'The Moodys' Star Jay Baruchel on the Comedy's Complicated Family Dynamic

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Move over, Griswolds. In the dark comedy The Moodys, a new family from Chicago is determined to have the perfect Christmas — and they’re about to fail spectacularly.

Meet the Moodys: (above, from left) demanding patriarch Sean Sr. (Denis Leary); eldest son Sean Jr. (Jay Baruchel), who still lives at home with his parents; youngest sibling Dan (François Arnaud), "the creative one"; overachieving middle child Bridget (Chelsea Frei); and loving matriarch Ann (Elizabeth Perkins).

Over the course of six episodes (back-to-back half hours also air December 9 and 10 in the same timeslot), Sean Sr.’s plan for a happy celebration of Yuletide togetherness unravels and the secrets everyone has been hiding slowly come out. The only one who enjoys the chaos is Sean Jr., who revels in the fact that he might not be the biggest screwup after all.

"I think he’s proud of the family he comes from and he’s deeply loyal, but he also takes a great deal of pleasure in seeing his siblings in trouble," Baruchel explains. "He’s just trying to bring everybody down a peg, down to his level."

Chelsea Frei, Francois Arnaud and Jay Baruchel (Jonathan Wenk/FOX)

Sean Jr. is a "quintessential failure-to-launch type," the actor continues. "He’s a guy who — not unlike me — excels at stuff he cares about but phones in literally everything else. He fancies himself an Elon Musk, to a degree, except that he’s a visionary for crap that nobody wants or needs."

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Fox's offbeat short-run comedy about a suburban family falling apart at yuletide is an antidote to TV's prevailing holiday schmaltz.

Should the Moodys manage to charm audiences, Baruchel says the cast would happily reunite to tell more stories. They all got along well, after all — even he and Leary, hard-core hockey fans whose teams, Montreal and Boston, "hate each other most in all of professional sports." Call it a Christmas miracle. "We kept it civil," he says.

The Moodys, Miniseries Premiere, Wednesday, December 4, 9/8c, Fox