Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What I’m Watching: Ben and Kate

Ben and Kate: Season 1, Episode 11 “B-Squad” (B+)

It seemed obvious to me from the start that Maddie had flunked her gifted test purposely to avoid the unnecessary pressure and separation of being in the class, but, as usual, this show took a fairly simple concept and made it work quite well without being too obvious or expected. Kate’s reaction to the news that Maddie didn’t get into the class was amusing, clearly confusing her teacher, and I like seeing her academic spirit in action, not always quite as logical or presentable as she’d like it to be. Coupling that with Ben’s new job and his fury about the Bunk Bed Pizza idea taking off was terrific. It was fun to see David Hornsby, star of CBS’ short-lived and underrated “How to Be a Gentleman,” here as Matt Swan, the friend who allegedly stole but ultimately paid for Ben’s magnificent idea. Another great guest star was Jane Seymour, who was the perfect choice to play BJ’s mother, who found ridiculous ways to insult her and even managed to flirt with Buddy like crazy. Above all, the fact that she was attracted to Buddy means that she approves of something that BJ does. I enjoyed the fighting that occurred between first Ben and Kate and then later in the flashback to BJ’s faked news broadcast about peeling with the distinction of co-pilot and co-anchor. Tommy’s Paolo was pretty hilarious as well, and it’s always a hoot to see these characters try hard to be something or someone they’re not.

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