A stench, not unlike that of a dirty diaper, hangs hot and heavy over ABC Family’s Baby Daddy (8:30 tonight), a comedy series for a generation that never saw any of the Three Men and a Baby movies. Because that really could have been the title of this occasionally cute but mostly brain-dead show.
New York bachelor Ben (Jean-Luc Bilodeau, Kyle XY) is working as a bartender while trying to figure his life out. He lives with his friend Tucker (Tahj Mowry, The Game), and then his pro-hockey-player brother Danny (Derek Theler, 90210) moves in. Moments later, the three guys find a baby on Ben’s doormat.
Little Emma may be the product of Ben’s brief relationship with an ex-girlfriend, but in this week’s pilot episode, no paternity test is taken and the ex has disappeared.
The guys are, predictably, horrified to have an infant in their bachelor pad. They don’t want to touch. They fear it. Ben wears ski goggles, gloves and uses tongs to change the baby’s diaper.
Luckily there’s a woman to assist. Ben’s old tormentor, Riley (Chelsea Kane, Dancing with the Stars), re-enters his life looking beautiful after years as a fat teen. (Add predictable fat jokes to the predictable baby jokes if you’re keeping score at home.)
Will Ben keep Emma, or allow her to be put up for adoption, ending Baby Daddy after the pilot episode? Hint: It’s not a nail-biter.
In many respects, Baby Daddy is the anti-Teen Mom. This sitcom exists in a (fantasy?) universe where a potential father opts to care for a child that may not even be his.
It’s also similar to Fox’s Raising Hope, except that Raising Hope offers smart comedy and Baby Daddy is stuck in the realm of TGIF humor.