Tuesday, September 11, 2012

NEW SHOW: Ben and Kate

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

This show is not officially airing until September 25th, but the first episode is available on Hulu early, so feel free to check it out. Ben and Kate originally made my "maybe" list, meaning that I would check out a few episodes but I wasn't hoping for television gold. After seeing the pilot, I think I categorized it correctly... the premise isn't uber-interesting (especially with so many other random-groups-caring-for-children shows on these days), I really didn't fall in love with the eponymous characters, and I'm not sure that I want to deal with more shows where the leads aren't already in committed relationships. On the other hand, the little girl is adorable, Ben and his friend seem like they'll be regularly cooking up wacky schemes, and I kinda really like the house! (bad reason to like the sitcom, I know.) But, there are other issues as well... a large one being the wardrobes! I couldn't stand the plaid Ben wears, Kate's ugly floral dress, or Tommy's entire style. Even the cast photo below is pretty hideous... especially for present-day! Or am I just behind on some sort of fashion wave??
Cr: Miranda Penn Turin/FOX
Ben and Kate "Pilot" (S01E01): Kate works as a waitress at Buddy's (and has a love-hate relationship with bartending coworker BJ), has a five-year-old daughter named Maddie (the father ran off when he found out about the pregnancy), and has been on nine dates with a guy named George. [I love that, for once, a woman makes it to nine dates before sleeping with a guy! They never seem to make it past three on television anymore!] Her brother, Ben, comes in and out of her life (he lives in Sacramento), and, because he recently heard from the former love of his life, Darcy, he's back in town. He goes to stalk Darcy and discovers that she's getting married the next day, causing him to resort to his friend, Tommy, for help in crashing the event and professing his love before it's too late. Kate repeatedly tells Ben that she won't help him, but he convinces her anyway, and she tells him exactly what to say when he sees his old flame. [while Kate giving in wasn't the end of the world here, I think that it'll get annoying pretty quickly if that becomes an ongoing thing.] Except, things go awry. 

Ben fires the babysitter when she's too strict about coloring, so he has to bring along Maddie to the wedding. [this kid is CUTE! loved her in We Bought a Zoo and she's only gotten better!] At the same time, Kate is paranoid about having sex with George later on and winds up pocket-dialing Ben while sitting down with George. [BJ's mouth-flirting was weird. I don't want to see that again.] In the process of trying to take off her sweater, her shirt sticks to it, making everything all the more awkward. [seriously... if you're not sure that your shirt will stay down when you take off a layer, excuse yourself to the restroom to do it! this is a mistake you make when you're 14, not 24!] Kate leaves her phone on the table as she goes to readjust herself, and Ben hears George on the phone with a woman who is on business. Ben winds up missing the wedding to go warn his sister, who is absolutely devastated. [I thought that she played that scene amazingly!] but was that eighteen-point-turn supposed to be funny? because aside from a giggle when Ben mentioned that he might have to ask Maddie to get out, I thought it was pretty blah.]

When Kate, Ben, Maddie, and BJ arrive at the wedding to meet Tommy, Ben finds Darcy pretty easily and attempts to give the speech he had written on his hand. [don't ask me why everyone came... I have no idea.] Kate tries to talk Darcy into not getting married, but they find out that the wedding was an hour earlier. They stay for the reception, huddle under a table like when they were kids, and Ben proposes moving back to town to help out his younger sister. [The flashbacks to when Ben and Kate were children of fighting parents were interesting... I wonder if those were a one-time thing, and, if not, if the scenes will tie-in like the under-the-table thing does in this episode... and WHY DID THEY STAY FOR THE RECEPTION??] On the way to the car, Kate pushes Ben into a pool to get him back for a prank from years ago, then they all jump in for some fun. [yet nobody emptied a cell phone from their pocket and they were all wearing dress clothes... they must be way more casual than I am about things!]
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