Monday, October 11, 2010

Take Three: Better With You

Better With You: Season 1, Episode 3 “Better with Ben” (B+)

I can understand why people wouldn’t like this show (and why it probably won’t last), but I’m enjoying it just fine. I’m particularly impressed with Josh Cooke, who definitely didn’t wow me in three previous shows, “Big Day,” “Four Kings,” and “Committed.” Here, he’s the only real voice of reason, since you can’t quite count matriarch Vicky, and yet he’s still prone to entertaining delusional fantasies like living in a firehouse. While the timing does seem inappropriately early, a fancy family Christmas card is a fairly universal idea, and therefore it works well now and opens up the show to do other holiday episodes when December 25th does roll around. Overly clever ideas like “One Flew Over the Christmas Nest” are enjoyable, and even if the show’s laugh track seems to find the series much funnier than it actually is, it does end up being pretty charming, and effective as a result. Ben’s frustration with not being included in the card is very understandable, but what’s much more amusing is his lack of comprehension as to what exactly a Christmas nest is. Usually such silly comments are reserved for Casey alone, but in this installment, it’s the entire family that drives him crazy with their antics. We don’t know all that much about either Ben or Casey outside of their connections to Maddie and Mia, and the little joke at the end about Ben’s family being the ones who sent the terrible card was fun. I’m not sure how quickly this show will expand into having more characters, but for now, they’re holding down the fort just fine.

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