Tag Archives: ben and kate

Shows You Should Be Watching: #BenAndKate

Standard

There are a handful of new sitcoms on TV this season – but none quite as charming and wonderful as Ben and Kate.  Dakota Johnson is Kate, an adorably awkward & awkwardly adorable single mom to Maddie (played by Maggie Elizabeth Jones, the cutest child actor since Jerry Maguire’s Jonathan Lipnicki).  Nat Faxon is Ben, Kate’s older brother, a verbose jester with a heart of gold, who moves in with Kate and Maddie to help out.  Rounding off the cast is Kate’s self-centered but completely endearing best friend, BJ (played to perfection by Lucy Punch) and Tommy, Ben’s childhood best friend and right-hand man, who is (not so) secretly in love with Kate.  Tommy is played by Echo Kellum (who may very well be the MVP of the show for his facial expressions alone).

It’s this cast that makes the show so enjoyable – their line readings are priceless, Ben’s harebrained schemes are always entertaining, and BJ imparting her inappropriate wisdom to a very impressionable Maddie each week is my favorite part of the show (this week, after finding out Kate’s new boyfriend is rich, BJ  teaches Maddie the right way to talk to servants, Downton Abbey-style.   It’s as awesome as it sounds).  Yes, some of the storylines can border on just plain silly, but each episode is a believable slice of our characters’ world.  It’s a show rooted in family; the family we have and the family we make (I’m tearing up a bit because it’s so true).

If there is one thing Ben and Kate has mastered in its short time on the air, it’s the art of the cold open (definition: the technique of jumping directly into the story in the opening of the show before the title sequence).  Most cold opens introduce the theme of that episode.  Below is one of my favorite opening scenes from their recent Thanksgiving episode:

To close, this is my favorite new comedy of the fall and I hope this inspires a few of you to start watching it.  It airs every Tuesday at 8:30 PM on Fox.  And you can catch up on previous episodes at fox.com and hulu.com.

TV Thoughts on 11/27/12

Standard

It’s Tuesday!  Meaning it’s my favorite night of television.  In fact, I like so many shows on Tuesday that I can’t even DVR them all.  And not even all of my shows were on tonight!

On a given Tuesday, here is the breakdown of what I watch: The Voice Results Show, Ben and Kate, Emily Owens MD, Happy Endings, Sons of Anarchy.  I now watch The New Normal and New Girl on Hulu – I can wait a day for those two (and New Girl has been noticeably inconsistent this season, I’m a bit ashamed).

And now, show by show, I will collect my TV thoughts:

The Voice Results:  I am going to be SO angry when Cassadee Pope makes it into the top 4.  But I will get over it as long as Nicholas Davis, Amanda Brown and Trevin Hunte are in there with her.  The results show is insanely boring and I fast forward everything except the actual results.

Ben and Kate: This show is so adorable – it’s sweet and simple and doesn’t try too hard.  I do wish they’d utilize Maggie Elizabeth Jones (the precocious 6-year-old) a bit more because she’s awesome. And can I please vote Leslie Grossman in as a series regular?  I think her character could be perfect for Ben … just a thought, Mary Cherry FOREVER!

Emily Owens, MD: I am completely enamored with Mamie Gummer.  It may not be the greatest show writing-wise (no quick wit like in Vampire Diaries or in the ghost of Gossip Girls past), but Emily Owens is a character the majority of us can relate to.  In fact, to me she is Lizzie McGuire all grown up – but instead of having an animated inner-self, she has an inner monologue voiceover.  And I KNOW the people related to Lizzie McGuire (when Lizzie got a bra, I got a bra.  It was a deep connection that has never been broken).

No Happy Endings tonight, but it is without a doubt my favorite comedy on television.  And the show deserves MAJOR credit for bringing itself out of obscurity and becoming a recognizable force of comedy.  Also the banter between Damon Wayans Jr and Eliza Coup alone is enough reason to watch/adore this show.

Sons of Anarchy: Wow. Just … wow.  Every damn week it’s wow.  I started watching this show from the beginning a few months before season 4 aired.  I had heard about it but wasn’t sure if I would like it … oh how wrong I was.  Kurt Sutter has created one of the most dynamic serialized shows I have ever seen.  A Hamlet-esque story set in the world of a motorcycle club called Sons of Anarchy or SAMCRO, the show doesn’t shy away from taking a conventional storyline and blowing it up with more twists and turns than even an episode of Grey’s Anatomy season 2 could muster.  This week was the penultimate episode of Season 5 and one test after another was thrown at our hero, Jax, now president of the club since he pushed out Clay, the man who killed his father and married his mother (like I said, Hamlet).  We see Jax, a man who headed up the presidency with promises of bringing SAMCRO back to its glory days before Clay, slowly turning into the former president he despises.  It will all come to a head next week in the season finale, and I for one cannot WAIT.  If you’re reading this and have never seen the show, check it out on Netflix.  One of the best TV decisions I’ve ever made.