Reviews

Fall Preview: Fox's 'Ben and Kate'

Cast of Ben & Kate

Dakota Johnson and Nat Faxon star in a new Fox comedy about a brother and sister, who are polar opposites in nearly every way, but they’re also exactly what the other ones needs to get through life.

Cast of Ben & Kate

Dakota Johnson and Nat Faxon star in a new Fox comedy about a brother and sister, who are polar opposites in nearly every way, but they’re also exactly what the other ones needs to get through life.

THE CONCEPT

Kate (Johnson) is a responsible, single mother, who is doing everything she can to give her daughter Maddie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones) a good life. Her older brother Ben (Faxon) tends to blow in and out of her life at the most inopportune times and make crazy demands from her. In the pilot, he returns to town and wants to stop his ex from getting married because he’s still in love with her. Kate wants no part of this because she’s finally met a man, who she can see herself having a relationship with and she doesn’t want Ben to ruin that for her.

Kate’s friend BJ (Lucy Punch) and Ben’s friend Tommy (Echo Kellum) each play a big part in the chaos that ensues as does Maddie. But it’s Ben and Kate’s relationship and their innate need to protect each other that spurs each sibling into action when disaster is on the horizon. The show gives the audience a little glimpse into their childhood to let viewers see just how the two became so close even though they’re nothing alike on the surface.

Ben and Kate is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Chernin Entertainment. The show was written and created by Dana Fox. She will serve as executive producer along with Peter Chernin, Katherine Pope, Jake Kasdan, Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan.

MY TAKE

I enjoyed this show a lot more than I expected to from what I’d seen in promos. Johnson and Faxon have an easy rapport that feels like real siblings. It’s nice watching them have each other’s backs. Some of the characters were a little too stereotypical for my tastes, but if the show tones them down, I think they will be a lot more appealing to the viewers.

Like the characters, some of the jokes were too obvious and had been done before, but there were a few moments that made me genuinely laugh. I don’t think I’d watch this show every week, but it seems like it will fit in nicely with Fox’s comedy lineup.

Ben and Kate officially premieres Tuesday Sept. 25 at 8:30 p.m. on Fox, but the network is giving viewers an online sneak peek for two weeks beginning Monday, Aug. 27.

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About the author

Mandy Treccia

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.