Ben and Kate (FOX) - Series Premiere: Synopsis and Review

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On September 25th, FOX will premiere one of it’s new comedy series, ‘Ben and Kate’. However, the show developed under the name ‘Ned Fox Is My Manny’, has been available on the network’s website, iTunes and Hulu since August 27th. The same goes for FOX’s other new comedy, Mindy Kaling’s ‘The Mindy Project’.

‘Ben and Kate’ is about a brother and sister who are each other’s exact opposites. Ben (Nat Faxon, writer of ‘The Descendants’) is a free spirit, he does whatever he wants whenever he wants to, and all that in his own clumsy way. His sister Kate (Dakota Johnson, ‘The Social Network’) is far more serious, struggling with her life as a bar manager and simultaneously bringing up her 5 year old daughter Maddie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones, ‘We Bought A Zoo’).

Ben comes to town to find out why his former girlfriend, “the one I exclusively refer to as Mrs. Ben Fox”, texted him that he should call her. On a ‘casual’ stakeout in front of her house, Ben finds out that Darcy, the former girlfriend, is getting married tomorrow, and that is not at all what he expected.

Teaming up with Maddie and his friend Tommy (Echo Kellum), Ben makes up an extensive plan to crash the wedding and kidnap Darcy. Kate finds out and while she is absolutely against the whole thing, Ben persuades her to help him plan his speech for Darcy. “Ben, you have been convincing smart people to do stupid things for all of your life, you can do this”, she says, also referring to her own actions at that very moment.

The next day, Kate is planning the perfect night with her date. When she’s with him, she accidentally calls Ben, who overhears their conversation. Kate has a little problem and is away for a few minutes, when her date calls his girlfriend and tells her he can’t wait for her to come home.

Even though he is on his way to Darcy’s wedding, Ben races back to the bar to tell Kate what he overheard, and Kate breaks up with the guy. Because of this, the plans for the wedding crashing have to be changed; there are only fifteen minutes left.

When they arrive at the wedding, Ben gets to have his speech in front of Darcy, but the notes on his sweaty palms have faded. Kate takes over the speech and tries to convince Darcy that Ben is a great guy. Sadly for Ben, it turns out that the wedding was an hour ago.

While the Ben-character is a little bit too over-the-top stupid, ‘Ben and Kate’ is a feel-good family comedy that is perfectly watchable. With both Ben and Kate struggling with their love life, the 5-year-old is the only one using her common sense, which accentuates in a comic way how desperate they both are.

Concluding, ‘Ben and Kate’ is definitely funny from time to time, and the premise that has been set in this pilot episode gives the show a lot of potential for the future.

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