You’ve seen the commercials. You’ve heard the hype. Now there’s only one thing you want to know: Which of the new fall shows are worth watching and which should be avoided at all costs? In this continuing series, we give you the scoop on some of the most highly-anticipated shows of the season, with today’s subject being FOX’s BEN AND KATE.
The Boilerplate: Since these pilot presentations may go through numerous rewrites and casting changes prior to premiere, this by no means should be considered an official review. Rather a preview of what one can expect come Fall.
The Plot: What happens when an exuberant dreamer who always says “yes” moves in with his overly responsible little sister to help raise her five-year-old daughter? That’s the question Fox’s newest addition to its fantastic Tuesday night live-action comedy line-up will attempt to ask when it follows a pair of odd-couple siblings and their friends as they push each other out of their comfort zones and into real life.
The Cast: BEN AND KATE stars Dakota Johnson as Kate, Nat Faxon as Ben, Maggie Elizabeth Jones as Maddie, Echo Kellum as Tommy and Lucy Punch as BJ.
The Snap Judgment: With apologies in advance to Fox’s other new girl Mindy Kaling, BEN AND KATE is far and away our favorite of the Network’s fresh fall offerings for the simple reason that there is no-more charming cast on the planet. Seriously. As the show’s titular characters, Nat Faxon (Ben) and Dakota Johnson (Kate) are not only absolutely believable as the dimwitted brother and type-A sister, their like-ability factor is off-the-charts. Add to that a supporting cast featuring pint-sized scene stealer Maggie “We Got a Zoo!” Jones as Kate’s daughter Maddie, Echo Kellum as Ben’s best friend Tommy and the hilarious Lucy Punch as Kate’s confidante BJ, and the result is one of the Fall’s most delightful surprises. And while we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that BEN AND KATE in no way rivals the likes of say a MODERN FAMILY or HAPPY ENDINGS when it comes to eliciting genuine guffaws just yet, the pilot offers up more than enough memorable moments to keep us smiling throughout its entirety. Highlights of which include Ben’s attempt to refrain from swearing in front of Maddie upon realizing the love of his life is getting married (“There’s so much I want to say! Why are you so young right now?!”), BJ’s extreme makeover of Maddie and Kate’s haphazard attempt to get “the sex.”
The Conclusion: Nestled comfortably between RAISING HOPE and NEW GIRL all but guarantees a season’s pass on our DVR.
BEN AND KATE premieres Tuesday September 25th at 8:30PM on FOX (CityTV in Canada).