Monday, January 28, 2013

What I’m Watching: Ben and Kate (Last Episode)

Ben and Kate: Season 1, Episode 13 “Bake Off” (B+)

I can’t describe how much it dismays me that this show has been cancelled and pulled from the air. In the past, shows have come to an end because of overwhelmingly negative reviews or because networks have opted not to renew midseason entries. In this case, however, it’s one fall show that got picked up for episodes beyond its initial thirteen-episode order, and less productive ratings doomed it to a premature cancellation. It’s also much superior to “The Mindy Project,” which hasn’t been subject to the same fate, which makes its departure all the more lamentable. This episode especially feels ready to send the show in a whole bunch of new directions, as Ben’s Rail Mall idea finally takes off and Kate enters into what looks like a wonderful new relationship. It’s fun to see Sarah Burns in a role so different from the one she plays on “Enlightened” here as Stephanie, who decided on a whim to come with Ben and Tommy only to realize that she might have made a mistake – and the house doesn’t even have a fax machine. I would have loved to see more of Ben and Vera’s unhealthy relationship and what actually happens to Rail Mall, and maybe the two remaining episodes will eventually air and fill that in for us. Will’s return was appropriately unsatisfying, and I like that Kate managed to find some romance that could fit with her craziness in Lance. BJ training Maddie to be British was terrific, and it was nice to see her think of Maddie and turn down the opportunity to get the commercial by herself. Why this show has to go I’ll never be able to comprehend.

Series grade: B+
Series MVP: Dakota Johnson as Kate

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