“Baby Bob” is about as mediocre as primetime television gets. It’s neither awful nor good, and the concept — a 6-month-old baby who talks — seemed burned out when the third installment of “Look Who’s Talking” required verbally adept pets.
Bob sounds, as mom Lizzy (Joely Fisher) says, like a Chicago truck driver, which affects the inconsistent comedy. At times Bob is capable of questioning the philosophical nature of a bedtime story (not funny) and then is able to recount his baby behavior in detail — “I held a raisin for two seconds and then I dropped it and then I picked it up…” (funny).
Lizzy is a haggard mother, weary from a lack of adult interaction and insulting comparisons with her sister made by her mother Madeline (Holland Taylor from “The Practice”). Husband Walter (Adam Arkin), a public relations exec, has not lived up to the dreams of his father (Elliott Gould as a bellowing Sam) that he would grow up to be a newsman, just like dad.
Once Lizzy learns of Bob’s skills, she thinks she’s gone bonkers but quickly accepts the predicament. Walter argues against going public with this, thinking, of course, of a year spent in the tabloids. It allows the writers a chance to work with Bob’s speaking skills as a private joke rather than a public spectacle.
While the moving of Bob’s lips is relatively convincing, there’s an occasional continuity problem with the shot immediately after he ends a conversation. It’s cute enough that the folks who are going to buy into something like this will forgive. But the latest addition to CBS’ family triple bill on Mondays is a distant third to “King of Queens” and “Everybody Loves Raymond.”