Pilot Perception: Baby Daddy

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our new feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: Baby Daddy, ABC Family and ABC Spark, Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30c

The Pedigree: The executive producers are Daniel Berendsen (The Nine Lives of Chloe King) and John Ziffren (Make It or Break It, Switched at Birth, Melissa and Joey). Other writers include Erinne Dobson (Last Man Standing).

The Cast & How You Know Them: The main cast consists of Jean-Luc Bilodeau (Kyle XY), Chelsea Kane (One Tree Hill, Fish Hooks), Tahj Mowry (Smart Guy, Kim Possible), Melissa Peterman (Reba), and Derek Theler (90210).

The Premise: An ex-girlfriend leaves a baby on the doorstep of a twenty-something slacker, and he (along with his friends, mother, and brother) must decide whether to keep the baby and figure out how to take care of her.

A Taste:

What Works: Uh . . . the baby’s pretty cute? There’s one adorable dad/baby moment at the end that was a million times better than the rest of the episode put together. And there’s actually – I can’t believe I’m saying this – the kernel of a maybe-interesting love triangle situation involving two brothers and their childhood friend, but it’s not clear how much screen time that will get.

What Doesn’t: The writing and acting are both pretty awful, and the jokes are never funny and often offensive. Instead of coming up with anything original or interesting to say, the pilot used well-worn cliches and myriad stereotypes as a lazy crutch. The laugh track seems constant, and there’s also an “awww” track, because the show apparently doesn’t trust the audience to figure out that babies are cute.

Our Favorite Line: “When I married your father and I had you two, I had to put my dreams on hold.” “What dreams?” “Being single and childless!”

Other Items of Note: The fact that the kid from Smart Guy is old enough to play an adult now is totally freaking me out.

You Might Like This if you like traditional family sitcoms, and/or watching cute-but-inept guys interact with babies. It reminded me a little of Reba. And the premise, of course, sounds rather like Raising Hope, but I haven’t watched enough of that one to know whether they’re actually very similar.

If You’re Interested: You can watch the pilot on the ABC Family site (or ABC Spark site in Canada) or catch a rerun later this week (check your listings), and then set your DVR for Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30c.

(Photo courtesy of ABC Spark.)

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