Ben and Kate: Season 1, Episode 3 “The Fox Hunt” (B+)
This show isn’t terrific, but it sure is fun. Its dialogue is quick and entertaining, and its characters are extremely entertaining. Kate’s obsession with beating her older brother at an old game their parents used to have them play was great, and I loved BJ’s realization that their parents were just making them shop for groceries. BJ as a character is highly exaggerated but really quite funny, thanks to Lucy Punch’s dedication to making her as wild and ridiculous as possible. The same goes for Echo Kellum’s Tommy, who serves as a perfect wingman for each of the other characters at different times. Ben’s misconception that the loser had to do the other’s homework, of which Kate had none, was very amusing. The competitive energy that Ben and Kate both possess is wonderful, and it’s a delight to see them engage so frantically in their pursuits of victory. They’re capable of dramatic moments as well, namely Kate’s apology to Ben for telling him that he never finishes anything. I’d not sure that combining a waterbed with a recliner is entirely necessary since the latter is usually comfortable enough on its own, but I do like the maniacal independent mind that Ben possesses when it comes to wacky new inventions. For this show, it’s not crucial to be firmly grounded in reality, like Ben calling Maddie’s school to tell them that Kate was coming to pick her up to distract her from the contest, but it’s nice to have a reality check every once in a while.