Picks and Pans Review: Kevin Hill
UPN (Wednesdays, 9 p.m. ET)
Babe-magnet bachelor and hotshot lawyer Kevin Hill (Brown Sugar's Taye Diggs) enjoys the good life in New York City. Let's build a TV show around him. No, wait—the character has to be more grounded. Give him a kid, but don't tie him down with a wife. How's this? He inherits a baby!
Hollywood loves to drop children into the lives of selfish singles, whether by inheritance (Diane Keaton in the '80s hit Baby Boom, Kate Hudson in this year's Raising Helen) or the old bundle-on-the-doorstep trick (recall Three Men and a Baby, which gets a joking reference in the Kevin Hill pilot). But I wish there were a tad more originality in the first series vehicle for the handsome and engaging Diggs.
Naturally, Kevin protests when he's handed his dead cousin's 10-month-old daughter in the Sept. 29 premiere. Soon, though, adorable Sarah steals his heart, and Kevin quits the firm when his boss suggests that work should come before baby. Where does the lawyer land? At a formerly all-female firm run by a gorgeous, understanding single mom (Michael Michele from ER). On his first case Kevin joins forces with a hot colleague he once bedded (Kate Levering), and they champion the cause of a client who says she was sexually assaulted by a famous athlete. "This ain't a Lifetime movie," Kevin reminds the legal team. No, but it's pretty close. All that can save it is a star performance that out- shines the script, and Diggs answers the call with charm, charisma and sexy confidence tempered by a touch of vulnerability. Now somebody please tell the writers that Kevin is too smart to be so thrown by the simple fact that Sarah's new nanny (Patrick Breen) is gay.