Ben and Kate: Season 1, Episode 2 “Bad Cop/Bad Cop” (B+)
With its second installment, this show proves that it’s capable of making the concept of two grown-up siblings work to its advantage. Its greatest asset is the fact that Kate has a personality, and it comes with lots of excessive blubbering in the face of an intimidating situation. Trying hard to keep her actual address a secret from the parents and administrators at Maddie’s school was an entertaining endeavor, and I loved that the whole gang was in on it, including Tommy’s poor parents, who had to abandon their own home so that Kate could pretend that it was her residence. BJ earns points for her quick thinking and spinning of a tragic tale involving the death of Tommy’s identical twin brother to explain the presence of many photographs of Tommy in the child’s bedroom. As usual, Alan Ruck did deadpan to perfection, barely uttering a word as Kate went on for what felt like hours and Ben did little else but spot-on impressions. The dialogue on this show is very fast-paced, but unlike, say, CBS’ “Partners” or “2 Broke Girls,” it doesn’t feel forced here, perhaps due to the absence of a laugh track. There’s plenty of hilarious material, and the entire cast works hard to deliver it as exceptionally as possible. It’s not a perfect show by any means, but it’s highly entertaining and a terrific entry in the new Tuesday night FOX comedy block, which I’d argue is much funnier than Must-See TV Thursdays on NBC has been in a while.