“Bet on Your Baby” is Surprisingly Painful

By Krissy Powers

ABC’s new show, “Bet on Your Baby”, which aired April 13, feels like being trapped in a conversation, and the only positive is being able to look at the adorable kid. The show is exactly what the title makes it out to be – parents literally bet on their children for a chance to win money towards the child’s college education. This is a new game show hosted by Melissa Peterman, star of the 2001 hit TV show Reba, and most recently ABC Family’s comedy Baby Daddy. Her peppy enthusiasm makes her exactly what the show was looking for – a personable host with a funny side. As Peterman puts it, “the stakes are huge, and the competitors are miniature.” However, the real competitors are the parents. The children simply enter an enchanting area known as the ‘baby dome,’ a room filled with toys, stuffed animals, and sometimes even treats, and listen to a parent’s instructions. This show seems to be so far out there, so weird, I don’t know how anyone would have come up with this idea. Although it does showcase some cute babies, it also makes me slightly uncomfortable to be watching parents bet on the success of their baby, and potentially earning money on their gamble.

The guidelines are fairly simple. One parent goes into the baby dome with the child, and the other stays outside and places a bet on how well their kid will do in the challenge. The family members will not know what the other bet, so they are just following instructions. If the bet is achieved, the family will win $5,000. At the end of the show, there is a chance to win up to $50,000, by simply cracking open a number of pink piggy banks.

Co-creator and executive producer Craig Armstrong said, “Bet On Your Baby is an amazing way for parents to celebrate their babies and have a chance to win real money for their kids’ college fund. It’s the happiest show on television.” I do agree that it is a very helpful concept, especially in this age where the price of education seems to be continually rising. But the idea that parents on placing bets on their children and then earning money based on that success seems a little strange to me. Also, at the end where they are literally opening piggy banks and finding large sums of money seems strange to me. What exactly are they doing to receive all this money?

Throughout the show I can’t help but laugh at both the parents’ crazy reactions and emotions, as well as the challenges they put the children through. The challenges range from how many times the kid can spin around, how many cookies the kid can stack without eating any, and other random activities. And come on, who can resist an adorable toddler? Overall this show is definitely strange, but one that I found surprisingly entertaining, although I regarded it mostly as a joke. As Peterman signs off, “Life is unpredictable, but you can always bet on your baby.”

Rating out of 5 stars: One and a half