I see Baby as a tribute to SAHM (Stay At Home Mums), whom some people erroneously feel have a “good life”, since they need not “work”. Whoever said that obviously hasn’t taken care of an infant/ toddler 24/7…
- Oh Ji-ho (from Detective Cheo-yong I/II) as ex-homicide Detective Cha Jung-han. With emphasis on the “ex”; Jung-han used to be the Ace of the Homicide Team in the police force. However, an accident which took away his elder sis and bro-in-law left him saddled with their 6-month old niece. He takes time off to care for her…and finds it harder to deal with a crying infant than a hardcore criminal.
- Lee Soo-kyung (from Let’s Eat I) as Han Ye-seul. Jung-han’s first crush (i won’t say “love”, since they never officially dated), who lives above him. Ye-seul has a really bratty and spoilt 5-year old son, Hoon-goo, whom she has care of post-divorce. Methinks bratty son misses his dad (or the father figure), since his every sentence likely starts with “my daddy won’t do this…” Anyway, Ye-seul really has a hard time controlling her son’s princely tempers, and Jung-han totally misses it. He overly relies on her for “caregiving advice”. (bad mistake)
- Jung Soo-young (from Let’s Eat I) as Jo Ji-young. Jung-han’s ex police colleague, and they share some form of embarrassing episode together. (Baby makes it look extremely sexual, but i bet it will turn out to be juz plain embarrassing) Whatever the case, Ji-young is upset that Jung-han moved into her estate, since he will “spill that deep dark secret”. She thinks of 101 ways to make him move out.
- Kim Min-jae (from Twenty Again) as Yoon-min. Jung-han’s roomie and also the owner of a newly opened café in the neighbourhood.
- Nam Ji-hyun as Han So-yoon. Ye-seul’s younger sister, who operates a baby-mother yoga centre, which Jung-han attends out of desperation to make his niece zzz.
We start off with a high speed chase, with Jung-han at the wheel. He gets pulled over by a traffic cop and then we see why he has been beating red lights and going non-stop: strapped in the infant car seat is a young baby, and she wails immediately when the car stops. According to Jung-han (who tries to wiggle his way out of a traffic ticket), his niece won’t sleep unless he drives, and the car muz be travelling about 60kmph — non stop.
Of cos the traffic cop doesn’t let him off.
In a serious of flashbacks, we compare the Jung-han (past) vs. the Jung-han (present). Past Jung-han is a topnotch homicide detective, unflinching in the face of tough criminals, and able to withstand days staking out the baddies’ lair. Present Jung-han has to stick toothpicks under his eyelids in order to keep himself awake (he hasn’t slept for days cos of a crying baby), and is totally in shambles whenever his niece sniffles.
Probably cos his bachelor pad is not a good idea for infant care, Jung-han shifts to a newer apartment, which he shares with Min (who is opening a café in the same neighbourhood). We get introduced to the “Mummys’ Circle” of the estate, and the head honcho is none other than Jung-han’s ex-colleague, Ji-young. Both of them have some bad blood with each other, owing to an “(sexually??) embarrassing incident” of the past. Ji-young is none too pleased to see Jung-han, fearing that he will tattle and her husband will hear of “it”. (whatever “it” is)
So she tries all means and ways to force Jung-han to move. When Jung-han learns about the benefits of baby yoga (which can help babies SLEEP), he tries to sign up for a class, only to be blocked by Ji-young. Although she eventually relents, when he agrees to explain away “the incident” as one where Ji-young caught him “whanking out” in front of a sex video (part of the evidence for an online sex scam case). (what actually happened is he spilled coffee near his crotch, and from behind, it looks like he is busily…ahem, engaged in masturbation)
However Ji-young is still insecure over Jung-han’s proximity, and continues to later find means and ways to ostracise him, such as accusing that he doesn’t respond enough to their Mummy’s Circle group Katalk (er, the ladies were discussing breast feeding, and sharing pics of their swollen nipples…) Luckily (?) Jung-han discovers by accident that his first crush, Ye-seul, lives above him. And Ye-seul is a mother herself, as she has a 5-year old son, Hoon-goo (who can be crowned Tantrum King of the Year).
Unfortunately, Ye-seul isn’t exactly someone whom Jung-han can (or should) rely on, cos her advices kinda all fall short. In addition, Ye-seul herself is a loner. Maybe it’s cos her kid is older, and she works full time, the other SAHMs do not include her into their circle.
It is said that a baby’s cries can cause humans to go into a frenzy — kinda true, if you consider the high pitched screams and wailing, that can continue NON-stop. So I seriously pity Jung-han, who has zero experience (or preparation), and has to deal with his niece to the best of his (in)abilities. For MOST parents, there is at least the preparation stage where they can read up, discuss, mentally guard themselves for what they expect (or know) will be trying times. But for Jung-han, he juz zooms from bachelor to parent status overnight.
While it is sad (for him), the instant upgrade is hilarious (for us). Using whatever limited knowledge he has of taking care of babies, Jung-han tries to adapt to taking care of and living with his niece, which promotes all sorts of slapsticky scenes. For example, he knows babies need milk, and he knows mothers breastfeed their babies…but of cos, being a man, he doesn’t have boobs, much less milk-producing boobs. And he has zero idea on how to properly bottle feed an infant. Solution? Tape the milk bottle to his pectoral muscles to “breast” (or “pec”) feed his niece. (lol)
His oddball actions scare away all the neighbouring ahjummas who are working part time as infant caregivers — instead of trusting them to let them do their things, Jung-han mistakenly thinks HIS way is the best (and only) way for his niece. Thus, he will tell the ahjumma to also try taping the bottle to her breast to feed the baby. (duh) His bull headedness partly comes from his background as a detective — he is used to commanding people to do things his way. Plus, his bad habits of distrusting strangers make him automatically “pat down” all the potential nannies who apply for the job. (oi, that is sexual harassment!)
In contrast, his ex-colleague Ji-young (whom we suspect isn’t that sharp as a policewoman), is now the unspoken leader of the Mummy’s Circle, and highly competent in childcare. Poor Jung-han, even though he gains access to the Mummy’s Circle, as a man, he is totally disinterested in their conversations. Especially when they revolve around comparing feeding spoons (which he sees no difference) or sore nipples (he goes googly-eyed at the nipple pic at first, before flinging the phone away in disgust).
Beyond the funnies though, Baby is a show where the conventional is turned upside down. On one hand, we have the SAHMs who keep to traditions (where the woman should stay home to care for the kids) and the single “Dad” who has to learn the ropes (fast) to deal with a baby. I am looking forward to seeing Jung-han succeed in conquering Daddy duty and his bonding with his adorable baby niece. (oh yes, and bratty Hoon-goo upstairs, who really need a firm, masculine presence to discipline him)