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Ben and Kate - Where's the Love?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Did I just overlook the Ben and Kate thread? Hard to imagine this show hasn't generated some comments, but a search turns up nothing.

Anyway, I love these characters, all of 'em. They're models of interpersonal ineptitude, just like me, but funny. biggrin.gif
post #2 of 22
I tried two episodes. It was mildly funny, and the actors are attractive (especially Kate), but there wasn't enough there for me to keep watching it. It follows Raising Hope, which thrives on sharp writing, but Ben and Kate seems to rely more on mugging.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
I love Kate, mainly because she's so terribly awkward around the opposite sex. I've had my fair share of those moments in the past, so I can relate. Delivering comments that incoherently comes naturally to me, but it's gotta be harder for an actor. biggrin.gif I also like that Kate's daughter doesn't come across as precocious. She's just a regular little kid. That's refreshing.
post #4 of 22
I agree with dougotte that the writing is lax and also with Joseph Clark that Jones is enjoyable to watch.

The thing that nettles me most about the show is Faxon's spray tan.  That hue does not occur in nature and looks even worse alongside the female stars, all of whom are very fair-skinned.  (Johnson takes after her mother rather than her father in that aspect.)

On the plus side it was a nice touch to cast Lindsay Sloane, Faxon's costar from "Grosse Pointe," as the ex-girlfriend last week.  But if the clichés continue to dominate, I'll give up on it.
post #5 of 22
I gave the show a try, but it just felt really lame.

The first episode gave me hope that there would be more antics between Ben and the daughter, but by episode 3 she was just window dressing. That left just the adults to act like children.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm very backwards when it comes to comedy. I listen for my own laughter and then try to figure out why I enjoyed myself. biggrin.gif So far, I"m not quite sure, but I know I've laughed more at each episode, so that's a good sign. I don't follow ratings closely, so I can't say how well it's doing. Anyone have that info?
post #7 of 22
I think it's improving. There are really funny moments, but they seem to feel they need to be heartwarming at some point in every show. And it looks as if it could be cancelled at any moment.
Edited by Shaded Dogfood - 11/8/12 at 12:33pm
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
I hope B&K isn't canceled. I was a little worried that the quirks would wear thin for me after a few episodes, but that hasn't happened. Judy Punch is a scream as B.J., Kate's best friend. When Kate gets tongue tied around guys she's attracted to, which is always, B.J. offers up encouraging observations - such as "You're going to die alone." I also love the comic timing of the editing, which often involves a quick throw away line, followed by an immediate cut to another scene or to commercial. This week's episode was touching, I thought. It had real warmth, as Kate tells Will about how her friends saved her when Maddie's father abandoned them. Kate's scene with her brother at the end was very well acted by both Faxon and Johnson.
post #9 of 22
Originally Posted by Joseph Clark View Post

Judy Punch is a scream as B.J.
Her name is Lucy Punch.

Punch & Judy are stock characters from carnival puppet shows.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Yep. Brain slip. biggrin.gif I knew the correct name, but Punch and Judy probably were bouncing around in my brain when I typed it. I don't know any of the actors on this show, including Dakota Johnson, from things they've been in before. I'm still getting used to the names.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Kate's dance at the start of the show reminiscent of a scene with Melanie Griffith in Working Girl? I haven't seen it for a very long time, but it looked familiar.
post #11 of 22
I knew Punch and Faxon from some of their other roles.  Lindsay Sloane (who played Louise in the episode "Emergency Kit") and Faxon were in the cast of "Grosse Pointe."
post #12 of 22
I instantly recognized Lucy Punch as the original receptionist in Doc Martin. She plays a rather similar character there, now that I think about it. Nat Faxon I recognize, but I have no idea from where. Maybe TV commercials?

Anyways, I enjoy the show. The cast has good chemistry and seem to enjoy the show, and I get a laugh or 3 from each episode. I guess that's all I expect from a sitcom. I hope it continues.
Edited by lobosrul - 12/11/12 at 11:41am
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
I missed the first episode, but it's re-airing tonight.

The only character I recognize from previous shows is Geoff Stults, who had the lead in Fox's short-lived "The Finder." I understand why that show failed, but I thought he was very good. I wonder if he's headed out after the last episode, since he seems unwilling to put up with Kate's wacky friends. It's a really good dynamic between him and Kate, though, so I hope they keep him in the cast.

This is one of my favorite shows, with several laugh out loud moments in every episode I've watched. Without exception, the actors have great comic timing, including Maggie Elisabeth Jones as Kate's daughter Maddie. She seems to be in a constant state of befuddlement about the nutty adults surrounding her, all the while knowing she's loved without reservation. Ben can tell her to "get the hell out of here" or offer what sounds like extreme criticism of her sawing skills, without offending her in the slightest. I loved it when Ben opened the door to two girl scouts, called them pushers and blamed them for childhood obesity. But he bought all their cookies, which he and Tommy promptly devoured. And Lucy Punch (see, I got it right that time) can deliver a line with whip-snap articulation and humor. Her subtle expressions just kill me. biggrin.gif
post #14 of 22
Show is hilarious. Can't not laugh when Ben is on screen. Great comic timing in every scene.

It's doing horrible in the ratings, so enjoy this single season.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Yeah, it's a shame. There are lots of stories they could tell with these actors and this premise. Even if the writing isn't at its best, the delivery saves it, but I think the writing is quite sharp most of the time.
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
You gotta love an uncle whose "grounds for immediate dismissal" of a babysitter include asking a child to color inside the lines and telling her not to make the sky green. "Who are you, the color police?" Then he misses his opportunity to try to stop the woman he loves from getting married, so he can save his sister from being hurt. We should all be lucky enough to have a relative like Ben. biggrin.gif
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
There's a mini Ben and Kate marathon Wednesday evening - four previously aired episodes.
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ben and Kate gets a celebrity endorsement from Billy Burke, of NBC's "Revolution," in this week's issue of Entertainment Weekly. Asked what is on his DVR, he says, "I am really enjoying Ben and Kate. I like their sensibility. It's goofy but also has a lot of heart." In the same issue, they quote Jack Klugman, who just passed away. He says (in his 2005 book "Tony and Me: A Story of Friendship"), "...I'm hoping this book will be read by...young actors and writers who must understand that the most basic unit of any successful dramatic truth is human feeling. Not a quick joke, not a clever premise, not a multi-million dollar explosion can out-perform a single human emotion." This was brought home to me as I sat through as much as I could of the Michael Bay film, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" the other day. For all its mega-budget, it fails at any point to evoke as much joy in me as the Ben and Kate scene in which Maddy rubs BJ's head with a balloon to make her hair stand up from static electricity, then giggles gleefully. I've watched that episode three times and it still makes me laugh. Ben and Kate has heart. It's touching. It understands that the basic unit of successful dramatic (or comedic) truth is human feeling. I hope it collects enough of an audience in the next few weeks to get renewed. For me, B&K resonates like few comedies in recent memory.
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Looks like the ax just fell. Fox has yanked Ben and Kate from the schedule, and remaining episodes will probably never air. I seem to be part of a tiny, tiny minority, but this show was my favorite of the season. With Modern Family getting staler, Ben and Kate was the comedy I looked forward to most each week. The chemistry in this cast was among the best I've ever seen.

What a downer!!
post #20 of 22
I wouldn't say it was my favorite comedy by any means, but I quite liked it as well. For me, it would have been much, much better if they could have dialed down Ben's character a bit. I liked all the other characters though.
post #21 of 22
Too bad if this is completely canceled. It was a very funny ensemble cast. The writing was good and the quick banter was very clever.
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
I read in another source today that Fox has said they'll air the remaining episodes at some point. There are already 6 in the can.
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