Scott D. Pierce: ‘The Baker and the Beauty’ is great fun while we’re stuck at home

(Photo courtesy of Guy D’Alema/ABC) Victor Rasuk and Nathalie Kelley star in “The Baker and the Beauty.”

ABC’s “The Baker and the Beauty” wasn’t cooked up as something for viewers trapped in their homes by the coronavirus pandemic — it just turned out that way.

This new series, which premieres Monday at 9 p.m. on Ch. 4, is fun. It’s light. It’s romantic. It doesn’t require a whole lot of brain power to watch.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Particularly at a time when we could all use a bit of an escape, and to be able to get away right in our own living rooms.

In this new series, Daniel Garcia (Victor Rasuk) is the eldest son of parents who immigrated to Florida from Cuba and opened their own bakery. He’s a nice guy. A regular guy. A reliable, hard-working guy who is also a hunk.

For reasons that are unclear, he’s in a long-term dating relationship with Vanessa (Michelle Veintimilla), who is a bit much. OK, more than a bit.

A date with Vanessa goes horribly wrong — she proposes, and Daniel doesn’t say yes — and when Vanessa makes a scene, it catches the attention of international fashion superstar/trendsetter Noa Hamilton (Nathalie Kelley). Daniel and Noa are clearly attracted to each other, and the budding romance between the mega-celebrity and a regular guy is quickly splashed all over social media.

If it sounds sort of like the 1999 Hugh Grant-Julia Roberts movie “Notting Hill,” that’s because it is. And neither the producers nor the stars are running away from that comparison. Showrunner Dean Georgaris said “The Baker and the Beauty” is “trying to capture sort of what we do a lot of in features with things like ‘Notting Hill,’ but I haven’t really seen on TV.”

And Rasuk said he’s a “huge fan” of the movie. “I don’t know if I would go as far as to say that I copy some of Hugh Grant’s moments — but I did.”

Actually, “The Baker and the Beauty” is based on an Israeli series with the same title (which is streaming on Amazon Prime). While the original was a half-hour sitcom, the American version is an hour long and expands the story to focus more on Daniel’s family.

(Photo courtesy of Nino Munoz/ABC) “The Baker and the Beauty” stars Michelle Veintimilla as Vanessa, Belissa Escobedo as Natalie Garcia, Lisa Vidal as Mari Garcia, Carlos Gomez as Rafael Garcia, Victor Rasuk as Daniel Garcia, Nathalie Kelley as Noa Hamilton, David Del Rio as Mateo Garcia, and Dan Bucatinsky as Lewis.

“If you think about it, a normal person gets involved with another normal person — it’s still two worlds colliding,” Georgaris said. “When a relationship becomes intense, you inherit a new family. In this case, it’s an entire family not just inheriting someone in Noa, but inheriting all that comes with someone like Noa.”

Starting with the huge line out the front door of the bakery when Noa’s fans find out where it is.

And that family dynamic is what really sets “The Baker and the Beauty” apart from other romance dramedies. Daniel lives at home with his parents and siblings and the whole family works in the bakery, which Daniel plans to take over someday.

Through the four episodes provided to critics, his family is the best part of the show. His parents, Rafael (Carlos Gomez) and Mari (Lisa Vidal), are a rock-solid couple who’ve devoted their lives to their children and their business. Daniel’s younger brother, Mateo (David Del Rio) is comic relief — an aspiring DJ who’s not nearly as cool as he thinks he is. And his teenage sister, Natalie (Belissa Escobedo) steals every scene she’s in.

Noa’s got her own sympathetic backstory. She’s caught up in a glamorous world that looks like a lot more fun than it is.

Of course, the fact that she’s not just famous but rich (her father is a hotel mogul) helps with that. As does her protective manager, Lewis (Dan Bucatinsky), who’s more father-figure than employee.

This isn’t a show that’s going to win a lot of awards. It’s not going to be nominated for Emmys or Golden Globes or Television Critics Association Awards, let alone win any of them.

But “The Baker and the Beauty” is entertaining. It’s a trip to a world without COVID-19, where a romance between a famous woman and her anonymous boyfriend takes center stage.

It’s worth checking out for that reason alone.