I got a chance to see the pilot film for Showtime's new series "Huff". The film is about a psychiatrist (Hank Azaria) who deals with the violent suicide of a patient while managing his wife, son, and overbearing Mother. There was less going on here than meets the eye... a good pilot should set up a series' premise and leave you wanting to tune in next week. Even after watching the entire episode I could not understand exactly what the "premise" of the show was.
Maybe in future weeks they will improve on the format of the show, but in the pilot the events surrounding Huff at work, home, and play had little to do with one another and left me wondering, "So what?" On the plus side the acting in the show is great... Hank Azaria is the rare leading man who knows how to convey the full range of human emotion. He is the glue that holds the whole thing together. Paget Brewster is g r e a t as his wife... she is one of the rare actresses who can be both funny and dramatic, sometimes at once. Oliver Platt I do not "get". He's always got this half-drunken smirk on his face and he tries so hard to act hip that I lose interest very quickly. Blythe Danner- a usually lovely actress- is wasted here as the "outrageous," ball-breaking, suffocating mother of her adult son Huff. She needs to stop speaking lines that would get her thrown out of a biker bar and start becoming a real human being.
In conclusion I think this show has a lot of potential... they have the heart, they have the soul... now all they need are stories that will highlight the characters, especially Hank Azaria's Huff. In the final scene of the pilot Huff goes to visit his brother, and while I will not ruin the story by going into detail, it is one of the most touching scenes you will ever see. Good luck to Hank and "Huff"... I hope it gets the audience it deserves.