Monday, April 17, 2006

The Best Show On TV, Part 2

The Best Show On TV

"The Office" (NBC) -- 2/9/2006-4/2/2006
"Huff" (Showtime) -- 4/2/2006 - present

And now, we revisit my ongoing series, The Best Show On TV, which was inspired by the sublime WWE Title Histories page. I must confess: back when I started this little project, I knew full well that "The Office"'s reign at the top wouldn't be a long one. I knew that "Huff" was coming back to Showtime soon, and I knew that when it did, it would claim the title right quick.

And so it has. Last year sometime, never you mind how, I got a hold of the entire first season of "Huff" on DVD. I didn't really know much about the show, except that I had no negative feelings about Hank Azaria. That's all I knew going in. That, and the fact that Azaria looked preposterously ripped in all of Showtime's promotional materials (why would a random guy who has to be at work five days a week looked like that? Didn't make sense to me). Anyway, long story short, I gave "Huff" a shot.

And my life hasn't been the same since.

Well, perhaps I'm being overly dramatic, but it is a great show. Azaria plays Craig ("Huff") Huffstodt, a relatively (from what we can tell) talented and fairly successful L.A. psychiatrist with the requisite screwed-up-but-deep-down-we-love-each-other family, consisting of wife Beth (Paget Brewster), teenage son Byrd (Anton Yelchin, whose voice and presence are as bizarre as his name, but you get over it after about four episodes), schizophrenic brother Teddy (Andy Comeau) and outrageous, meddlesome, alcohol-enthusiast mother Izzy (Blythe Danner).

The cast is great (Danner won an Emmy last season for her work as Izzy, which is remarkable when you think that "Huff" is a show no one's ever seen, airing on a channel that most people don't get), but at times it seems like the entire enterprise was conceived as a showcase for Oliver Platt's character, attorney Russell Tupper. A chaotic whirlwind of appetite, genius, neurosis and self-destruction, Russell is what anyone who has seen "Huff" is going to remember on that sad day years and years from now when Oliver Platt (who has never not been awesome) finally shuffles off this mortal coil.

I'll pretty much leave it at that, since I've got to get going right now and although I realize I could save what I've written so far and then come back and add to it later, I'm relatively certain that I wouldn't. Let me just say that "Huff" is the show that caused my wife and me to drop HBO after years of loyal customership and switch to Showtime, at least until Season 2 of "Huff" comes to an end.

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