few episodes in and you start to feel you know how they should react to a situation and how they feel.

    There are also partners and spouses from outside the central group. They mostly come and go - it's probably fair to say that all these resent how close the Havard types have become.

    As things start out, Ethan's publishers are applying a great deal of pressure for him to transition to something a little more commercial, like young adult (YA) fiction, while Ethan and Sam feel rather uncomfortable with both now living in New York. They're right under the noses of Lisa and Sam's insanely wealthy and slightly boring husband, Jon.

    Unlike most others here, I preferred the first series to the second. A few episodes in the second series started to feel to me too much that events and characters were being manipulated to fit into a plot that had been planned out for them in a group workshop. The kind of session that Max and Ethan have when Max is offering rather more support than an agent would normally give.