The main character, Ryan is a sports talk radio host who has recently lost his wife in a car accident. In the first episode, he is trying to get back to work, but his boss will only take him back if he joins a support group for people who have suffered losses in their lives.
Benevolent Boss: Played With. He does have a friendly relationship with Carrie, but seems to enjoy too much bossing her around. His invading her life in the second episode got so bad she had to put her foot down.
Berserk Button: Do not text while you drive in front of Ryan. He'll hit you with fruit. He also doesn't like it if you mess with the support group's dynamics.
In the first case, it's because that's how his wife died.
Ship Sinking: For the first episodes, it looked like Ryan and Lauren were being set up as the show's Official Couple, but then we find out that she has a boyfriend, and, as of episode eleven, they're engaged.
The group's leader. Has a sweet and caring personality, but not much in the way of actual training; tries to help in any way she can, though. She is the one who convinces Ryan to join the group for good.
Arch Rival: In Margaret Hotchkiss who is apparently both more beautiful and better at helping people.
Ship Sinking: It looked like Ryan and Lauren were being set up as the show's Official Couple, but then we find out she has a boyfriend, and, as of episode eleven, they're engaged.
Stepford Smiler: Has a bad case of text anxiety, for the first few episodes was stuck with a job she didn't like, and, despite having a very Nice Guy for a boyfriend, is afraid of commitment, but tried not to let it show to her patients. Seems to be moving out of it, though.
Ship Tease: With Ryan until the sinking but "Go For The Gold Watch" introduces a tease for Lauren and Steven.
Anne: And, King? I like you better than I like this guy. *points at Ryan's cardboard cutout that represents him as he was before*
Exemplified at the end of "Matchup Problems", when they decide to help each other finally move on from the deaths of their respective spouses. They tie their wedding rings to the end of two balloons and let them sail up to the sky.
Heterosexual Life-Partners: Has this dynamic with Ryan. When her nanny cancels at the last minute, the first person she looks towards and asks is Ryan (who responds as sympathetically as possible in the situation) before asking the rest of the group.
Hey, It's That Guy!: Due to the mouth, the hair, the glass, and most likely the personality, it might take a while to recognize Julie White as Judy Witwicky from the Transformers series of movies.
If It's You, It's Okay: A variant in that Anne is not attracted to Ryan at all, but gives him her First Kiss after her partner's died just "to get it out of the way".
Stalker with a Crush: In episode four, Anne is casually pursued by another lesbian woman. Since she's not ready for commitment after her partner died, she freaks out, complaining to the group about how the woman is a stalker.
The Stoner: Use to do a lot of marijuana back in the 70s. Then at Lauren's bachelorette party, where she knows she'll be uncomfortable due to the wildness and the male strippers, she partakes in some special brownies to help her through the night.
Yolanda Mitsawa (Suzy Nakamura)
An anesthesiologist whose fiancé left her. Is a very anxious and awkward person who thinks everything is too sexual (including jazz and cats.)
Abusive Parents: Her grandmother seems to be the verbally abusive type, which might account for her awkwardness and fear of authority.
Cool People Rebel Against Authority: Sonia uses this as argument to get her to refuse going through a drug test... which was probably the worst argument she could use, given that Yolanda is very nervous around authority in general.
Easy Come, Easy Go: Tried to graduate from the group once, but came back very quickly. Subverted as she wasn't feeling very prepared and was forced by the group (who didn't want to disappoint Lauren) to go through with it.
Practical Joke: Liked to pull this on his brother's; pulls an epic one on Ryan in Videogame, Set, Match, and also on Danny in Win at All Costas.
The Quiet One: Talks very little in the first episode; after he opens up to Ryan about his brother's condition, Lauren mentions he had been coming to the sessions without sharing anything about his incident.
Real Men Wear Pink: It takes a lot of confidence to wear a wedding dress. The dress store salesclerk thinks it's hot.
Hidden Depths: Was responsible for designing the Curiosity rover's sampling arm, much to Ryan's surprise. He also sings very well, and is able to write a song on the spot.
Idiot Savant: Goes by social rules no one understands, is so creepy and weird people of the group try to avoid his company, but was also the designer of the sampling arm of the Curiosity rover's, is able to make graphics and carry out philosophic conversations quite easily, is able to flip a car, and doesn't flinch at Bob Costas's handshake.
Mayan Doomsday: His belief on it starts the End of the World party in The World Ain't Over 'Til It's Over.
My Friends... and Zoidberg: Keeps referring to Yolanda as such. That said... when Yolanda is on a single's cruise and isn't succeeding in the least, K ends up boarding the cruise to help find her a date.
Ryan's boss. He's the one who convinces Ryan to go to group therapy. He is also more than a bit weird himself.
Ambiguously Gay: Holds Ryan's hand a tad longer than necessary in the third episode. Also, when doped after his colonoscopy, he and Sonia go on a shopping spree, winding up with 2000 dollars worth of trendy clothes.
Benevolent Boss: Is good friends with Ryan and genuinely cares about him and Carrie.
A nurse who joined the group when one of her too many cats died. Is firstly presented as somewhat shy, but shows more backbone as the series go on.
Berserk Button: Do not badmouth cats around her. Also, do not lose the group cat, or imply somehow that a cat's life is not as valuable as a person's life. She also doesn't like when people call her a Crazy Cat Lady.
Hollywood Homely: Not overtly, but the show sometimes presents her as someone Steven and Ryan won't even take into consideration. She's played by Allison Miller! Other occasions present it more as them treating her as a close friend/one of the boys rather than a sexual/romantic conquest.
Nice Girl: Sure, sometimes she does feel annoyed when Ryan's acting his craziest, but here is a girl who is always around when her boss needs her, often goes way beyond her call of duty to help him, and, like Ryan states in episode thirteen, has been there for a him ever since Janie died.
The Friend Nobody Likes: Mr. K seems to think she, Sonia and Yolanda are going to go to hell. Apparently thought this of Anne, since she doesn't invite her to her niece's birthday party, but they've gotten over that by now. Also thought this of Ryan at first, but apparently got over that too.
In the case of Anne part of it was also an awareness that Anne wasn't ready to smile at something like a birthday party especially since she had set up a table for 'those who can not be here with us'. She points this out when Anne sits at that very table.
Stepford Smiler: His wife cheated on him, the man with whom his wife cheated on him came to live with them, and was abusive to Danny. Yet, he was the most cheerful of the group; it's heavily implied his constant smiling is a way of avoiding facing his problems. He seems to be growing out of this and smiling for more genuine reasons though.
Stepford Suburbia: Harborville is an odd variation, in that the town itself is perfect, but it's also a way for Danny to avoid facing his problems.
Your Cheating Heart: His wife had a child when he was away at Afghanistan. He ended up missing the birth... and the conception.
Terrell Owens (Terrell Owens)
A future Hall of Famer wide receiver. He has something of a friendly love-hate relationship with Ryan. In the pilot, he gets tackled by Ryan. Half a season later, he ends up flipping Ryan's car with Steven and Mr. K. As of of last handful of episodes of season one, he ends up as Ryan's temporary secretary.