Matt Bailey (Perry) is a free-spirited, if somewhat lazy, 22-year-old freelance journalist enjoying the good life at home with his indulgent mom Grace (Mercer). He wasn't so concerned about completing his ascent into full-fledged adulthood, nor was he ever in a hurry to get out on his own, until his older, recently divorced sister Vanessa (Canova) returned home with her two kids, so they could pick up the pieces and start their lives over. The unexpected arrangements forced Matt to take some crash courses in responsibility, to not only help out around the house, but to provide a good role model to his 13-year-old niece Abby (Anndi McAfee) and nephew Lucas (Scott McAfee), with whom he had particularly close bond. Matt's struggle to maintain his wild, free-living lifestyle while facing his new realities were the focus of most episodes. His other world was the newspaper where he worked as a cub reporter, inhabited by co-worker and best friend Walter Peters (Dan Schneider), foxy photographer Laura (Brooke Theiss), of whom Matt was especially attracted to; and their gruff editor, Ben Brookstone (Alan Oppenheimer).