This show probably falls into the ‘guilty pleasure’ category – it’s a pretty pure sappy drama/comedy thing not as cheesy or over the top as Desperate Housewives but not far off. The show focuses on the 5 adult siblings who are pretty dysfunctional *before* their father dies and it’s revealed he was leading a secret second life. The arc of the first season shows the kids learning all their father’s mistakes and dealing with those while trying to have jobs, relationships, their own families and various mishaps along the way.
The star of the show is undoubtedly Sally Field as the force of nature matriarch who is wonderfully funny and heartbreakingly sincere, often at the same time. All of the siblings (and their under-used spouses/significant others) are great characters with a strong chemistry between them, even Calista Flockhart isn’t annoying! Rob Lowe steals the show away when he appears mid-season, apparently playing Sam Seaborn with a new name and new political allegiance.
The show can be spectacularly cheesy and isn’t exactly revolutionary in what it does, many plot points being predictable several episodes in advance. The way it deals with current issues (most notably 9/11 and the war in Iraq) rises it out of the cheese counter occasionally, but I doubt anyone watches it for it’s political content. The Walker’s are great fun to watch and I can’t wait to see what disasters they get themselves in to next season.