The show, created by Alan Ball, stars Peter Krause as Nathaniel ("Nate") Fisher, son of a funeral director who becomes a partner in the family funeral business with his brother David, played by Michael C. Hall. Others in the Fisher clan include mother Ruth, sister Claire, and Federico Diaz, mortician and family friend. Other regulars include Brenda (Rachel Griffiths), Nate's girlfriend, and Keith, (Mathew St. Patrick), David's boyfriend.
On one level, the show is a conventional family drama, dealing with issues like relationships, infidelity, homosexuality, and religion. But it is probably the first show to deal on a regular basis with the issue of death; not death as the catalyst for solving a murder, but all aspects of how people deal with death on a personal, religious and philosophical level. Each episode begins with someone's death - anything from to drowning to heart attack to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome - and that death in turn usually forms the theme of each episode, allowing the characters to reflect on their current problems in a different way.
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