14 May 2005 | Jessiclair
Vital, visceral, poignant, all with perfect comedic timing.
From the very first episode you will be drawn into the lives of each of the principal characters - warts and haloes and all. Each is fully realized with a light and dark side, shown incrementally and alternately through their actions and their reluctantly expressed concerns. The story lines are both outrageous and once you spend a few minutes with this family absolutely believable, and move at an enervatingly brisk while gratifyingly even pace. I'm so glad I found out about it when Series II had already completed, and could enjoy it from episode 1.1 through the end of series II. While it seems evident that Series III will commence with casting changes, this production is so incredibly well planned (unlike most U.S. series - Lost, I'm looking at you) that the story arc girds you quite well for even fundamental shifts, and instills great anticipation. The show addresses immediate, on-the-ground social issues like complacency vs. poverty, avarice vs. honor, cheating vs. work (and stealing vs. profit), lust vs. love, and 9 times out of 10 the virtuous parts of humanity are exemplified and enjoyed (but always with the other side engaged and/or confronted in the process). That 10th time is where Frank comes in. Paul Abbott is a brave artist, a brave man, and a brave son. Never has such a reluctant father been so well-realized and so generously presented. Now. When do we get Series III?