×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Baby Daddy

"Baby Daddy" is as stale as an old Diaper Genie, a series of poopy one-liners, powdered with little "Aw"-inducing moments of heart.

With:
Ben - Jean-Luc Bilodeau
Tucker - Tahj Mowry
Danny - Derek Theler
Riley - Chelsea Kane

Let’s stipulate that ABC Family isn’t trying to reinvent the sitcom, and that nobody has cornered the cute-baby market, or the concept of having single men raising one. Even with that level of generosity, “Baby Daddy” is as stale as an old Diaper Genie, a series of poopy one-liners, powdered with little “Aw”-inducing moments of heart. While the concept ought to be a fertile one, there’s not enough duct tape in the world — the guys’ preferred method of holding diapers together — to make the show more than gratingly bearable.

Poor Ben (Jean-Luc Bilodeau) is the typical twentysomething slacker, working as a bartender and improbably sharing an apartment with his older brother Danny (Derek Theler), a pro hockey player; and friend Tucker (a grown-up Tahj Mowry), whose character name might as well be Rim Shot.

They’re just settling into sharing a bachelor pad (why a pro athlete needs to do that remains a mystery, but never mind) when there’s a knock at the door and a you-know-what left outside, the product of Ben’s fleeting tryst with the baby girl’s unseen mom.

Ben agonizes over whether to keep this “big ol’ pile of love,” as his mom (“Reba’s” Melissa Peterman) calls her, and solicits convenient help from childhood friend Riley (Chelsea Kane), who has lost a hundred pounds or so and now has a perfectly plausible crush on him, even if he still thinks of her as the kid who beat him up and was nicknamed “Fat Pants.” (There’s also an argument to be had over mocking childhood obesity in a show designed to skew this young, but frankly, “Daddy” isn’t really worth the effort.)

Series creator Dan Berendsen (“The Nine Lives of Chloe King”) tries to offset the silliness with touches of heart, mostly involving Riley’s efforts to conceal her feelings for Ben. In the second episode, for example, he begins dating a nurse, citing qualities that would seem to define Riley to anyone but his unseeing eyes.

The cast is cheerful enough — and a lot younger than Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg — but there’s really not much to be done with a concept this stale, or characters this thinly defined.

That said, Bilodeau has apparently mastered a nifty bartender trick that involves spinning bottles (think Tom Cruise in “Cocktail”), which could come in handy. Because beyond those with a taste for pabulum, he’s going to have to pour several stiff ones to provide much inspiration to return to this big ol’ pile of comedy.

Baby Daddy

ABC Family, Wed. June 20, 8:30 p.m.

Production: Filmed in Los Angeles by Don't Borrow Trouble. Executive producers, Dan Berendsen; Michael Lembeck, John Ziffren; co-executive producer, Lester Lewis; supervising producer, Heidi Clements; producers, Nancy Cohen, Jan Siegelman, Timothy Marx; director, Lembeck; writer, Berendsen;

Crew: camera, Paul Maibaum; production designer, Greg Grande; editor, Kenny Tintorri; music, Doug DeAngelis; theme, Tim Borquez; casting, Alyson Silverberg. 30 MIN.

Cast: Ben - Jean-Luc Bilodeau
Tucker - Tahj Mowry
Danny - Derek Theler
Riley - Chelsea Kane
With: Melissa Peterman.

More TV

  • Pete Davidson photographed by Peggy Sirota

    Pete Davidson Posts Unsettling Message, Deletes Instagram

    “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a disturbing message Saturday morning stating he doesn’t “want to be on this earth anymore,” then deleted his Instagram account. In the post, Davidson wrote, “I’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all i’ve [...]

  • Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor

    Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor Arrested for Plotting Sex With Minor

    Disney Channel has severed ties with “Andi Mack” actor Stoney Westmoreland following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. “Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “Given the nature of [...]

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

  • Vanity Fair Review

    TV Review: 'Vanity Fair'

    There’s something comforting about the predictability of a period piece novel adaptation in the Masterpiece Theater tradition. Knowing the story, or even just the rhythms of the genre, there are rarely many surprises. The women will toss off witticisms and cry careful, pretty tears; the men will steel their jaws and declare their love, ideally [...]

  • FILE - In this April 5,

    CBS Claims Commitment to Ending Harassment. Its Actions Say Otherwise (Column)

    At this point, a new breaking sexual harassment case at CBS isn’t exactly a surprise. Over and over again, powerful CBS company men from producers to executives to the ex-CEO himself have made headlines for propagating decades of harassment and abuse, with dozens of witnesses affirming that the pattern was business as usual. But as [...]

  • Willow ShieldsVariety Portrait Studio, Beautycon Festival

    'Hunger Games' Alum Willow Shields Joins Netflix Drama Series 'Spinning Out'

    Willow Shields has been cast in a series regular role in “Spinning Out,” the upcoming ice skating drama series at Netflix. She joins a cast that also includes Kaya Scodelario, who was announced as the series lead on Thursday, taking over the role originally held by Emma Roberts. Shields will star as Serena, Kat Baker’s (Scodelario) [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content