77 people died in 63 episodes. A stroke of genius on the part of creator Alan Ball, each episode began with the death of a future “client” of the Fisher funeral home. Watching someone about to die made for an uneasy two minutes of viewing. Death could be sad, but often it was also disturbingly funny, and paradoxically it was that ever-looming threat that gave the show its vitality and made the characters’ search for meaning more poignant. Driven by stellar writing and an excellent cast, this is without a doubt the most real, clever and affecting drama in recent TV history.