Ben and Kate: Season 1, Episode 4 “21st Birthday” (B+)
It’s fun to have a show where characters are permitted to ramble on uncomfortably for as long as they like. I’ve become extremely comfortable with what to expect from this show, and as a result, this was a great half-hour. After channeling Kate’s desires in episode three, this installment turned to Ben’s notion of what Kate enjoyed, specifically related to her birthday celebrations. Inviting Kate’s crazy partier friend set BJ off, and it was a blast to see BJ team up with Ben so that she could avoid being at the boring party and having to watch her best friend have a good time with Molly. Their trip to Darcy’s house was amusing and at times nonsensical, and I particularly enjoyed BJ’s run-on speech followed by awkward making out with Ben and the subsequent shot of Ben hauling the tree out of her car at home. This show is often loud and unsubtle with its comedy, and it’s nice to see something like a silent image of Maddie rubbing a balloon on BJ’s hair to mess it up, with Ben and BJ blankly staring, powerless to stop it from happening. Tommy’s fury at Molly for not paying him back his fifteen dollars was a wonderful catalyst for his confession of love to Kate, and it was hilarious to see him squirm as she refused to finish her sentence about how she felt about him. His panic after her whispered comment about her feelings was funny as well, and I’m sure little will come of that imagined relationship other than some great comedic moments.