UPN Taye Diggs is the king of 'Hill'
The show is filled with beautiful people who make for interesting characters.
By ED BARK
DALLAS MORNING NEWS
What a man, what a mighty fine man we have here.
Not that there's a man-crush implied. But Taye Diggs, star of UPN's "Kevin Hill," looks as though he's way too good for GQ, Vogue or any other periodical built on high fashion and the sleek, sculpted models of same.
Oozing charisma and cool cat elegance, he potentially gives the lately classed-up UPN its first bona fide, magazine-cover superstar.
Last fall's network of "The Mullets" has upgraded itself from shag carpeting to oak wood floors. It still has "WWE Smackdown!," but promising newcomers "Kevin Hill," "Veronica Mars" and "Second Time Around" at last allow UPN to get into West Hollywood's Sky Bar without a fake ID.
About the show
Diggs plays a smooth-headed, lightly chin-haired Manhattan lawyer who effortlessly makes lucrative deals for his firm's big-name show biz and sports clients. Then it's on to the nightlife, where 28-year-old Kevin Hill is a major league player who dresses impeccably and undresses even better.
His seamless life of one-night stands and other instant gratifications is interrupted by the death of his troubled cousin, John, to whom he was once close. Left behind is John's infant daughter, Sara, whose unfit mother is a "coke-head stripper."
Will Kevin do the right thing? Reluctantly he will, cramping his style in the bargain. It's one man and a baby, but with help from a common-sense gay nanny named George Weiss (Patrick Breen). First, though, we see Kevin convincingly grossed out by his first diaper change and amusingly engrossed with trying to get Sara back to sleep after she wakes up screaming at 1:10 a.m.
Diggs brings a lot to this party turned upside down. He seems to effortlessly command the small screen, whether laughing, grousing or doing his newly deployed "plane-tiger sound" over the phone when George can't get little Sara to eat.
Meanwhile, dessert abounds. Kevin is still trying to hook up with a stunningly beautiful movie star named Evelyn, who just happens to be captured in her bra and panties during an on-set wardrobe change. Gratuitous? Yes. Got a problem with that? Uh-uh.
Kevin also manages to join a small law office housing three gorgeous female attorneys. This is after his old boss balks at the time he's devoting to Sara, who's dismissed as "that thing" by another of the firm's jerks.
Sure, it's more than a little improbable that his new co-workers happen to be ready-made Charlie's Angels named Jessie Grey (Michael Michele), Nicollette Raye (Christina Hendricks) and Veronica Carter (Kate Levering), with whom Kevin once had a one-night stand.
Objection, your honor? No, because all of these beautiful people make for some pretty interesting characters, too. "Kevin Hill" has style and substance in addition to all of its ice cream treats. There's nothing wrong with looking sensational if you also have a little somethin', somethin' to say.
The show now will be challenged to keep little Sara in the picture rather than treating her like "Murphy Brown's" baby boy, who faded to near invisibility after all that fanfare. Diggs may be a five-star ladies' man, but he's equally appealing as an apprentice father figure who ends the first episode by telling the kid, "I haven't been home on a Friday night since I was 12. It was with your daddy."
They're last seen cuddling on his couch in a picture-perfect close-up. How could any viewer resist paying a return visit?