The show that launched Steven Moffat's TV writing career didn't start from a promising premise (kids writing a school magazine-- woo), but quickly turned into a sharply-written, character-driven comedy drama that tackled tough issues without ever sounding preachy. (Well, except in one case-- the spontaneous round of applause for tokeny-feeling Billy Homer in one episode, played by wheelchair-bound Andy Crowe, was pretty excruciating).
Although originally aired in a Children's ITV slot, it covered topics such as fatal accidents, child abuse, suicide, and drug abuse. But when it was funny, it was as funny as any top-rating comedy show, and there was no shortage of sexual innuendo to keep the grown-ups amused either. The on-off relationship of Spike and Lynda had strong overtones of David Addison and Maddie Hayes from Moonlighting, and the series finale was as dramatic as any, leaving the door open for a later feature film that, sadly, never materialised.
The complete series is well worth a watch on DVD, although very disappointingly, only the second season benefits from the insightful and amusing episode commentaries from Steven Moffat and Julia Sawalha, despite their willingness to contribute to the other season's releases as well.