Summer TV hiatuses are always rough, but these days there are plenty of summer TV shows to keep us afloat. Believe it or not, one of the best networks for awesome comedies during the awkward June-August break is ABC Family: Baby Daddy and Melissa & Joey.
It is a guarantee that each of these shows will only take one episode to get you hooked. Unlike dramas where you need a ton of background information on the characters to be able to follow along in an episode, these are the kind of shows you could literally pick up anywhere and enjoy.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll see one episode and immediately go back and watch them all from the beginning.
Melissa & Joey
Melissa & Joey stars two of our 90s alums in completely different roles and acting more adult than we’re used to seeing them. There’s nothing wrong with the good clean fun of Sabrina and Blossom, but in our 20s, it’s amusing to see that the actors we love are capable of making dirty jokes and acting kind of slutty.
In the show, “Mel” is a somewhat respectable reformed party girl working as a local politician, enjoying the single life. The show begins when her teenaged niece and nephew, Lennox and Ryder, move in with her following their father’s Ponzi scheme à la Madoff. (Dad’s on the run, Mom’s in the slammer.)
“Joe,” a financial advisor who lost everything during the scheme, moves in and becomes the kids’ nanny, or as I like to call, “manny,” when he can’t get work anywhere in the business industry post-Ponzi. Madness ensues.
Mel and Joe become an unorthodox co-parenting unit, while still both attempting to have active dating lives.
Though they bicker and appear to have way too many differences, there is an obvious attraction between the two, that manages to convince the viewers to want them to get together, but also root against them at the same time.
It’s a sticky situation to say the least.
Baby Daddy is a little bit more literal in it’s title. Twenty-something New York bartender Ben finds a baby on his doorstep that is the daughter he never knew he had. This show has quite an array of supporting characters that make it worth sticking around for.
Tucker: another blast-from-the-past actor making us miss the ’90s like no other is played by the smartest guy around, Tahj Mowry. (Get it?) Tucker is Ben’s BFF-slash-roommate-slash-ultimate scene-stealer.
Danny is Ben’s swoon-worthy older brother who plays professional hockey and moves in with Ben and Tucker at the beginning of the series when he gets traded to the Rangers. He’s essentially the giant sexy teddy bear we all wished we had. And yes, there are plenty of shirtless ab shots.
Ben and Danny’s mom, Bonnie, is also around way too much for their liking. Bonnie is one of those mom’s you can tell doesn’t want to grow up. She’s obnoxious, overbearing, lovable, and hilarious all in one.
Last but not least is the classic girl-next-door, Riley. Riley is the classic used-to-be-fat character that still has no confidence, even though she’s now insanely gorgeous à la Monica.
She’s quirky and fun and has a silly BFF thing going on with Danny. She also happens to have a massive thing for Ben, who has no clue. One more thing, Danny is insanely in love with Riley. Shocker.
There’s really no better way to sell these shows than to just give them a chance. A lot of other network shows can be gimmicky, without genuinely funny jokes.
ABC Family seems to have really solid comedy writers because these shows genuinely keep me laughing. The concepts seem to really work for the classic 18-24 demo that the channel appears to target.