Although we usually deny it, we all like to have our feelings manipulated by entertainment – it’s just that some of us are more comfortable with our mushy side than others, and that some entertainment is better at mushing than others. Cases in point: Kevin Hill, starring Taye Diggs as the title character, a slick ladies’ man and lawyer who looks after a cute, vulnerable baby.
Kevin Hill’s Diggs descends from feature films to flash his devastating smile on the small screen. He’s perfectly matched with the 10-month-old baby girl, whom he unexpectedly inherits from his dead cousin. There’s lots of material in Kevin’s running-with-his-boys lifestyle, his flashy entertainment-law practice, and his culture-clash bonding with a gay male nanny (the adroit Patrick Breen). But the payoff scene – the one that’s going to get viewers tuning in for at least a few weeks out of charmed curiosity – is a beautifully shot throwaway: the baby, asleep on Kevin’s chest as our man sits on his living-room sofa. It’s got a huge awwwww factor; it establishes Kevin as a sensitive guy; and it makes you wonder, how many takes did it require to get the kid to snooze, or is Diggs’ soothing charisma truly that trance-inducing?