Well, I haven’t seen Lost or Desperate Housewives, so I’m a little behind on my buzzworthy fall shows, but I did catch Kevin Hill last week, and I have to say, I was pretty impressed. This show seems to skew towards the female demographic – Oh dreamy Taye Diggs! – but the truth is that it’s got a broad enough appeal for both genders, which means it’ll still only play to women. That’s okay though. Kevin Hill is well written, well acted, and well shot. Not bad for a UPN show. Yeah, it’s familiar territory – a playboy must change his life when he inherits a baby – but at least there’s no Ted Danson/Steve Guttenberg/Tom Selleck trio to sully this up. Instead we have affable Taye Diggs who capably anchors this show as a sharp tongued entertainment lawyer now forced to work at an all female firm with his ex-flame. Okay, that’s completely contrived, but hey, it works.I have to admit, I kind of expected this show to underwhelm me. I anticipated all baby all the time. You know what I’m talking about. Incompetent dad holds up baby, baby pees; incompetent dad tries to feed baby, baby spits it back; incompetent dad tries to change baby, baby pees again. Okay, maybe I was just expecting to see “Three Men and a Baby”. Nevertheless, the pilot episode featured none of these trite devices. Instead, the baby fell off the couch (ooh!) and passed out on Taye’s chest (awww…) and that was about it. Side note: the baby has pierced ears. Am I the only one who thinks that’s odd? Or is that normal now?
Anyway, the bulk of the action followed, you guessed it, Kevin Hill – not random baby. Considering this was a one hour pilot, the show covered a lot of ground. The writers could have spent the hour doing all that baby stuff that I expected to see, but instead they introduced a surprisingly large number of characters and plots: Kevin’s friends from his old – now rival – law firm, his three new co-workers (including that aforementioned flame), his sassy gay nanny, and even a sexy love interest. Hey, there was even a trial thrown in to boot. Despite all these elements, everything fit together nicely though. There was never a sense that the show had bitten off more than it could chew.
Tonally, Kevin Hill never ambles into the maudlin. The writing and direction remain edgy – or as edgy as a show like this can be – and fun. Yeah, it’s familiar territory, but it’s amazing how much better this stuff is without David E. Kelly around to futz with it. Famed DJ BT is on hand to supervise the music which is refreshingly youthful in spirit (no Don Henley here) without being pretentious in execution (we’re looking at you, OC emo rock). I must admit that Kevin Hill is a solid drama, but for the sake of TVgasm, I really wish there was more for me to make fun of.
I’ll be back with commentary in a few weeks after the show has developed its storylines and characters a bit more. Until then, do yourself a favor and watch it.