This series both informed us about the fishing families of coastal Wales in the 1900s and about the changes that creeping industrialization brought to their lives and the lives of those like them - cobblers, iron mongers, carpenters, and so on. It was also an interesting, if very small, peek into social psychology. It did not surprise me that the purportedly most avant garde 'family' were basically glibertarians in pseudo hippie disguise.
It is a touching series. Most of the families bond together in a strong sense of community. Most of them worry about the couple with 7 kids who are not getting enough to eat. The elderly couple whose real life kids and grandkids are scattered are so overjoyed to have little children running into their house and outside all the time. The 'religious' family displays all that we ought to expect of self-proclaimed Christians: generosity, kindness, and absence of judgment. The largest family shows determination and perseverance.
There is some artificiality in the series. The oldest couple are presumed to have built up possessions; the largest family is put into the smallest house; the glibertarians are given the most initial wealth. The departure of the latter couple 2 or 3 days before the whole enterprise is to end, as symbolizing the effects of industrialization, is clearly fake. The embrace of a ship-jumping Spaniard of Ugandan descent by the whole village is difficult to swallow. Still, the series does put the central families to the test, and their emotions on leaving are genuine.
And, of course, the location is gorgeous.