Up until the day that a 15-year-old patient committed suicide right in the middle of his office, prosperous L.A. psychiatrist Dr. Craig "Huff" Huffstodt (Hank Azaria) had been sublimely confident that his was the most secure and well-ordered of lives. But as he finds out in the course of Huff's first season on Showtime, our hero is the central figure in a bizarre, often incomprehensible real-life scenario festooned with hitherto untapped neuroses, sexual hang-ups, dysfunctional family members, and jaw-dropping plot convolutions. Just your typical, everyday midlife crisis. Inasmuch as the parents of his unfortunate teenage patient hold Huff responsible for the suicide, Huff's attorney, Russell Tupper (Oliver Platt), would seem to be the "go-to guy" whenever the going gets too rough. Unfortunately, despite his sympathy toward Huff's plight and his pithy words of wisdom, Tupper himself is an angst-ridden mess, as he proves via his weird behavior during a Medical Board hearing. There's worse in store for Tupper when his latest client turns out to be the hooker (Nichole Mercedes Robinson) with whom he'd previously enjoyed a spontaneous one-night orgy. As for Huff's self-absorbed mother, Izzy (Blythe Danner), she had never been a pillar of moral support before, and is even less of one now as she prepares to divorce Huff's long-estranged father, Ben (Robert Forster). Izzy's other son, Teddy (Andy Comeau), wouldn't have been of any help even if he hadn't gotten himself lost in the middle of a field trip. And Huff's own son, Byrd (Anton Yelchin), has begun messing around with illegal substances, much to the dismay of Huff's wife, Beth (Paget Brewster), who already has a big-time cross to bear in the form of the grave illness that is sapping the life from her mother, Madeleine (Swoosie Kurtz). And believe it or not, this litany of misfortune is often played for laughs -- successfully! Adding to Huff's burdens are the ravings of his bipolar patient Melody Coatar (Lara Flynn Boyle), and his brief flirtation with infidelity as he dallies with a sexy pharmaceutical rep. It's not for nothing that the series' holiday offering is titled "Christmas Is Ruined" -- just as the season finale, "Crazy Nuts & All Fucked Up" bears an appropriate moniker, given Huff's anguished response to his mom Izzy's post-menopausal love affair with...well, let's not give away the entire plot!
by Hal Erickson synopsis